Many LGBT activists eulogized slain transgender woman Krissy Bates at Minneapolis Community and Technical College on Friday night.
Bates, 45, was found dead in her apartment on Jan. 11. She'd been stabbed four times in her torso, once on the left side of her neck. Her boyfriend, Arnold Darwin Waukazo, confessed to the crime and was arrested last week. His first court appearance was this afternoon.
"This is the killing of one of our own in the community," Barbara Satin, a transgender activist with National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said from the podium in front of a rainbow flag. "Let us keep vigil against hatred and violence."
Bates wasn't well-known in Minnesota--she'd moved to Minneapolis just this fall--but for many at the vigil [SEE SLIDESHOW], her death served as a stark reminder of anti-LGBT violence.
"What does the larger society say about our transwomen when our lives only seem to have meaning after our lives are over?" said Rebecca Waggonner, anti-violence program director for OutFront Minnesota.
Waggoner was followed by seven speakers including activists from OutFront Minnesota and a local politician.
"It's late for Krissy, and we mourn her loss," said Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis). "But we honor her, and we remember her. Tomorrow, when the sun shines, we have a lot of work to do."
Scottie Thornton was one of the few speakers who knew Bates personally before she was killed. He recalled his friend Krissy as a blunt but understanding confidant.
"You were a great friend, girl, and I miss you," Thornton prayed to Krissy from the podium. "And as you often said to me, 'I love you girl, you know that, right?"
Thornton said it was highly unlikely Waukazo was unaware Bates had transitioned genders. Thorton said it was obvious to anyone who met or spoke to her.
"He knew," Thornton says.
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