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Undocumented, Unafraid and Unashamed...and now unfortunately, deceased

Zaraida "Ale" Reyes was a Dreamer.  Additionally she was a transgender activist.

Her partially naked body was discovered on Thursday behind a Dairy Queen in Anaheim.  She was 28.

Video

Zaraida was active with MEChA, El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Aztlan, the Orange County Dream Team, DeColores Queer Orange County, and Familia.  She was a member of a Latina transgender support group at The Center Orange County.

She was born in Michoacan, Mexico and attended Century High School and Santa Ana College in Santa Ana.  She became an activist when she began attending UC Santa Barbara.  She was a gender studies major.

She started organizing in 2007 and 2006 for the DREAM Act.  She educated young people and adults about the importance about giving access to immigrants.

It's a difficult day for all of us.

--Rafael Solorzano, friend

Although authorities have not released a cause of death or called it a homicide, Orange County LGBT leaders are calling for an end to the hate crime violence.

It is time for the entire community to stand with our trans sisters and brothers and stop this slaughter.

--Kevin O'Grady, The Center OC

 photo translivesmatter_zps85960c15.jpgMore than 100 people gathered in downtown Santa Ana on Friday evening to remember Zaraida.
She was very passionate.

We need to teach future generations how to love and respect people.

--Patty Malagon

We lost a star.

--Lynnea Stuart

We want people to celebrate her how she celebrated herself, as a woman.

--Solorzano

This community is sort of in the shadows in many ways because of fear of interacting with the government as well as the public in general.

We haven't heard enough facts to know [if it was a hate crime].

--Rusty Kennedy, OC Human Relations

Those of you who knew Zoraida know that she was a loving girl, one that was always calm, a bit shy and wore a smile in her face when surrounded by loved ones.  She was always sweet and willing to help in any way that she could.

--Facebook

I remember her as a young passionate human being, she was learning new things, about being transgender, Chicano, and an immigrant youth.  I remember our struggle as undocumented students and moments of excitement about fighting for our rights and pushing through to keep hope alive, especially our hope for a better future.

--Francisco Bravo, who first met Zoraida in 2004 at Santa Ana College

My Spanish is not good enough to translate all of the following:
Todos la miraban {Everyone looked} and many threw challenges at her.  They stared and at times, tried to break her but Zoraida, had a grand confidence in herself, the kind it takes ages to build up.  Inspired by her favorite singer, Gloria Trevi, Zoraida in response, se soltaba el cabello y se vestia de reina.  Her dear friend, Vanessa Castillo remembers her presence, “she loved Gloria Trevi and she would practice her day and night,” and remembers the first time she saw her perform at El Mexicanismo in Santa Ana.  Indeed, todos la miraban porque era linda, y porque la admiran.
I will forever hold you very dearly.  The strong MUJER that you were, the leader, the activist, the vocal translation are all examples to follow.  Amiga! all the people that had the opportunity to meet you are celebrating today your life!  We will continue your fight, OUR fight! with the love and passion that you always did.  

--Luis Ramirez

 photo RestinPower_zps49d8f334.jpgThere is fund at gofundme.com to raise the cost of her funeral.  In one day they have almost reached their goal of $10,000.
We are deeply saddened by the news that one of our Trans-Sisters Zoraida Reyes was a victim of violence.  Her body was found in a lot in Anaheim and there are not many details as investigations are still undergoing.  We are reaching out to all of you for help to be able to provide some aid to her Family during these tough times.  Those of you who knew Zoraida know that she was a loving girl, one that was always calm, a bit shy and wore a smile in her face when surrounded by loved ones.  She was always sweet and willing to help in any way that she could.  Zoraida always gave back to her community by advocating for Trans-Rights as well as the rights of the rest of the LGBTQ community.  Please share this page and know that any amount big or small is very well accepted and appreciated.