Stephanie Montez of Corpus Christi, Texas was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds on 21 October.
Yet, the initial reports referred to her as a ‘man in a dress,’ much to the disdain of Montez’s friends and family. Had her loved ones not spoken up, it’s likely we’d never know about Montez’s murder.
Misgendered and Deadnamed
‘The Nueces County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 47-year-old man found with multiple gunshot wounds on County Road 61 near Robstown,’ the Caller Times reported.
‘Medical examiner Heraldo Pena said authorities initially believed the person was a woman; the person was wearing a dress and make up. They discovered later the person was male and that he had been shot in the chest, abdomen and a shoulder. The man was identified as Juan Montes.’
Montez’s friends speak up
Brittany Ramirez, a long-time friend of Montez, doesn’t understand why anyone would have wanted to hurt her.
‘She just had a great outlook on life. She was very supportive of everyone,’ Ramirez said. ’I’m hoping everyone has equal rights. It’s a human life regardless.’
Ramirez remembers her friend of 30 years fondly. ‘She used to like to dance. She really enjoyed life. She was one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.’
In light of this tragic event, Corpus Christi LGBT and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Corpus Christi Chapter (PFLAG) is hosting a trans rights rally on 4 November.
Taking place at the Corpus Christi Federal Courthouse, the rally will be protesting the fact that in Texas, gender identity is not covered under hate crime laws. In Corpus Christi specifically, neither gender identity nor sexual orientation are included in nondiscrimination policies.
‘Over 20 transgender individuals have been murdered in the U.S. this year alone. Last week, here in Corpus Christi, Stephanie Montez, a trans woman, was murdered. We must end this violence,’ the Facebook event page reads.
Montez is believed to be the 22nd trans person murdered in the United States this year.