Transgender advocates hold vigil and rally

Posted at 11:19 PM, Mar 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-13 03:20:05-04

Transgender advocates gathered in front of the Bakersfield Police Department to hold a vigil for Jasmine Sierra, who died in late January.

Many of Sierra's friends only recently learned that she had died. The delay in notification was a result of Sierra being identified by her birth name, Robert Sierra, when she was found dead.

"They looked at her driver's license and saw M and she became a man," said Karen Adell Scot, founder of TransCare, a transgender advocacy organization.

Scot said that this misgendering happens often and she is in the process of going to the state senate to discuss passing laws that will help law enforcement identify transgender men and women.

Other attendees at the vigil used it as a rally against transgender violence.

"I just want to see that this sort of violence is put to an end," said Audra Kilman.

Audra's mother Barbara agreed.

"It needs to be justice for everyone, no matter who you are, because at the end of the day, we all bleed the same."

Sierra's sister Ramona reflected on Jasmine, saying she was "very loving, very kind, very forgiving, very generous, happy go lucky person."

But Ramona Sierra also added that she wants justice for what happened to Jasmine.

"There's somebody out there right now who's responsible for this and if you don't pay in this world, you will pay in the next. Jasmine will not be forgotten. This is not over yet."