Nicole Hall’s was the house her friends could go to when their parents kicked them out.
“We became part of her household,” Mieko Hicks, an old friend, said Saturday evening at a vigil hosted in Hall's name. Hicks and others began their transitions with Hall, a leader in a circle of black transgender women in Dallas. "It was a sisterhood," said friend Shannon Walker, who knew Hall when they were still gay boys running around Dallas in wigs.
Hall is the third of Walker's sisters to have died or been killed in recent years.
Hicks and Walker planned the vigil, to celebrate Hall, who was found dead near White Rock Creek on May 12. She was 39. Over the long weekend, about a dozen people met in a park near where Hall was found. Those who came held plastic cups with candles in them as Hicks and Walker talked about their best memories of Hall. The detective on the case of Hall’s death came out. He held and blew out candles with everybody else.
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Walker said that despite their earlier friendship, she hadn't spent much time with Hall in recent years. She said that about the time Hall's mother noticed her missing, Hall was calling Walker and other of their friends, probably reaching out for help, Walker said. Walker and Hicks told people at the vigil to talk to trans women, to get to know them and make them feel welcome. Hall was remembered Saturday by her friends as the first one to begin her transition into her body as a woman.
“She started all that for us, so that was special,” Walker said. “And we’re going to miss her.”
Hall was the second local trans woman to have died in May. On May 9, Carla Pavon was found strangled in her home along LBJ Freeway. Police arrested a man they say killed Pavon, but are still awaiting a report on the cause of Hall's death. Still, Walker thanked the department for investigating these deaths.
“I can’t even lie and say I’m not fearful,” she said.