Day Rodas, A Trans Woman Who Worked for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Found Dead

Day Rodas, a 27-year-old trans woman who worked for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s community health program, was found dead along a remote highway in Malibu last week, in an incident that police are investigating as a homicide.

Rodas was discovered the morning of December 1 on the side of Mulholland Highway near El Matador Beach in Malibu, according to KTLA. Her family told ABC 7 that her phone was found elsewhere in Malibu, with her car found in downtown Los Angeles. A preliminary investigation showed that her body was brought to the location after an overdose, but the cause of death was not specified. According to a GoFundMe that Rodas’ sister created, the family filed a missing persons report when she stopped responding to texts and calls, and after her employer said that she hadn’t shown up to work.

Rodas had “recently started living her life authentically as she came out to friends and family about being a trans woman,” according to the GoFundMe, and had only come out six months prior to her death.

“She was the most forgiving person who strongly advocated for LGBTQ+ rights,” her sister wrote, adding that she was “too pure and kind to ever treat anyone with disrespect.”

“After being afraid for 27 years, she only got to live freely without fear for only six months which breaks our hearts,” she added.

Joe Hollendoner, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said in a statement that day “seemed like she was beginning a new chapter — one where she could finally be her authentic self.”

“To have her life cut short at this moment — and under such troublesome circumstances — makes her loss all the more heartbreaking,” Hollendoner wrote, noting that violence against trans women of color is “at an all-time high.”

Although the cause of Rodas’ death has still yet to be determined, with detectives questioning three people, she is potentially one of at least 35 trans Americans who have lost their lives to fatal violence in 2022, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That list includes the two trans victims of the recent Club Q shooting in Colorado, as well as the dozens of others who have lost their lives, the majority of whom are Black trans women and other trans women of color. Even that grim number is likely an undercount, due to the fact that police and local media often misgender victims in their reports.

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