No words

amberlisaTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — No words. That’s what struck me and many other transgender people as they read about the passing of trans woman Lisa Empanada via social media yesterday. Highly regarded and a shining light for others, Lisa’s passing took everyone by surprise.

Three weeks ago in Australia, Amber Maxwell, a determined and dedicated activist also left us, again, unexpectedly.

As a journalist, ‘no words’ is quite apt here. Most everyone reading this space is well aware of the alarming frequency this occurs in the trans community. The efforts of virtually every trans activist or advocate directly contributes to reversing these circumstances and one day, the frequency may drop to the rate as society as a whole.

In the meantime, we keep moving forward, taking a quiet moment from time to time to remember those that didn’t quite make it.

Amber Maxwell:

Socialist Alternative – RIP Amber Maxwell, a rebel and a fighter.

Lisa Empanada:



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Categories: Deaths, Murder, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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8 replies

  1. It is indeed sad to fail to acknowledge the passing of a transgender activist, but that’s where you and others like you come in, Courtney. I’m here to say that I appreciate your reporting service in such matters as transgender deaths. I’m sure that Lisa Empanada will be missed by many who have come in contact with her. Unfortunately, public media doesn’t pay much regard to the passing of any transgender activist. May Lisa rest in peace. An activist’s role in furthering the need for human rights of all transgender people is many times taken for granted, and sadly forgotten as time goes on. Nevertheless, their actions for the transgender community are greatly needed. And as well, many trans-folk owe their strength and courage to come out and be counted among those who desire to desire to live as who they really are, both stealth and publically out.

    Many times, the actions of work for the transgender community, seem to go unrecognized by others. I know that I for one, would still be hiding in the closet for fear of what straight non-transgender friends and family might say or think about my situation, if it wasn’t for the work of others who took the effort to start a support group and keep it running on an ongoing basis for others to find their courage and pride. We’ve moved in some way, albeit much to slowly, from being thought of as a low form of perverted pond scum to now seeming to get much needed legitimately good political recognition.

    So in closing, I lift my glass of wine to toast in honor, all those who have played whatever part in transgender activism that they did, so as to help all of us get our freedom to be our true selves. Here’s to you, wonderful servant of our community. Salute and cheers !!! Thank you all.

  2. There really are no words, Lisa will be greatly missed!

  3. This is a sad state we have come to … Progress is happening, but … it is slow, and not all of us can see it, in a day-to-day setting. That is probably where it hurts the most: the snicker or smirk as you pass someone on the sidewalk, the mis-gendering that is almost commonplace – by family, friends, co-workers, news articles, or restaurant staff. It’s a fatal form of water torture, the slow drip, drip, drip … May they rest in peace.

  4. May you rest in a very gentle peace dear sisters. As long as your friends and descendants of friends are around you will never be forgotten.

  5. Thanks for leaving comments everyone.

  6. May our beautiful princesses rest in peace. A peace somehow denied them in this world… they were all wonderful, selfless women. My condolences to all friends and families.

  7. This came from a friend of Lisa:

    There will be two viewings for Lisa’s friends and family on Friday, September 20th 2013 at: Joseph N – Zannino Funeral Home 263 S Conkling St, Baltimore, MD 21225 (410) 327-4220

    The first viewing will be held from 3:00PM to 5:00PM The second will be held from 7:00PM to 9:00PM

    In between viewings there will be a get together at a nearby restaurant; which will be listed shortly. All of Lisa’s friends and family are welcome to attend to say goodbye, give their condolences and celebrate the beauty of her short life on this Earth.

    For those within the trans community; Lisa’s spouse Sandy has asked that I post in regards to how Lisa will be presented for the viewing and why.

    For anyone who may have been unaware; Lisa’s birth name was Tom and although she was full-time she still had to present as Tom for work purposes. Because Lisa took her life dressed as Tom on the anniversary of her wedding to Sandy, her wife feels that it is very important to lay Tom to rest for closure within their family.

    If you are unprepared or unable to physically view Lisa as Tom the family understands and invites you to attend the get together in between viewings so that you might still be a part of her passing.

    In Lieu of the flowers please consider donating funds to your local Suicide Prevention Charity in Lisa’s name.

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