BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) — The drug epidemic crushes all communities-- and Thursday night in Charles Village the LGBTQ Community remembered one of their own lost to an overdose.
Hundreds came out for a somber but empowered vigil and rally for Brittany Fleming.
“She was funny, and she was a community worker,” said Jamie Grace Alexander with Baltimore Transgender Alliance. “I know people are talking a lot about how exposed she was. For as exposed as she was, she wanted to be out. She wanted to be talking to people.”
She died from an overdose over the weekend.
Those that knew her best say she had a huge heart, but a tough life.
“She is well respected,” said Myshay Lee. “She might have been going through a drug addiction and might have been a sex worker, but she was in survival mode. “
They didn’t want to take to the streets for this reason, but it's the lack of loud and profound help that contributed to the loss of this life.
Iya Dammons works to help transgender women get out of a life of prostitution, but said they need more help.
"Our girls are dying out here,” said Iya Dammons with Baltimore Safe Haven. “We're not doing this because this is something we choose to do as sex workers, no not at all. We need education and resources here. There's no one here to hear us when we're crying. There's no one here to shelter us in this community. I do this Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. They've given us no funding, no one is available to help us throughout the community."
Iya Dammons @BaltimoreHaven is out in the streets trying to help transgender people get out of lives of addiction and sex work. "Our girls drying out here..They've given us no funding, no one is available to help us throughout the community." @WMAR2News at 11 #Transgender #LGBTQ pic.twitter.com/dAhh3ssmgJ— Eddie Kadhim (@EddieKadhimWMAR) April 12, 2019
Asking for more resources like Narcan, housing, a real chance at a solid job.
“It is time for us to rally to rally around each other and hug each other and hold and build from this,” said Londyn Smith De Richelieu with Claudette Mason Foundation. “Let this be a day of learning, don’t let her death be a missed opportunity to make the changes.”