Simmie Lewis Williams Jr., 17, was gunned down in the early morning hours of Feb. 22 on a desolate stretch of road in Fort Lauderdale known as the transvestite stroll.
Simmie, who was known on the stroll as Chris or Beyoncé, died dressed as the pop star he idolized - in his favorite dress with a fierce pair of pumps on.
But Simmie, who loved to wear women's clothing, was buried as a man in a sharp beige suit with white gloves.
Despite his friends' requests, his mother, Denise King, wouldn't have it any other way. She had searched for just the right suit to bury her oldest son in. It was the first suit Simmie ever wore.
''Simmie's friends asked me if I was going to dress him as a woman for the funeral. I said no. I gave birth to a boy, and my baby would be buried as a boy,'' says King, 38.
His friends say Simmie, who was openly gay, was a troubled boy who was bullied into dropping out of school at Hollywood Hills High in 2006. All Simmie ever wanted to be was a chef like the ones he saw on cable tv.
On Feb. 21, his mother enrolled him in the job corps where he would study to become a chef. ''Simmie loved to cook. He would watch the Food Network, then experiment,'' King says. ''He was so happy because he was going to finally be able to work toward becoming a cook." The next day he was dead.
Police have few leads in the homicide case. Broward Crime Stoppers received only two tips, but neither tip panned out. The gay community, outraged by the senseless killing, raised money to help pay for Simmie's funeral. Gay rights leaders plan to ask the state legislature to pass school-bullying laws - with amendments specifying protection for sexual orientation, identity and expression.
''Simmie has become the most recent face... of someone hurt or killed because of who they are,'' says Brian Winfield, a spokesman for Equality Florida. "People are feeling absolute anger that another young life was taken.''
Source: The Miami Herald