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Lambda Legal Mourns the Passing of Pioneer Journalist and LGBTQ Advocate Monica Roberts

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October 8, 2020
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From Avery Belyeu, director of Lambda Legal's South Central Regional Office in Dallas:

Lambda Legal is sad to learn that Texas-based transgender activist, advocate, and educator Monica Roberts has passed away. She dedicated her life to creating a more just and equitable world for transgender people. She championed the voices of the most marginalized, particularly the voices of Black transgender women, in the work for equality. 

All transgender advocates, myself included, have benefited from her courage, her persistence, and her tireless work. Our entire community owes her a debt of gratitude. As we grieve this enormous loss, we commit to honoring her memory by continuing the fight for justice and equality for transgender people in Texas and beyond.

From Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO:

Lambda Legal is heartbroken at the devastating news that pioneering journalist and activist, Monica Roberts, has passed away. Her commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality and telling our transgender community's stories left an indelible mark on media and our movement. 

This is an incredibly sad loss for the city of Houston and the country. Our hearts go out to all who knew her and were touched by her kind spirit. Monica was a beacon of light in our fight for equality in Texas—and all over this country. She advocated on behalf of those often left in our movement's shadows, especially Black transgender women. 

Monica Roberts created TransGriot; a blog focused on the lives of transgender women, especially those of color when no one else was telling those stories. With her life-saving community activism and award-winning reporting, Monica changed the culture.  She inspired a generation of journalists and countless young people who wanted to devote their lives to justice. 

Monica was fearless, and she demanded respect for transgender people, no matter who it was. Her love for and her commitment to her community saved lives. Monica Roberts never stopped talking about the violence against transgender women. Her mission to end the misgendering of transgender victims in media to ensure transgender women's dignity in death was often the only final rites that they received. Monica's care for those women is her legacy.

We send our condolences to Monica's loved ones and all who knew her. We will remember her as a tireless worker on behalf of our community's forgotten, and Lambda Legal will continue Monica's work and honor her legacy by continuing to fight for freedom and justice for our most vulnerable.