Last week, the body of transgender beauty queen Paulett Gonzalez was found in the city of Celaya, Mexico.
Previously known as Luis Jean González Virgen, 24-year old Paulett won her Gay Beauty Queen title in 2015, in the state of Nayarit. She had gone missing in June whilst visiting a friend Gay Star News reports.
Authorities are now investigating whether Gonzalez’ death was a hate crime after her severely burned remains were discovered on Friday.
According to Mara Rojo Sanchez, president of the Asociación Civil Ser Libre’ (Be Free),
“It’s a crime with the aggravating circumstance of being a transsexual,” said state secretary of sexual diversity, Jorge Luis Zamora Cabrera.
“Because their characteristics were visibly transsexual; considering this, one of the motives that have to be considered is whether this was a transphobic crime.”
Condolence messages came pouring over Paulett’s Facebook page when friends heard of the news of her death.
“I’ll always remember you as a person who was happy and not afraid of anything,” one commented.
Mexico is a particularly unsafe territory for the LGBT community: according to Vallarta Daily, 1,310 homophobic and transphobic murders have been reported in the country since 1995.
Words: Salomé Baudino