First Reported Trans Murder of 2016 Occurs in Texas

Monica Loera (Facebook)

In 2015, at least 23 trans women were murdered in the U.S. and now the first known homicide of a trans woman in 2016 has been reported, according to Jezebel.

Monica Loera, 43, was shot in front of her home in Austin, Texas on Jan. 22. She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

Police responded to a call at 3 a.m. and found Loera lying on the ground with an apparent trauma.

The Austin-American Statesman reports James William Rowell, 28, was arrested four days after the killing and is charged with first-degree murder. He is currently being held on a $250,000 bond.

Police said Loera's roommate thinks she might have stolen something from Rowell, which sparked an argument.

"It took only three weeks for the initial quiet of 2016 to be shattered by the murder of another trans person," Trans Pride Initiative said in a Facebook post. "Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Monica Loera, and our outrage is centered squarely on the oppressive and willfully disrespectful police and media systems that continue to erase our identities and further victimize our communities and our families."

The Austin Police Department released a statement on Loera's passing and as BuzzFeed notes, the authorities misgendered Loera, using male pronouns and referred to her by her birth name. Jezebel notes the newspaper the Austin-American Statesman makes the same mistake in an article about the shooting.

One of Loera's friends described her as funny and beautiful in a statement to the Austin Chronicle.

"I never saw her as David, I saw her as Monica. She loved Madonna and she loved to cook" they said.


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