Gwen AraujoEdward "Gwen" Araujo (1985 - 2002) was a transgender American teenager who was killed at a party by a group of men upon discovery of her transgender status.
Gwen lived in Newark, California, and was described by her mother as her little "Angel." Family members knew Gwen as a happy and energetic child who was always laughing and quite active. Gwen had expressed the desire to be female from an early age and just prior to her death she was experimenting with cross living. She wore her mother's peasant blouse to a party among other young people where it was discovered by those who did not know her that she was in fact a pre-op transsexual. She was next taken to the garage of the home where the party had occurred, where she was severely beaten causing a gash in her head. She was then tied up and placed in a pick-up truck and taken to the foothills of the Sierra Nevad Mountains in California where she was finally buried in a shallow grave.
Police were led to the gravesite by one of the three individuals charged with her murder and hate crime. Gwen's mother has said publicly that she would like her child's case to be influential in changing the disciplinary actions for hate crimes resulting in death to include the death penalty.
Those who knew Gwen were joined by hundreds of sympathizers for her funeral located at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Newark. Following the ceremonies, there was a march through main streets leading to the community's mall attended by community dignitaries and leaders. Gwen was remembered again during the "Remember Our Dead" vigils that took place in several major cities to commemorate the deaths of (27) transgendered people during the 12 month period that contained Gwen Araujo's own death.