Family of SC transgender woman killed in Florida: 'We want everyone to be comfortable with who they are'

Published: Jun. 28, 2018 at 7:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2018 at 1:52 PM EDT
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BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - The Bishopville family of a transgender woman is asking for answers in the death of their sibling killed over the weekend in Jacksonville, FL.

Cathalina Christina James, who was identified by news outlets in Jacksonville by her birth name of Donald Christopher James, 24, was killed in Jacksonville on June 23.

Her death is the third murder of black transgender women in the Jacksonville area. A fourth shooting suspect survived and told news outlets in Jacksonville that its believed transgender women are being targeted. Other LGBTQ+ advocates in the Jacksonville area believe it's the work of a serial killer.

James' sister, Deandra James, wants justice for Cathalina.

"We want everyone to be comfortable with who they are," James said.

James described Cathalina as a loving person who was the life of the party who was comfortable in her own skin as a transgender woman.

"We want to push the issue that we really want answers for the heinous crime against my brother – sister since he was transgender," James said.

We've reached out to the Jacksonville, FL Sheriff's Office for more information, and they've said it's currently an active investigation and many details cannot be revealed at this time.

James is survived by three sisters and one brother.

A vigil will be held for James Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at JP Holley Funeral Home, located at 114 E. Church St. in Bishopville. The family will have a private funeral over the weekend.

June is known in the U.S. as National Pride Month and celebrations have been happening across the country.

The Trans Lifeline is a 24-7 hotline dedicated to the quality of life for trans persons. The hotline can be reached at 877-565-8860 or by clicking here.

Check back for more updates.

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