Temple Hills, Maryland – Veteran transgender rights activist Gigi Marie Thomas, 45, and Devale Lamont Avery, 47, were acquaintances for 30 years. One night, the two men got into an argument inside of Gigi’s home in Temple Hills, MD, and Gigi, who was born male but self-identifies as transgender, repeatedly stabbed Devale. Devale was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. At the police station, Gigi waived his Miranda rights and confessed his involvement in the murder. Gigi was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised probation. Gigi is appealing.
Gigi rose from life as a homeless, prostituted drug addicted youth to become a highly respected transgender activist hero who worked “daily” to keep transgender-identified men “safe while they are engaging in sex work,” an advocate for trans homeless. He had obtained his Master’s degree, and was regarded as “one of the highly recognized transgender women of D.C.” Gigi was honored with the Capital Trans Pride committee’s Engendered Spirit Award for contributions to the trans community.
News sources such as SF Weekly have portrayed the confessed and convicted murderer as a victim of anti-trans persecution, and claimed in a hand-wringing article that the worst part of the whole ordeal is the “misgendering” of Gigi that occurred in court during the murder trial. Gigi sympathizers have raised over $10,000 for his legal defense fund via crowdfunding.