JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A comedian from Jacksonville has made national news regarding his comments about transgender women.
The performer known as "Lil Duval" recently told a New York-based morning show that he would kill a woman he was in a relationship with if she told him she was transgender.
Jacksonville comedian Lil Duval was on New York's Power 105.1 Breakfast Club morning show Friday morning. He was asked what he would do if a female he was in a relationship with waited several months to tell him she was transgender.
"This might sound messed up, but I don't care; she dying. I can't deal with that. No, I can't do that," Lil Duval told the radio hosts.
The backlash online was swift. While there were comments on Twitter supporting Lil Duval, there were many others condemning him for joking about killing someone over their gender.
Lil Duval is known for his apperances on both BET and MTV2.
Paige Mahogany Parks, a transgender woman and activist for trans rights, started a group to raise awareness of trans-issues here in Jacksonville; The Transgender Awareness Project.
"When you're talking about killing a transgender girl, do you know what that means? Honey, it's transgender girls that are being killed and beaten every day in these streets," she said.
Since 2016, at least 37 transgender people have been killed due to fatal violence; that's according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Parks worries that comments like Lil Duval's could normalize violence against transgender women. His words have already made people like her afraid to leave their homes, she said.
"Definitely a sense of fear in the transgender community. Definitely in the black transgender community, because that's all that's being killed are the black TS girls," Parks said.
While what Lil Duval said was horrible, Parks said it could actually be a teachable moment, to educate people about the trans-lifestyle.
"We need girls such as myself and transgender leaders and the community to go out and educate the heterosexual people and the transgender girls that are coming up behind us," Park said.
After his initial comments, Lil Duval went on TMZ backing up what he said but adding that he has no problem with transgender people.
First Coast News reached out to Lil Duval for comment on Facebook and Twitter but have not heard back.