South Beach Drag Legend Wanda Shot Dead in Streets of Tampa

Categories: Crime

queenwanda.jpg
Standing an imposing 6'6" (and even taller in heels), the legendary drag icon Wanda had been stomping through South Beach like it was her personal runway since its '90s heyday. She was at one point perhaps the most polarizing and controversial figure in South Beach nightlife.

A master at throwing shade and saying whatever was on her mind, Wanda occupied a special place in Florida's drag community -- a fact made sadly apparent when she was gunned down at the age of 49 this past Tuesday in an apparently random and unsolved act of violence.

See also:
-- Wanda Woman: SoBe's NBA-size drag queen's antics have resulted in his virtual banishment from clubland

Wanda, whose real name was Anthony Jerome Lee, was visiting a friend's house in Tampa. She was busy cooking dinner when she heard a knock at the door. When she answered, she was greeted by five bullets.

The case remains a mystery, and police believe Wanda might have been a victim of mistaken identity. So far, a suspected getaway car has been recovered.

Only a life so colorful and lived so large can outshine such a shocking end.

Born in Tampa, Wanda got her start as a performer in the Gulf Coast city before relocating to South Beach in the '90s. She was a regular entertainer at the legendary Sunday gay nights at the original club Amnesia. Her onstage antics were plentiful, according to reports: entering the stage from the rafters, wearing dresses made of tampons, and covering her face in baby powder while lip-syncing to her idol Whitney Houston.

"I've thrown people in fountains, I've pulled women's breasts out, I've ruined people's clothes," she once told this paper. "I'm a comedian. Don't sit in the front row if you don't want to be picked on. I'm different. There's nobody on the Beach like me."


My Voice Nation Help
24 comments
TheDSC
TheDSC

Ya'll have Noooo IDEA , just how BRIGHT and BOLD his voice was....He had a Vicious tongue, and USED it well, usually towards the deserving and within good reason, EVERYTHING she said was usually the "In Your Face" truth , we've come to classify as TACTLESS, and CRUDE, however when it was for his Comedy, afterwards he'd pull the person aside apologize and laugh it off with them. If it was his Honest, yet Unwarranted opinion, TOO BAD, that's just how Wanda felt, and you'd have to deal with it in the mirror later...Under all that was an OLD SOUL, using comedy to educate people....Even as I mourn his loss, I'm HAPPY people are listening, reading about him, and THANKFUL to have had him a part of my life. 

ddsharper
ddsharper

Mistaken Identity: A six six drag queen, black at that? Please. Assassination is more like it.

amylub
amylub

"Even when they might not want to have heard it"?  Do you even English?

ZoeBrain
ZoeBrain

" a flier was sent to club owners by an anonymous "concerned citizen" crowning Wanda the "most undesirable element of South Beach!"

Just a coincidence. "Mistaken Identity". Well, perhaps. Maybe even probable. It might be an idea considering the possibility that it might not though. It wouldn't be the first time, or even the hundredth, if it wasn't.

Patrick Garcia
Patrick Garcia

I hear brandon young enjoys the feeling of a nicely lubricated cock sliding up his ass, inch by inch. It's the only explanation for why he lashed out like that.

John Viera
John Viera

Man there's some real assholes up in here ^ Show some repect homophobes. And while your at it, come out of the closet.

eména spa
eména spa

Such a sad world we live in. Wanda had such great character, she will be missed.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

Hmmm, shot dead in the streets is a totally different mental picture than someone who was staying with a friend, answering knocks at the door and being shot with 5 bullets ?

Headline: "South Beach Drag Legend Wanda Shot Dead in Streets of Tampa"
Write up: "Wanda, whose real name is Anthony Jerome Lee, was visiting a friends house in Tampa. She was busy cooking dinner when she heard a knock at the door. When she answered she was greeted by five bullets."

Odysseus Duran
Odysseus Duran

Man that guy was a riot.... I remember him goofing everybody that would pass in front of him, with his balloons as titis, he would stand in front of the old WARSAW, which is a deli now... And run up and down the streets in those big ass heels and mess with everyone, he was a nice guy and he made me laugh all the time... You'll be miss my man!! Hope they catch those fuckers!!

Jose Andres
Jose Andres

One of the many unique personalities that made South Beach "South Beach"!!!

Rosa Cordero
Rosa Cordero

@Brandon he was a human being with loved ones who miss him and hope his killers are found. I never knew Wanda but it's disgusting that you're trying to put down a human life because you're ignorant.

Chris Arana
Chris Arana

However you want to look at it she was staple in the SOBE night life love it hate it she was well known and part of the social scene.

Brandon Young
Brandon Young

I'm not sure your definition of Legend is the same as mine

twheelercastillo
twheelercastillo

@Takuan Yamato Stop being a dick and show some respect. Someone lost their life, tragically and she had more personality in one large, beautiful eyelash than you do on your best day.

mjorizondo
mjorizondo

@jgcamp99 Funny how everyone in high school thought Kyle would become a journalist and just look at him now.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...