Tributes poured out on social media Thursday night after it was reported that Monica Roberts, a pioneering trans journalist who authored the blog TransGriot since 2006, had died at the age of 58. Roberts focused on the discrimination and violence experienced by the trans community and the black trans community before anyone else did. We are deeply saddened here at Towleroad to hear of her passing.
The Daily Beast profiled Roberts and her work in 2019: “Whenever she discovers through Facebook that there’s been a death in the community, she begins investigating, combing through local news reports of recent killings in the area. Often, within half an hour, Roberts can match the name of a slain transgender person to a murder victim who has been identified only by their legal name in local coverage. Then she publishes her findings on her long-running blog TransGriot.”
“Roberts worked closely with the Houston Police Department regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ victims in criminal cases, and spent much of her time lobbying for transgender rights at the federal, state and local levels,” ABC 13 reported.
Wrote HRC President Alphonso David: “Monica Roberts was an icon and a trailblazing voice for transgender rights, both in her home state of Texas and around the country. We are deeply saddened to learn of her passing, and offer our most heartfelt condolences to her friends, family, and loved ones. For decades, Monica has been a fierce leader—bringing light to the injustice transgender people face, especially Black transgender women. She leaves behind a strong, and vital legacy—one that every LGBTQ person and ally should work to honor and advance. Rest in power, Monica, and thank you.”
Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings wrote: “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.”