‘Un­apolo­get­i­cally real’

GA Voice - - Front Page -

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)

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