Transgender Houstonians demanding more measures to protect community

Houston activists held a vigil Thursday to remember a transgender woman who was murdered nearly a week ago.

Organizers say Marisela Castro, was about to turn 40-year-old, when she was gunned down. 

BACKGROUND: Police: Transgender woman was shot to death by man who left in car

The transgender community brought their struggle and fight to the Houston Police Department's front steps.

"My name is Dylen Forbis. I’m a transgender man who grew up in the Houston area," says Forbis. "It’s far too often I find myself seeing my friends and colleagues at memorial service, more than I do at celebrations."

The shooting of Castro happened on July 29, and it captured by doorcam video, but there are still no arrests.

According to police, the deadly shooting occurred around 1:45 in the morning in the Northshore neighborhood.

RELATED: Family of transgender woman hoping surveillance video will lead to an arrest after an alleged assault

Police say a four-door sedan drove down the residential street and came to stop.

A man and Castro got out of the car, and was starting to walk away, when the man shot her, and then left with the car.

"Our murders go free, who’s catching the people who murder our women," says Forbis. "I want safer neighborhoods, and it comes with humanizing, re-humanizing the transgender community, and that comes with justice."

FLAS, Fundación Latinoamericana de Acción Social, the organization who held the vigil say they are seeking to raise awareness about the dangers faced by Houston’s transgender community. As well as to request additional safety measures to be taken by authorities to protect transgender women in Houston.


According to the Human Rights Campaign, Castro is at least the 23rd transgender person to be killed in the United States this year, and at least the third Texan.

Senator John Whitmire, who was at the vigil, showed support to the family, but also to encourage his colleagues. 

"A hate crime, where people go out and carry out vindictive actions, is just outrageous. Like I said, I need my colleague to know that words matter," Whitmire said. "If you are going to talk hateful about a transgender person, children, it will show up in violent acts against transgenders."

Investigators say it appears at least one other person was in the car with the gunman. If you know any information about this shooting, you’re urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.