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Kim Kardashian deletes tweet that misidentified a Black trans woman who was killed

Kim Kardashian West at the 2018 Met Gala in New York
Kim Kardashian West deleted a tweet with artwork that included an incorrect photo of a slain Black trans woman.
(Laura Thompson / TNS)

Kim Kardashian West has deleted a tweet that included the incorrect picture of a Black trans woman who was recently killed and a prayerful statement some considered blasphemous to Catholics.

“BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER!,” the reality TV star and beauty mogul tweeted Saturday along with a drawing that incorporated pictures of two women under the words “Rest in power” and over a prayer modeled after the Catholic church’s Nicene Creed.

While Kardashian did not identify the women, they were intended to be Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, 27, and Riah Milton, 25, two Black trans women who were killed June 9 in Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively. Their deaths were remembered in All Black Lives Matter demonstrations held Sunday in Hollywood and nationwide.

The problem? It wasn’t a picture of Milton. Rather, according to Milton’s sister, Ariel Shaw, it was a photo of her aunt, who also recently died.

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“Whoever is tweeting the photo on the right thinking it’s my sister need to take it down bc THAT’S. NOT. MY. SISTER. IT’S A PHOTO OF SOMEONE ELSE,” Shaw tweeted Sunday.

“I would also like to add that this makes it much worst bc my aunt passed away in April,” Shaw continued.

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Tweets from people professing to be Milton’s friends and family members joined in responding to the tweet with pleas that the photo be taken down.

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Efforts to contact Shaw on Tuesday were unsuccessful. By Tuesday morning, Kardashian had deleted her post from the weekend.

The person who created the original image — an Oakland-based artist and poet named Alan Pelaez Lopez, who uses the Twitter handle @MigrantScribble — realized the error on Sunday and tweeted out a plea the image be removed.

“ACTION NEEDED: I used a photo from a statement HRC ran 2 days ago to make an image. The photo is not Riah Milton,” Pelaez Lopez wrote. “Please help me by reporting the tweet with the image that made as its not a rt but a screen-cap. I don’t want my mistake to cause more hurt.”

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The artist tweeted that the Human Rights Campaign had removed the incorrect photo from its website. Efforts to contact Pelaez Lopez on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, other commenters took issue with the prayerful text in the image, which they saw as a blasphemous mockery of Catholics’ Profession of Faith.

“I believe in Trans Life, the Holy Spirit of Self, the Holy TransFuturistic Church the communion of Grief & Joy, our forgiveness to this society, the resurrection of Transcestors and life everlasting. I believe in Trans Life because we ascended from a Nuanced Possibility and sit at the right hand of Each Other and make our flesh the Kindred Almighty,” the text read, echoing the rhythms of the Nicene Creed.

“The caption is wayyyy out of control and disrespectful to Catholics,” one commenter said in reply to the tweet.

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Kardashian West is a practicing Christian who was baptized last October, along with her three youngest children, at a church in Armenia. Her husband, Kanye West, reaffirmed his Christianity in January 2019.

Kardashian’s office did not respond immediately to The Times’ request for comment Tuesday.


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