In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Ramiro Avila Jr., aka Kimberly. Avila disappeared on May 13, 2017 (one year and one month ago exactly) from Brownsville, Texas, at the age of 32.
NamUs says Avila is a trans woman, so that is what the Charley Project says also. However, in articles I found about the case, Avila’s brother was quoted saying Avila is gay. Shrug.
Regardless of the gender identity, although born male, Avila went out at night as a female sex worker named Kimberly, in makeup, wig and women’s clothing.
Per media statements given by family, Kimberly had been a regular in Brownsville for years and always came home when her working night was done. Except for the day when she suddenly didn’t.
FYI, you can be trans *and* gay – they’re not exclusive. In this case, however, the brother is likely defaulting to “gay” as that has fewer “bad” associations than trans. As Ramiro used the pronoun “her” and the name Kimberly, trans is what you would label her.
Good point about how gender identity and sexual orientation are separate!
Also consider that a lot of prostitutes and performers use a different name and persona when they’re working. This person might have identified as Kimberly and a woman all the time, or he might have only dressed up and used the Kimberly name and persona for “business” pyrposes, without necessarily being transgender; a lot of male prostitutes dress up like women without actually feeling they really are women.
Yeah, with the information I have available I don’t know if Kimberly was a full-time woman or just one for her work purposes.