Catina Winfrey

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to know Monica for very long. I first met her in 2017, after relocating to Houston from Atlanta. I wanted to “find my community” so I wound up finding the Gender Infinity Conference. It was there that made the connections in Houston that I still have today and it was also there that I first met Monica and Dee Dee. I didn’t know her story or anything about Monica, but almost  immediately I knew that she was someone I needed to get to know. I sat and listened to her speak, she was so knowledgeable, it was like she knew trans history from the beginning. Thankfully, she was able to fill in some gaps about trans that I didn’t know. Over the next year in 2018 I got to know Dee Dee first and she would invite me to events that Monica would be at. I just wanted to know more about her, and absorb everything that she was willing to offer. I would watch her TransGriot Broadcasts online,  and I followed her on Social media. I remember noticing at one of the events I saw her at, she had on this white sweater dress and these black ballet flats that girlfriend wore everywhere. She wore them flats out, I’m at the point now where I am understanding that beauty is pain, sometimes all you want is comfort. Monica must’ve reached that level a long time ago. My big break happened in 2019 when Monica needed a ride somewhere and I was free to offer it. Eventually figuring out that I literally lived 5 minutes from her. I drove to her house in my 2 door Honda Accord, that day was so funny because I also had to pick up Diamond Collier as well and both of them are taller than me, fitting them both in my car was interesting to say the least. That day, as I was driving, we talked amongst ourselves, and Monica told me about her personal history in Houston. It felt like I was talking to a big sister. I don’t know how many different ways to say it, She was just so nice and we could’ve talked for hours. After that day, I kept in touch with her as much as I could. It is unfortunate, our time in person was cut short due to the pandemic, and yet Monica’s activism never ceased. I especially loved the way Monica would call out people on their BS, it didn’t matter if they were white, black, cis, trans, Republican, or Democrat, She strived to make this country better for all. She didn’t just fight for trans rights, she fought for human rights. Between the George Floyd & Breonna Taylor killings to the Iyanna Dior attack, Monica’s activism never stopped. Neither did her love of Houston sports.  I’ve learned so much in the 3 years that I’ve known her. I will truly miss her but I am eternally grateful for the time I did have with her. May Monica’s legacy live on in all of us.