Pioneering musician and LGBTI activist, Kevin Fret, has been shot to death in his native Puerto Rico.
The 24-year-old was shot eight times while riding a motorbike in the capital San Juan.
Fret became well known in Puerto Rico for pushing gender boundaries and fighting homophobia on the Caribbean island.
The musician’s manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, confirmed his death in a statement.
‘There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go,’ he said.
‘We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico.’
Police are investigating his death which is the 22nd murder in Puerto Rico already this year. Authorities described the murders as a ‘crisis of violence’.
Described as Latin Trap’s first gay artist, Fret became a role model for younger LGBTI people.
Latinx writer, Samy Nemir Olivares, posted an emotional tribute to Fret.
‘Kevin Fret was known not only for his music style but also image- who was breaking gender norms in #PuertoRico and stigma about being gay, gender nonconforming, and expressing gender identity freely – in a country where gay people still get mocked, bullied and killed,’ Olivares wrote on Twitter.
Fret described his attitude to presenting as his true self, despite the risks.
‘I’m a person that doesn’t care what anybody has to say,’ he told magazine Paper last year.
‘[Now I see] young gay guys or young lesbians that are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he don’t care what anybody else has to say, I can do it.’
Fret’s biggest hit, Soy Asi (This is how I am), has almost 700,000 views on YouTube and is a tribute to his individuality.
Author: Shannon Power
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