Nikki Araguz Loyd, champion of transgender rights in Texas, dies at age 44

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In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 file photo, Nikki Araguz, center, and William Loyd, right, are married by the Rev. Michael Diaz with Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in Houston in front of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas. The couple got married after Araguz’s hearing in the Thirteenth Court of Appeals. Araguz, a transgender woman, is trying to collect benefits following the 2010 death of her former husband, Thomas Araguz, whose family argues that the marriage wasn’t valid because Nikki Araguz was born a man. (AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Michael Zamora) less
In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 file photo, Nikki Araguz, center, and William Loyd, right, are married by the Rev. Michael Diaz with Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in Houston in front of the … more

Photo: Michael Zamora, MBO / Associated Press

Photo: Michael Zamora, MBO / Associated Press

In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 file photo, Nikki Araguz, center, and William Loyd, right, are married by the Rev. Michael Diaz with Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in Houston in front of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas. The couple got married after Araguz’s hearing in the Thirteenth Court of Appeals. Araguz, a transgender woman, is trying to collect benefits following the 2010 death of her former husband, Thomas Araguz, whose family argues that the marriage wasn’t valid because Nikki Araguz was born a man. (AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Michael Zamora) less
In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 file photo, Nikki Araguz, center, and William Loyd, right, are married by the Rev. Michael Diaz with Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in Houston in front of the … more

Photo: Michael Zamora, MBO / Associated Press

Nikki Araguz Loyd, champion of transgender rights in Texas, dies at age 44

Nikki Araguz Loyd lived in the spotlight as a transgender woman in Houston and fought for acceptance every step of the way.

Araguz Loyd died Wednesday in her home in Humble at age 44. She is survived by her husband, William Loyd, and their two children. Her cause of death has not been determined.

Transgender advocates in Texas praised Loyd for her commitment since the 1990s for supporting transgender rights. She most notably fought a high-profile court battle over the legitimacy of her marriage to a Wharton County firefighter who was killed during a massive fire in 2010.

FROM 2013: Gallery owner Nikki Araguz just wants the world to see how normal her life is

She courted reality TV, became a public speaker and rode in the Houston Gay Pride Parade. She also worked as an entrepreneur in Houston and founded the Transgender National Alliance in 2015.

“Every part of me hurts,” her husband William Loyd said in a Facebook post Thursday. “I can’t stop crying. Our kids can’t stop crying. The Matriarchal part of our family is just gone and will never be replaced. I’ll love you forever TigerLilly. I’ll never love again, you were and always will be the love of my life.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Read more about her life in an expanded obituary on HoustonChronicle.com.

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Source : chron.com