« Updated: 'Oy Vey! My Son is Gay!' director Afineevsky launches Indiegogo campaign to distribute film | Main | Player comes out, believed to be first openly gay active player in men's college basketball »

South Beach drag queen Wanda slain in Tampa

     Click here to read more from The Tampa Bay Times

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Friends and co-workers are mourning the death of longtime South Beach draq queen Wanda, found shot to death Tuesday night in Tampa.

Wanda, whose real name was Anthony Jerome Lee, led a colorful life.

"Wanda can be a certified Bitch with a capital B," said her longtime friend, Henry Williams AKA South Beach drag queen Tiffany Fantasia. "She was one of those people who could give you no fakeness, no phoniness. You got the real deal how she felt. She was a tough cookie, but once you got to know her, you fell in love with her."

Williams described Wanda, 49, as "a mentor, an inspiration."

"Her performances were awesome. Those that truly knew her, knew she was a real person. you didn't get phony crap. You knew where you stood with Wanda and that was refreshing to a lot of people, including myself."

Williams described Wanda as "the only person I know banned from practically every club in South Beach and coming back like nothing had happened."

"She would always get into a fight. I remember one time she was at Twist. I don't remember the details, but it involved a Bud Light and a bottle going over somebody’s head. Security walked her out. The next thing, security was on the floor and she got up and walked away, her wig in her hand."

Wanda was shot several times in the 3900 block of E. Genesee Street and may have been an unintended victim.

Police "have some strong leads and they will notify us when they have better information," said niece Jashonda Knight, 20.

Knight said she believes her uncle wasn't the intended victim. "It wasn’t meant for him. He was at a friend’s house helping her out with groceries and cooking. He heard a knock on the door and opened it. The gunman opened fire."

On Wednesday, Miami drag queen Appolonia Cruz and others mourned Wanda on Facebook:

"There will only be one Sobe Wanda in our lifetime!!," Cruz said. "Miami South Beach Florida mourns your early departure!, Rest in Peace!"

Wrote DJ Tracy Young: "Miss Wanda....NO ONE deserves such violence...NO ONE deserves such hate...ESPECIALLY YOU...you always tried to lift everyone's spirit and make our days brighter, vibrant and FEROSH! I miss you Sobe Wanda RIP"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a backstage video of Wanda and Avalon Infiniti taken during Memorial Day Weekend.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I hung out with Wanda this past Memorial weekend at Liquid Tampa and I am still in shock she was murdered when she was doing a good deed cooking for a friend and happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I definitely had some great crazy memories we shared over the past several years. The memories she left behind with a lot of us will live on! RIP WANDA!!!!

No, Carlos, the killer is still out there on the loose.

These comments should be reviewed especially if there is hate being projected and quite despicable of any human being who has no feelings or respect that someone was murdered!!! Who are we to judge one another??? Maybe you will burn in HELL!

I cannot believe these hateful comments. This is a human being that got murdered!

God loves repented sinners but hates sin that's why he send his son Jesus to save sinners who turn from sin!

Such a tragic lost to our SouthBeach Miami LGBT Entertainment Community. Wanda was a true survivor in many ways!. This is just appalling on what happend to her!

I DIDNT KNOW WANDA, BUT I SEND MY PRAYS TO HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND FOR IDIOT ASS PPL MAKING HURTFUL COMMENTS ABOUT SIN AND GOD, YOURDAY IS COMING AND LETS SEE WHAT YO U SAY THEN OH WAIT YOU BE DEAD, WANDA IA SOMEONES SON. UNCLE, BROTHER, FRIEND ETC PPL IN THIS WORLD HEART IS SO FULL OF HATE IS JUST HORRIBLE
RIP WANDA

The hateful Christian personifies hate . Bless Wanda. She was doing God's work. Bless her.

I have always been told, if u dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. But one thing for sure, i have never met anyone as RUDE as Anthony Lee... #GodDontLikeUgly.

Condolences to his family. I'm sure he was a nice guy, based on all the comments I've read about him. I hope they catch his killer and that he is brought to justice for murdering Anthony.

Isn't it interesting how the so-called Christians write as if they never set foot inside a school? Jesus must weep when he sees the spelling and grammar of people like "The way to the master."

I didn't know this person, but the murder of ANYONE is a tragedy.

There should be a better video posted here to remember Wanda. She was in my wedding, she caught the bouquet. :) And then took her wig off, and went for the garter. Wanda worked with my husband Eric Milon for many years, starting at the Strand many years ago. He would always hire (and fire) her, but mostly hire, and never had anything but love for her. Every time Wanda would see me, she would give me the biggest hug and we would have a few laughs, then she'd be on her way, into the night. She will be missed. She was a true staple here in Miami Beach, for decades now. RIP Wanda!!! We love you always.... Stacy and Eric Milon

Hmmm, I wonder how he would be received in Tehran? Islam is the religion of love and tolerance.

LOL ... this is funny ... I am sorry the dude got killed. But why is everyone referring to him as "She" ... you guys are confusing. SMH

A certified B, fights all the time, thrown out of every club... and these are the comments from his "friends"?

Just in the wrong place at thew wrong time. Ok.

Woke up this morning and couldn't believe what I read. I own a hot dog stand in Gainesville, Fl. and got to know Wanda, aka Anthony Jerome Lee, and he was definitely the life of downtown when he worked in Gainesville and lived here. Not many people remember him because it was at least three to four years ago, maybe longer, that he was in Gainesville. I feel special that I went out of my way to get to know him, and remember when I first met him that he reminded me of back home, Miami/South Beach. He loved that I said that to him. I'll always remember him. - Shawn, aka The Hot Dog Man

I KNEW WANDA FOR 30 YEARS ...SINCE WE WEE 17 YEARS OLD SNEEKING INTO THE OLD "EL GOYA"...TONY WAS ALWAYS SREAMING AND YELLIG AND BEING VERY ANNOYING YET LOVEABLE ...WE SAW EACH OTHER THE LAST TIME 6 YEARS AGO AT THE HONEY POT...YOU SEE ...I TO HAVE BECOME A CHRISTIAN AND WALKED AWAY FROM THAT IFE ...PEOPLE SHOULD ONLY BE HOWING LOVE NOW ...WE DONT JUDGE THE SOUL...JESUS CHRIST DOES THAT ...DID AND HAVE EVEIDANCE IN HIS LIF THAT HE KNEW JESUS ASLORD ...NOT FROM THIS CLIP...BUT GOD HAS GRACE WE CANT UNDERSTAND ...GOD BE WITH YOU SALLY MAE

Wanda - you will be greatly missed. I just saw you this past weekend, and we laughed and had fun, as we always do. I'm honestly in shock. May you rest in peace.

I knew him as Anthony he was very kind and loving he helped to care for my grandmother up until her death three weeks ago. He would take the elderly around town on errands. He loved to laugh and help others... I just saw him 3 weeks ago...rip Anthony

The comments to this entry are closed.