Undocumented, Unafraid and Unashamed…and now unfortunately, deceased
trigger warning: violence, murder, transmisogyny, transphobia
Zaraida “Ale” Reyes was a Dreamer. Additionally she was a transgender activist.
Her partially naked body was discovered on Thursday behind a Dairy Queen in Anaheim. She was 28.
Zaraida was active with MEChA, El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Aztlan, the Orange County Dream Team, DeColores Queer Orange County, and Familia. She was a member of a Latina transgender support group at The Center Orange County.
She was born in Michoacan, Mexico and attended Century High School and Santa Ana College in Santa Ana. She became an activist when she began attending UC Santa Barbara. She was a gender studies major.
She started organizing in 2007 and 2006 for the DREAM Act. She educated young people and adults about the importance about giving access to immigrants.
It’s a difficult day for all of us.
—Rafael Solorzano, friend
Although authorities have not released a cause of death or called it a homicide, Orange County LGBT leaders are calling for an end to the hate crime violence.
It is time for the entire community to stand with our trans sisters and brothers and stop this slaughter.
—Kevin O’Grady, The Center OC
More than 100 people gathered in downtown Santa Ana on Friday evening to remember Zaraida.
We need to teach future generations how to love and respect people.
We lost a star.
We want people to celebrate her how she celebrated herself, as a woman.
Those of you who knew Zoraida know that she was a loving girl, one that was always calm, a bit shy and wore a smile in her face when surrounded by loved ones. She was always sweet and willing to help in any way that she could.
I remember her as a young passionate human being, she was learning new things, about being transgender, Chicano, and an immigrant youth. I remember our struggle as undocumented students and moments of excitement about fighting for our rights and pushing through to keep hope alive, especially our hope for a better future.
—Francisco Bravo, who first met Zoraida in 2004 at Santa Ana College
I will forever hold you very dearly. The strong MUJER that you were, the leader, the activist, the vocal translation are all examples to follow. Amiga! all the people that had the opportunity to meet you are celebrating today your life! We will continue your fight, OUR fight! with the love and passion that you always did.
There is fund at gofundme.com to raise the cost of her funeral. In one day they have almost reached their goal of $10,000.