On the evening of April 28, twenty or so activists, along with the family of the late Chay Reed, held a vigil on NW 27th Avenue and 29th Street in Miami. Reed, who was 28, was the ninth Black trans woman murdered this year in the United States.
Reed was known by family and friends as someone who was full of life and who had a deep sense of empathy for everybody around her, including strangers.
“I got to know Chay in one of the most positive ways. I was sitting in that bus stop and I guess I looked sad and she sat next to me and said ‘hi’. And we started talking and we eventually exchanged numbers,” said Nocturnus Libertus, a local activist and Internet personality. “It’s pretty unbelievable to see someone so able to change someone’s mood with a smile and to know that someone took them off this earth.”
Corporate news will portray Reed mainly as a victim but to the people that knew her well, she was an advocate for social justice, a woman willing to fight for a better life for all oppressed people.
On April 28, five organizations continued the fight Reed was martyred for. Students for a Democratic Society: FIU Prospective Chapter, People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism, Autonomous Womyn’s Front, Miami Femmes Coalition and Miami Grrrls, made several demands that they want pushed from the city to the national level.
The vigil ended with the lighting of the candles and a moment of silence, followed by chanting from everyone: “Chay Reed was a freedom fighter and she taught us how to fight! We will fight all day and night till we get it right. Which side are you on, my people? Which side are you on?”