Gwen Araujo | Not in Our Town

Gwen Araujo

“Regardless of whether she was Eddie or Gwen, she was still my kid.” —Sylvia Guerrero, Gwen Araujo’s mother Today is the International Transgender Day of Rememberance. Groups around the world are preparing marches, candlelight vigils and film screenings to memorialize transgender victims of hate crimes.  On this day, we remember Gwen Araujo, a transgender teen who was murdered in 2002. After Gwen was killed by local youth in the Silicon Valley suburb of Newark, high school students, residents and civic leaders respond, and in so doing, they struggle with how to deal with a brutal and preventable crime. Their efforts are captured in this 5-minute film: "Staging a Response to Hate" is part of Not In Our Town: Northern California. You can find the DVD and free educational guide here. To find a local remembrance event near you, visit
Pat Skillen Receives Love Hero Award for LGBTQ Support & Advocacy “I can’t change the world by waving a magic wand, but I do hope that I can change one person at a time by making them think about their values.” —Pat Skillen
Today is the 11th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when we remember those killed because of anti-transgender hate.  The event was created in 1999 to memorialize Rita Hester, a trans woman who was killed in San Francisco.  Her case remains unsolved, as do so many murders of transgender people, who face extremely high rates of discrimination and violence. TDOR has a partial list of those we remember today. In the past year, we have seen the convictions of the killers of Lateisha Green and Angie Zapata, and the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Act, the first major piece of federal legislation extending legal protections to LGBT people; yet there is much more work to do. 
A Family Member of a Transgender Victim Speaks Out Q & A with Imelda Guerrero   Editor’s Note: In 2002, Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgender teenager, was brutally beaten to death by a group of young men from Newark, California, when they discovered her transgender identity. Not long after her disappearance, her body was found in a shallow grave in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. As her family grieved the violent death of their loved one, the case captured the attention of the national media. NIOT Producer Kelly Whalen, who told Gwen’s story in “Not In Our Town Northern California: When Hate Happens Here,” spoke with one of Gwen’s aunts, Imelda Guerrero, about the support the family needed and received through the tragic experience.  
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