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Aimee Stephens, whose landmark case was the first case about the civil rights of transgender people to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, died today at her home in Metro Detroit with her wife, Donna Stephens, at her side. She was 59.
Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and a member of Aimee Stephens’ legal team shared the following:
“Aimee did not set out to be a hero and a trailblazer, but she is one, and our country owes her a debt of gratitude for her commitment to justice for all people and her dedication to our transgender community.
“When Aimee decided to fight back after she was fired for being transgender, she just wanted it to be acknowledged that what happened to her was wrong. Being a part of Aimee’s team at the Supreme Court has been one of the proudest moments of my life because of the amazing person behind the case. As a member of her legal team, I am deeply sad for this loss,” Strangio continued. “As a transgender person and an advocate, I am filled with both grief and rage that we have lost an elder far too soon. As we, and millions, carry her work for justice forward, may she rest in power and continue to guide us on this path.
Strangio also talked about the “inspiring power” of Stephens’ “humbleness and sincerity.”
“She has been an inspiration to millions around the world,” Strangio said. “We mourn with Aimee’s wife Donna, their daughter Elizabeth and the millions who have been inspired by her.”
Donna Stephens is not conducting interviews and issued the following statement:
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness, generosity, and keeping my best friend and soulmate in your thoughts and prayers,” Stephens said. “Aimee is an inspiration. She has given so many hope for the future of equality for LGBTQ people in our country, and she has rewritten history. The outpouring of love and support is our strength and inspiration now.”