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SF may honor slain LGBT DJ with mural

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A memorial was set up for Anthony Torres outside the New Century strip club where he was shot early Sunday. (Michael Barba/S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco may paint a mural in honor of the popular LGBT DJ shot dead in the Tenderloin over the weekend, Supervisor Jane Kim said on Tuesday.

Kim said her office would back a mural to honor Anthony Torres, a 44-year-old performer known as Bubbles who was shot and killed on Larkin and Myrtle streets early Saturday morning.

“We do not yet know if his gender-fabulous identity was the cause of the murder in such a brutal manner,” Kim said. “Regardless, this incident certainly raises concerns and fears for gender nonconforming people who live everyday with these fears and have a long way to go to feel safe on San Francisco streets.”

Kim, who represents the Tenderloin on the Board of Supervisors, said friends of Torres are fundraising for the mural but have yet to secure a site.

Torres was known for his colorful alter-ego as Bubbles, being banned from bars and even once alleged discrimination for being kicked out of a Tenderloin joint. He was popular in the house music scene in San Francisco. Friends said he identified as a gay man who enjoyed dressing in women’s clothing and makeup.

The community honored Torres with a vigil in the Tenderloin Sunday night.

Police do not yet have enough information to consider the homicide a hate crime, the San Francisco Examiner previously reported. Police have also not announced an arrest in the killing.

The homicide happened in a district known as a safe space for the LGBT community and the site of one of the first movements for transgender rights at Compton’s Cafeteria in 1966.

“When we worked earlier this year to create the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, we knew we had our work cut out for us,” Kim said. “While our district has a wealth of LGBT residents and an incredibly rich history, there’s also an ever-present violence against LGBT people that continues to exist.”

Kim said she would post information on Facebook for those interested in donating to memorial efforts for Torres.

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