FAMU Student’s Death Stirs Abuse Discussion

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community gathered on Friday to address issues on same-sex domestic violence and the role it played in the recent and unfortunate loss of Florida A&M’s basketball player Shannon Washington. Washington was killed last Sunday in a violent argument with her partner, Starquineshia Palmer.

The event was free and open to the community to help everyone refocus on serious issues that surrounds domestic violence within the community including: same-sex abuse, intimate relationships and cultural norms.

Yolanda Fairell, who helped host the event, felt it was time to address these issues and help those within the surrounding community overcome the recent loss of Washington, as well as, situations others may have encountered.

“Events such as the murder of Shannon Washington can leave an entire community asking questions and struggling with emotions such as anger and guilt. This event is to inspire and to provoke thoughts and offer assistance to those who may need help,” said Fairell.


Organizations including TCC Pride, FAMU LGBT Pride Student Union, Keeping People Proud, LGBTA Task Force and others showed up in attendance to support the purpose of this event, Keeping People Proud Vice President, Philana Ransome, was stunned with the attendance of the event.

“You never think about the issues of domestic violence. When you do, you picture a man abusing a woman and not of a woman on a woman, or a man on man,” said Ransome. “I never knew how bad same sex domestic violence was until Shannon passing last weekend and when people shared their stories at the LGBT domestic Violence Event I was shocked and moved.”


President of FAMU LGBT Pride Student Union Tia Gilmore shared her thoughts on how domestic violence could be prevented.

“I expect an increase in resources available to students’ on-campus or in the surrounding community concerning domestic relationships and not just heterosexual relationships.” said Gilmore. “Domestic Violence could really be prevented with the right resources given to the community. The FAMU LGBT Pride Student Union is not financially supported by FAMU and I feel that if we had more support we could bring more topics to the forefront to better educate our community and prevent situations such as domestic violence.”

The LGBTA Inclusive Task Force was established to better serve and to bring more diversity to the LGBT community. The LGBTA Inclusive Task Force will be hosting an event on Sept. 25 at the Tallahassee Amtrak. For more information contact Yolanda Fairell (850)- 509-9832.