‘She would give me the clothes off her back’

GA Voice - - Front Page -

Au­gusta trans­man Rowan Feld­haus, 25, suf­fered com­pli­ca­tions af­ter one of his gen­der af­fir­ma­tion surg­eries in May, go­ing into sep­tic shock af­ter a hys­terec­tomy and los­ing oxy­gen to his brain. Feld­haus had only re­cently won a court case grant­ing him the le­gal right to use the name of his choos­ing, and was on the board of di­rec­tors for Ge­or­gia Equal­ity.

“[Feld­haus] knew the risks go­ing into all of this and he was will­ing to ac­cept the risks to do what he knew he wanted to do,” Austin Atkins told Au­gusta’s WRDW news sta­tion. “Rowan will al­ways be a per­sonal hero of mine.”

Lambda Le­gal, which rep­re­sented Feld­haus in his case, said be­cause Feld­haus stood up for his rights, Ge­or­gia judges are now re­quired to al­low name changes with­out bias.

“Our hearts are heavy at the tragic loss of a coura­geous young man who fought for the right to de­ter­mine his own name and destiny,” the or­ga­ni­za­tion said in a state­ment. “We will honor [Feld­haus’] life by con­tin­u­ing to fight dis­crim­i­na­tion in all its forms

Just over a month af­ter Bar­rin’s death, At­lanta was rocked by the mur­der of Tee Tee Danger­field, 32, who was found with mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds in Col­lege Park.

“She was beloved in the At­lanta com­mu­nity, friend to many of our mem­bers and a beau­ti­ful per­son grounded in spirit and rooted in un­apolo­get­i­cally liv­ing her truth, while lov­ing those fiercely [liv­ing] theirs,” the event page for her memo­rial ser­vice read.

Twenty six-year-old Ty­rone An­thony Kemp was ar­rested in late Au­gust for Danger­field’s mur­der. Col­lege Park Po­lice Maj. Lance Pat­ter­son told Ge­or­gia Voice that Kemp re­mains in jail with an ar­raign­ment date in court on Jan. 5.

“The case is still open. My de­tec­tives are still fine-tun­ing ev­ery­thing,” he said. “We’re con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate and shore up our case as well as we can.”

‘A bright light’

Ge­or­gia Tech Pride Al­liance Pres­i­dent Scout Schultz, who iden­ti­fied as bi­sex­ual, gen­der non­bi­nary and in­ter­sex, was shot by cam­pus po­lice in Septem­ber fol­low­ing re­ports of a gun­man on cam­pus. Schultz was later found to have made the re­port on them­selves, and was not car­ry­ing a gun. They were ap­proached by po­lice, asked to put down their weapon and were shot when they did not com­ply.

Schultz’s death brought men­tal health is­sues of the LGBT com­mu­nity into the spot­light, and Pride Al­liance lead­ers de­manded Ge­or­gia Tech of­fi­cials take a stronger look both at what re­sources are pro­vided to stu­dents and what train­ing is pro­vided to of­fi­cers to pre­vent inci- dents like this from oc­cur­ring again.

“If Ge­or­gia Tech equipped their cops with tasers and gave them proper cri­sis train­ing, Scout Schultz would still be alive,” Cholu Bon­durant told Ge­or­gia Voice.

Jessy Bri­ton Hamil­ton told Ge­or­gia Voice that Schultz’s ac­tivism would never be for­got­ten.

“[Schultz] was a bright light in this com­mu­nity, who never gave in on mat­ters of so­cial jus­tice,” Hamil­ton said.

Ge­or­gia also lost Ma­con res­i­dent Can­dace Towns, 30, at the hands of vi­o­lence. Towns was found on Hal­loween, two days af­ter she was re­ported miss­ing. She had been shot.

“If I needed any­thing, she would give it to me. She would give me the clothes off her back,” Towns’ friend Malaysa Mon­roe told The Tele­graph. “I just don’t know who would want to do some­thing like this to a good friend of mine, but I hope who­ever did this, I hope God don’t have mercy on your soul, baby.”

Prior to her death, sur­veil­lance footage shows Towns get­ting in­side a tan or gold sedan with a black man be­hind the wheel. He is con­sid­ered a per­son of in­ter­est in her mur­der. So far, there is no ev­i­dence her gen­der was a mo­tive, the Bibb County sher­iff told The Tele­graph.

Calls to the Bibb County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice for an up­date on this case were not im­me­di­ately re­turned as of press time.

De­cem­ber 22, 2017

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