Prominent LGBT+ activist shot dead in San Francisco
A well known LGBT+ activist has been shot dead in San Francisco.
Anthony Torres, also known by his gender-nonconforming drag ego “Bubbles”, was a DJ, artist and activist for the local LGBT+ community.
Torres specifically focussed on trans rights and often performed drag.
The 44-year-old was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning at 2.50am.
A suspect has not yet been identified police but they are not treating the incident as a hate crime.
Torres was playing music in a venue and some witnesses claimed that the shooter came from the New Century Strip Club opposite where Torres was playing.
They say that the shooter approached Torres and they began arguing before he was shot.
Friends and family of Torres told ABC that Torres was “great” and that they were devastated by the loss.
John Silverman said of the activist: “He would always wear drag. I would never talk to him, but I loved him he was great.
“He brought a lot of energy to the neighborhood. This is an exciting block so he brought the excitement, but this is terrible.”
Jim Reilly, another close friend and Torres lawyer urged for police to investigate thoroughly.
“People are just upset that Bubbles, who was somebody who was loved for his activism, for his art, and for how giving of a person he was would be targeted in a fashion of this and gunned down in these streets in the Tenderloin, which is a neighborhood that’s supposed to be accepting and supportive of transgender individuals,” Reilly said.
An initial report from San Francisco’s police department said that only one homicide was committed over the weekend of a 30-year-old female.
A police spokesman could not confirm the identity of the victim or say why the age and sex did not fit with Torres.
More from PinkNews
Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle about Bubbles, Torres said that he thrived in the city.
“In San Francisco you can get away with doing this. It’s an escape from every mundane day, and San Francisco allows me to do that.
“Bubbles is like a toy, in a way.”
Traci Houston was a close friend of Torres and said that he had been considering setting out on a new journey in his life.
“He was a gay man who loved being the personality Bubbles,” Huston told SF GATE. “He started out looking for love, settled for fame.”