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Author’s note: In researching for this post, I discovered there were some conflicting sources about Bri(an)’s preferred name and pronoun usage at the time of their death. To avoid deliberate misgendering, I will use neutral pronouns in an attempt to respect both those who knew “Bri” with female pronouns, and “Brian” with male pronouns, at the time of their death.

He’s into a cult and all this shit.

Those were some of the last words in the 911 call from Bri(an) Golec’s father, Kevin, the night that Bri(an) died. Kevin Golec maintained that both he and his child had been attacked by members of a local “cult”. When police arrived it became apparent that Kevin Golec was lying–he had viciously stabbed his child to death during an argument. Bri(an) was 22 years old.

Bri(an), by some accounts a trans woman, by others “an androgynous pansexual man,”–whatever the language, they were different, they were one of us–was a bright star with a lot of potential. They were an artist, and a member of a local band. They aggressively loved their cat. (I can certainly empathize with that last one).

In the weeks leading up to their death, Bri had become part of the local trans community and was actively exploring their identity–something I think all of us can empathize with. At 22, so few of us have our lives figured out. I sit here at 23, still unsure exactly what labels I like best for myself, much less the kind of job I want to have forever, the kinds of relationships, the lifestyle. And Bri(an) will never have these opportunities that I have–to figure themselves out, to live out their journey to its fullest extent.

Bri(an) was the sixth American trans-feminine person to be killed in 2015–the sixth in the first six weeks of the year. They were 22 years old.

For a more full list of those being commemorated for Transgender Day of Remembrance this year, click here. 

To view the other posts in my Transgender Week of Remembrance series, click below:
Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday