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Two charged in transgender activist Cecilia Gentili’s death

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This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Cecilia Gentili

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Two individuals were accused of distributing heroin and fentanyl that led to the death of transgender advocate Cecilia Gentili.

Fatal overdose

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Cecilia Gentili, aged 52, passed away on Feb. 6 in her New York City residence from a fatal overdose of fentanyl-contaminated heroin.

Autopsy

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The autopsy conducted by United States Attorney Breon Peace confirmed this. Antonio Venti sold the drugs to Gentili on Feb. 5, while Michael Kuilan supplied them.

Facing charges

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Both Venti and Kuilan are facing charges in connection to this incident.

Well-known activist

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The well-known activist, originally from Argentina, dedicated her life to championing the causes of immigrants, the transgender community, sex workers’ rights, and individuals living with HIV.

Celebrities

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A number of celebrities, such as Billy Porter and Indya Moore, paid their respects at her funeral.

Transgender activists

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Additionally, several influential transgender activists, including Ceyenne Doroshow and Liaam Winslet, as well as Gentili’s partner, Peter Scotto, delivered heartfelt speeches in her honor.

She was an angel

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“She was an angel,” said Scotto in a statement following her death. “Our phone would ring all the time in the middle of the night and she’d jump into action to help people in crisis.”

My partner

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“She’d always be there and answer that call. But to me, she was my partner. We woke every day next to each other with so much laughter and love. I’m going to take that with me forever.”

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

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The funeral service for her took place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and stirred up disagreement among various Catholic officials in the area, including the New York Archdiocese, who labeled the funeral as sacrilegious and misleading.

Catholic

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“The Cathedral only knew that family and friends were requesting a funeral Mass for a Catholic, and had no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way,” said the Archdiocese.

Embraced and accepted

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Those close to Gentili rejected the criticism, emphasizing that everyone should be embraced and accepted.

Sainthood

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“Cecilia’s immaculate work and the way she touched so many hearts and lives made her worthy of sainthood. Cecilia deserved this historic honor of the monumental funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and to be cemented in history as a mother of multiple movements –– of sex worker, immigration, trans, and affirming health care movements,” said Oscar Diaz, the director of communications at Trans Equity Consulting, an organization that Gentili founded.

Generations she mothered

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“Her wit, creativity, humor, and grace will be missed by the generations she mothered,” Diaz concluded.

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