Remembering Muhlaysia Booker
Updated 1:36 AM ET, Fri May 31, 2019
Stephanie Houston says she struggled to accept that her second-born, Muhlaysia Booker, was a transgender woman.
The two weren't on speaking terms when her 22-year-old daughter was killed on May 19, the mother told a church full of people at Muhlaysia's funeral. Once, in a moment of anger, Houston said she threatened to cut her daughter's hair and dress her as a man if she died before her.
But when the time came to bury Muhlaysia, Houston said she honored her truth because of how hard she fought for it and paid the ultimate price.
Booker was thrust into the national spotlight when a video of a mob beating her went viral in April. Instead of retreating, Booker gave an impassioned speech at a rally that drew attention to the pattern of violence transgender individuals face.
But her friends worry her bravery made her a target for hate speech and more threats of violence. Five weeks after she was assaulted, she was fatally shot and her body was left near a wooded area in South Dallas between a golf course and a housing complex. No one has been arrested in her death, and police say they have yet to find a connection between the assault and her killing.
Elected officials, faith leaders and LGBTQ activists from across Dallas joined Booker's family in celebrating her fighting spirit on May 28 at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas.