May 9, 2013
Her striking pop dance moves in spike heels and shimmering bodysuits, her "All the Single Ladies" Beyonce rendition and her steadfast committment to friends in New York and Puerto Rico will not be forgotten — and neither will the 25-year-old's mysterious murder. Lorena Escalera, a star transgender performer whose death last May was ruled a homicide by the NYPD, perished when she was suffocated in her Bushwick apartment that was then set on fire on Furman Avenue, officials said. With no conclusion to the year-long investigation, Escalera's friends and family said they're tormented by a lack of closure in the case. "What worries me is that things are going to stay the same because it's already been a year and the story hasn't changed," said Escalera's mother, Maria Ferrer, in Spanish from her home in Puerto Rico. "She was always so happy, very dedicated, friendly...she'd never hurt anyone to achieve her goals."

GLAAD joined local transgender advocates to hold The New York Times accountable for its dehumanizing coverage of Lorena Escalera's death. Read more.