2017 was not easy for LGBT Americans. It was especially difficult for transgender and nonbinary Americans, whose struggles took center stage.
As North Carolina legislated what bathroom a person could use; as the president attempted to pull servicemen and women out of the military; the lives of more than 20 known transgender and nonbinary individuals were taken from this Earth. Many were black, Latinx, Native American. Many were murdered.
And, thanks to family, friends and fellow LGBT citizens and allies, none of them will be silenced.
It is for those reasons that the Georgia Voice staff chose not one, but a group, as 2017’s People of the Year. In this issue, we honor those transgender individuals whose lives were cut short at the hands of violence, and who died living their truths.
‘Our hearts are heavy’
Clockwise from above: against transgender people.”
Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17, was murdered in Athens in June by a fellow transwoman. In an online obituary, she was called “unapologetically real.”
“She was an amazing girl who didn’t deserve to die, especially not the way she did. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Ava was that she’d befriend just about anyone — as long as you were nice to her in return,” the obituary stated.
According to a story in Mic, Barrin planned to go to college and then Los Angeles to model. Barrin’s sister created a GoFundMe site to fundraise memorial costs, which was contributed to by actress and singer Solange Knowles.
Jalen Breon Brown, who allegedly shot Barrin following a dispute between their two groups of friends, was arrested and released on a $100,000 bond. While free on bond, Brown is under house arrest and must wear an ankle bracelet. Brown was granted a motion in early December to visit a relative’s home for the Christmas weekend.
By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN
‘Beloved in the Atlanta community’
Tee Tee Dangerfield, Candace Towns, Rowan Feldhaus, Ava Le’Ray Barrin and Scout Schultz. (File photos)