There will be a vigil tonight in Santa Ana at Santa Ana Plaza for Zoraida "Ale" Reyes. According to organizers Zoraida was a 28 year old undocumented trans migrant woman from Mexico who laid down roots in Southern California fighting for immigrant and trans rights. She attended Century High School, Santa Ana College and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her body was found behind a Dairy Queen yesterday morning. A gofundme campaign has been set up to cover her funeral costs.
Organizers from De Colores at the Orange County Lesbian and Gay Center write that she was a bit shy, but always proud to advocate for her community. People will gather today at 5:30 PM to celebrate her life and share stories about her contributions.
It is unclear how or why she was killed, and GLAAD hopes that attention on the case will yield answers. The Orange County Register wrote about the case before her body was identified using gender neutral language and then updated the story when friends came forward with more details. Crimes involving trans women are often underreported and sometimes unsolved unless the community puts pressure on authorities.
A friend and fellow advocate said goodbye to her this way:
"I am missing you in intervals of memories, pain, laughter, and sorrow. I know I am never gonna be able to say goodbye, but I don't have to because I will carry your dreams and goals like I embody this skin: our skin. I know that in my mind and in yours we were both in this journey together, making plans and sacrifices in order to transition and leave Santa Ana. But we also know that you were making the biggest sacrifices and dreaming the biggest dreams. You are now a light, friend; a light that will keep on burning eternally within me and the others whose lives you've touched immensely. I love you, mana."- Alexa Vasquez of FAMILIA: Trans Queer Liberation Movement