Monica Loera

Monica Loera

Transgender rights advocates in Austin are planning a rally and vigil for 7 p.m. next Friday, Feb. 12, to honor murdered trans woman Monica Loera, the first transgender person murdered since the start of 2016. The location of the rally has not yet been determined.

Loera was shot to death Jan. 22 outside her North Austin home by a man she had been arguing with, according to police reports. JonCasey William Rowell, 29, was arrested and charged with first degree murder in connection with her death.

News of Loera’s murder was not publicized in the LGBT community for several days because police and Austin media initially misgendered Loera, referring to her by her pre-transition name, and circulating a driver’s license photo of her also taken before she transitioned.

The Facebook page announcing the rally and vigil, hosted by The Revolutionary Alliance of Trans People Against Capitalism, reads, in part: “Fear. Anger. Resignation. Sorrow. These are understandable emotions facing trans people and sex workers upon the news of the murder of sister Monica Loera. Austin has become home to ‘the first trans murder of 2016.’ And the disposability of this working-class trans Latina was only further exposed by her callous and disrespectful treatment even in death by the Austin Police Department and the media in a campaign of misgendering, deadnaming, and erasure — treatment which has long-been cornerstone to the death of trans women.”

The post continues: “When we say REST IN POWER, that is not a given thing. It is a resolution. It is a resolution that we will bring the memory of Monica Loera and so many others into power. It is a resolution that we will not only remember, but that we will weild each name of our dead as a sword in organizing against the systemic and devastating gridwork of economic, state, and social violences facing trans women, people of color, and sex workers. It won’t stop until we stop it.”

Calling the community to “mourn our dead and fight like hell for the living,” organizers promised to finalize details of the rally and vigil soon, adding that anyone willing to help, to speak or collaborate in staging the event should message the Facebook page.

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