What happened was a life ended, Gwen's life. Gwen Arajuo, who was a 17 year old male to female transgendered woman. Shelived her life as a woman. But because of which she was harassed to the point where she dropped out of school. Gwen was a brave young woman, who made the choice to come out and live life as Gwen. But it was hate that killed her. Her killers Michael Magidson, Jose Merel, Jason Nabors, and Jason Cazanes knew Gwen and had had sexual contact with Gwen. But they never knew she was biologically a male when they found out they went into a range. Luring Gwen, by inviting her to a party. When she was dragged into a bath and exposed. They beat Gwen and then hung her from a tree. After she was dead, they cut her down and beat her some more. After that they buried her in shallow grave. Went about their lives.
After putting Gwen to rest, Sylvia's journey started with seeking Justice for Gwen. As the murder trial started many testified they were convicted. But only after two trials. Magidson and Merel were given 15 years to life for second degree murder where, Nabors and Cazares with a plea bargine recieved 11 years for voluntary manslaughter. None of them were charged with a hate crime.
Ever since Gwen's death, Sylvia help changed the law in California. By pushing to have the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act. Which prohibits defendent from using Cultural or Social bias as for justicification for their crime. Which has been signed into law for a few years. Sylvia also goes around the country speaking at high schools and college about her daughter. She is an advocate for the transgendered community and an activist for the GLBTQ Coummunity. To help educate other about the truth of Transgenderism.
You may have caught on Lifetime Television, who primiered a movie titled A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story. Starring Merecedes Rhul and J.D Pardo, who both gave chillening preformance as Sylvia Guerrero and Gwen Araujo. And helps give an eyes look into way trans people go through.
It's been 8 years since Gwen was taken from this world. But yet it's in the legacy of how she lived her life and in the manner of her death she has inspired millions of transgendered children/youth to live life to the fullest. The cause of her death was not only hate, but because she was being herself. IT's a shame that she was taken away from her family and the life she have had. If it wasn't for 4 men who hated Gwen for not being a woman. In truth she was a woman in every shape and form. But did not have biological woman pparts. That didn't mean they had to kill her because of it. They chose to end her life, in ending her life. They awakened a fire in Sylvia Guerrero, who is opening the minds and souls of people to her story as well as Gwen's story. Because in telling Gwen's story she is telling her own. As a mother who loved her child unconidtionally, that is how Gwen knew in her final seconds on this earth "knew that momma loved her."
In Loving memory of Gwen Amber Rose Araujo
Febuary 28, 1985- OOctober 4, 2002