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California superior court approves posthumous name change for Gwen Araujo

California superior court approves posthumous name change for Gwen Araujo

The California superior court approved a posthumous name change for slain transgendered teen Gwen Araujo on Thursday. The name change, which was ordered June 23, was announced as official on Wednesday. Araujo died before getting the chance to make the name change official. At 17, she was beaten and strangled after the people she had thought were her friends found out she was biologically male. The case was recently declared a mistrial. Chris Daley, codirector of the Transgender Law Center, says the name change has particular importance for the future. "As we move back into a retrial, we'll be asking the defense attorneys to respect this court order by referring to Gwen as Gwen," he said. "She's Gwen to me, and I'm her mother," Sylvia Guerrero had said upon requesting the name change in May. "This is who she was. She's transgendered, and she's Gwen." Superior court commissioner Thomas Surh had called the request "a novel situation" and told Guerrero that it would be about a month until a decision could be reached. Araujo had used the name Gwen for years, according to her family. From an early age she had been convinced that her gender and biological identities conflicted. Her name became famous in October 2002 when police found her body in a shallow grave 150 miles east of her home in the San Francisco suburb of Newark.

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