Gwen Araujo is ‘A Girl Like Me’ Movie

January 25, 2009
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Gwen Araujo was born Eddie Araujo, a transgender teenager who was murdered. Her story was told in a 2006 Lifetime movie called ‘A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story.’ Read more about Gwen’s story below, see a photo, and watch a video.




Gwen Araujo




‘A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story’ is a 2006 biography made-for-tv movie directed by award-winning director Agnieszka Holland and first aired on Lifetime Television.

It’s a really tragic story that documents the real life of Gwen Araujo, who was born Eddie Araujo, Jr., a transgender teenager who was murdered by four men in Newark, California after it was discovered she had male genitalia. Scenes from the ‘A Girl Like Me’ movie depicting the murder trial are shown alternating with the story of Gwen’s life.

The four men who killed Gwen Araujo, two of whom she had been sexually intimate with, beat her for hours then strangled her, dumping her in a remote area in the mountains. Two of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder, but not convicted on the requested hate crime enhancements. The other two defendants pleaded guilty or no contest to voluntary manslaughter. In at least one of the trials, a ‘trans panic defense’ – an extension of the gay panic defense – was employed. You can go here to read details of what happened to Gwen, written by her mother Sylvia Guerrero.

The crime received widespread national and international attention and prompted questions as to whether transgender people were being represented fairly and accurately in both mass media and the criminal justice system. It was this case which became the impetus for law reform movements in several states.

At Araujo’s mother’s request, a judge posthumously changed Araujo’s legal name from Eddie to Gwen on June 23, 2004.

The movie ‘A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story’ stars JD Pardo as Eddie/Gwen, Mercedes Ruehl as her mother, and Avan Jogia as her brother, Danny.




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3 Responses to “Gwen Araujo is ‘A Girl Like Me’ Movie”

  1. 1
    gina Says:

    Gwen’s death (and how badly she was treated in her school and community) is a sad, tragic story. But I find it interesting how so much media has coalesced around this particular story and almost nothing about the many dozens of horrible murders of transwomen happening every year, most of which go unsolved. Another young transwoman was murdered about a week or two after Gwen’s death about 20 miles north of where Gwen’s murder occurred and there was virtually no coverage of that story. Why does the media focus on certain cases and not others? Any ideas? More often than not, the media uses incorrect pronouns when writing about crimes against transwomen and often (as in Gwen’s case) blames the victim. What are we learning from this carnage?

  2. 2
    diana Says:

    i just watched this movie on gwen. then i went online a read about her.
    i just wish we could all get alone. i feel for her family and so sorry for your lost.
    for what i see. she was a beautiful girl.
    i hope to hear from her mother and love to chat sometimes..

  3. 3
    Demera Says:

    I think those guys had no right to do that to gwen she really beautiful