MEXICO CITY — “I was there when the shots were fired, a few meters away,” Kenya said. “Paola called for help and I came running.”
Until that moment, Paola was full of life, said Kenya. But that life hadn’t been easy. She was born biologically male in the southern state of Campeche, near the Guatemalan border, just over 25 years ago. She and Kenya, both transgender sex workers, had chosen new names for themselves when they committed to their new identities, and they had shared the same busy street in Mexico City most nights for the past six years—working together while working alone.
That is, until last Thursday night, when Paola’s life was cut short by a john with a 9mm Beretta, and an unknown bone to pick.