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Latinx Trans Woman Killed in Houston in Apparent Murder-Suicide

Latinx Trans Woman Killed in Houston in Apparent Murder-Suicide

Maria Jose Rivera Rivera

Maria Jose Rivera Rivera was killed in January, most likely by her intimate partner.

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Latinx transgender woman Maria Jose Rivera Rivera was killed in January in Houston in an apparent murder-suicide by her intimate partner.

Her death is just being widely reported now. Her body was found January 21, but she may have been dead for up to three days, according to local media. Neighbors had reported an odor coming from Rivera’s apartment, and they saw that the mail had been piling up, TV station KPRC reports. The cause of death has not been released.

Rivera, 22, was an immigrant from El Salvador. Her immigration attorney, Cristian Sanchez at RAICES Texas, told the Human Rights Campaign that all evidence indicates that she was killed by her intimate partner.

“Maria Jose was a joy to work with,” he said in a statement to HRC. “I always looked forward to speaking with her. She was lively, funny, and dynamic. My heart hurts from her loss. Transgender people who are immigrants suffer two levels of oppression and marginalization from society. This makes them especially vulnerable to harm. The transgender immigrant community deserves respect and safety.”

“It is devastating to learn of another young trans person murdered by an intimate partner,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a press release. “Maria Jose was looking to build a life in America, but that dream was shattered by someone who should have shown her love. Transgender and nonbinary people deserve a society that values their lives.”

Rivera is at least the sixth trans person to die by violence in the U.S. this year. There are likely many more who are misgendered or deadnamed by police or media, or whose deaths are not reported at all.

Related: Here Are the Trans Americans Killed in 2022 So Far

Related: Trans Woman Zachee Imanitwitaho Shot to Death in Louisville

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.