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December 2010

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panda goes wheee!

Sad times indeed. If anyone is able to help, please do. Spread the word. Thanks.

The long and short is a woman down in Texas is being denied benefits due to her from her husband's death in the line of duty. As a result of the court proceedings ALL of her assets have been frozen. And all because her mother-in-law claims that her husband was unaware that she was transgendered at the time of their marriage. Basically, Mommy Dearest's trying to get her for fraud but also end up with ALL of their joint assets, despite the fact that the widow in question was earning more than her late husband, and therefore is being denied access to assets that she earned the majority of. Transphobia and bigotry all over this one, along with heaps of confusion as the news media haphazardly attempts to report on this thing without doing proper research on something they're not super familiar with, as per usual. Information on how you can help Mrs. Nikki Araguz, the widow in question, is at the bottom of this snippet.

Widow Braves Hostile Court Proceedings

Houston, Texas – July 23, 2010 – Jeers and public threats greeted Mrs. Nikki Araguz outside the Warton County Courthouse today. The Widow of Wharton County firefighter Captain Thomas Araguz, who was killed in the line of duty, was in court for the first hearing in a suit brought by Araguz’s mother, Simona Rodriguez Longoria. The suit claims that Longoria should inherit Capt. Araguz’s widow’s benefits and all marital assets.

Longoria claims that since Mrs. Araguz was legally a male before transitioning to female, and legally changed her gender prior to her subsequent marriage to Capt. Araguz that Longoria, not Mrs. Araguz, should receive all benefits and joint property. This includes any income earned by Mrs. Araguz during the marriage. Mrs. Araguz was the principle wage earner of the couple.

Capt. Araguz’s two children from a previous marriage will receive one half of Capt. Araguz’s $600,000 firemen’s fallen hero benefit regardless of the outcome of this case. They are also entitled to free tuition at Texas State Schools, as will be their children.

Longoria today expanded her claims to the property of Mrs. Araguz, asking the court to seize funds paid by a life insurance policy to which Mrs. Araguz was the named beneficiary. Judge Clapp granted her request, adding those funds to the widow’s benefits and all marital assets currently being held in escrow.

In a victory for Mrs. Araguz, the Judge also prevented Longoria from spending any of those funds or disposing of Capt. and Mrs. Araguz’s marital assets.

Longoria said in court today that her goal was to “freeze Nikki out.” All of Mrs. Araguz’s assets are currently frozen and unavailable to her.

If you would like to help support Nikki in her hour of desperate need, donate to the TG Center Nikki Araguz Fund. The TG Center Nikki Araguz Fund not only supports Nikki’s ongoing legal battle, it also provides for her day-to-day needs. Donations can be made online at www.tiny.cc/nikkisfund. Additionally, donations may be sent to the Transgender Center at:

Transgender Foundation of America
604 Pacific
Houston, TX 77006

Make checks payable to Transgender Foundation of America. Please make sure to note that the donation is for the TG Center Nikki Araguz Fund.

Nikki’s FaceBook: www.tiny.cc/fb4nikki

Nikki’s Email: Nikki.Araguz@tgctr.org

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