On the heels of learning about the brutal murder of T.T. in Chicago this past weekend, I was saddened to read more tragic news on the Transgriot blog.
43 year old Lexxi Sironen’s body was found floating in the Kennebec River on September 6 at 8:15 AM EDT near the water reservoir of the Brookfield Power Facility. She was from Waterville, ME, lived along the riverbank and was associating with other transient people in the area.
Friends of Sironen think that foul play was involved in her death, and while an autopsy on the body has been done by the state medical examiner, the cause of death has yet to be announced.
Lexxi was the parent of two teen-aged children as well as her parents, siblings, friends and extended family. You can read a loving tribute that has been set up in her name. Note that the tribute does use her dead name and refers to her using mixed pronouns.
To the best of my knowledge, police have not yet released a cause of death for Lexxi. Friends suspect foul play, reporting a break-in at one apartment where Lexxi was known to stay occasionally. That’s certainly worth exploring.
I’m struck by several things around Lexxi’s death.
First, she was transient and sometimes living in homeless encampments. We don’t talk enough about homelessness in our community. We don’t understand the nuance of transient and homeless. We don’t ever talk about encampments.
Second, I can’t help but think about Andre Gray, a member of our community in Pittsburgh whose body was also recovered from a river in March 2015.
Third, I can’t help but note that her memorial service is the day of the Community Education session of the TransPride Pittsburgh Conference, just an hour before I present in fact.
Finally, one of the other victims this past year was also homeless when they were murdered. Amos Beede. Five people have been charged in that terrible crime.
These facts don’t necessarily mean anything to anyone else. But to me, they are a powerful reminder that the line between a life with supports and a tragedy can be very thin. That doesn’t quite capture it. I suppose I just feel like we aren’t paying enough attention to the whole lives of our neighbors. It seems sometimes like we are focused exclusively on either lived experiences or the policies and laws. I witnessed an online argument today between women around public policy and I was sad that they got stuck in this head-butting scenario that just left hard feelings. What happened to the whole lives which includes both our individual experiences and the context in which we live, even when we don’t understand that context.
Waterville Police have asked that anyone with information about Lexxi’s death, or final days, to contact them at (207) 680-4700.
Rest in power, Lexxi. It is so evident you were loved and valued by your family and friends and that you brought so much joy and love to the world. I hope your children grow up surrounded by your loving heart and carry your legacy forward.
Here is the growing list of neighbors lost in 2016. Please take a moment to say their names.
- Monica Loera – Austin, Texas (January 22)
- Jasmine Sierra – Bakersfield, California (January 22)
- Kayden Clarke – Mesa, Arizona (February 4)
- Maya Young – Philadelphia (February 20)
- Suspicious death of Veronica Cano – San Antonio (February 20)
- Demarkis Stansberry – Baton Rouge (February 27)
- Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson – Burlington, Iowa (March 2)
- Quartney Davia Dawsonn-Yochum (Kourtney Yochum) – Los Angeles (March 22)
- Shante Thompson – Houston (April 9)
- Keyonna Monroe Blackeney – Rockville, MD (April 16)
- Reecey Walker – Wichita (May 1)
- Mercedes Successful – Haines City, FL (May 15)
- Amos Beede (Burrlington, VT), 38 years old
- Goddess Diamond (New Orleans, LA), 20 years old
- Dee Dee Dodds (Washington D.C.), 22 years old
- Dee Whigham (Biloxi, Mississippi), 25 years old
- Skye Mockabee – Cleveland (July 30) 26 years old
- Erykah Tijerina – El Paso (August 8) 36 years old
- Rae’Lynn Thomas – Columbus (August 10) 28 years old
- T.T. – Chicago (September 11) 26 or 27 years old
- Lexxi Sironen – Maine (September 6) 43 years old