RIP Miriam Rivera — First Transgender Reality Star Dead At 38

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How Did Miriam Rivera Die? New Details On The Death Of First Transgender Reality Star At 38

We live in an age where, increasingly, it is not quite so dangerous to be a member of the LGBTQ community. That said, it still isn't safe. Members of the LGBTQ community are victims of bullying, violence, discrimination, and in worse cases, murder. All because of who they are and what they love. Reality TV star Miriam Rivera was a pioneer in her time. She was the first out trans person to star on a reality show, and she quickly garnered quite a following. Which is why her sudden death at 38 was so shocking. Now the big question is how did Miriam Rivera die?

1. The Tragic News

On February 5th, Miriam Rivera, 38, also known as Miriam Xtravaganza, died in Mexico. How did Miriam Rivera die? That is the question everyone who knew the star wants answered and they want it answered now. While Miriam has been dead for six months, it was only a recent Facebook post made by her husband, Daniel Cuervo, that confirmed the news which quickly spread. "My Adorable wife rest in peace darling until God lets us be together again," he wrote heartbreakingly. Several sources are reporting the circumstances of Miriam's death to be mysterious with authorities alleging that she took her own life, but Daniel isn't buying it.

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2. Daniel Doesn't Think It Was Suicide

When Miriam was found dead in the apartment that she owned in Mexico, the authorities pronounced it a clear case of suicide, but Daniel has spoken out to media outlets letting them know that he believes there's more to the story, and whatever it may be he's certain it's got to involve foul play. "Miriam called me [in New York] from Mexico, telling me she was feeling sick and vomiting blood, so I told her to get to the hospital,” he said in an interview. The phone call, one of their last, made Daniel very worried. His bride wasn't even 40, and this illness she was suffering from came on suddenly.

3. Strange Phone Calls

But it's not just the strange phone calls he received from his wife prior to her death that set him on edge either. According to Daniel, he was eager to have his wife's remains transported from Mexico and sent to New York City, where the couple also owns property. He wanted an autopsy performed, but was told that it was too late and her remains were already cremated. That's when things got even stranger. Daniel alleges that shortly after receiving this news he then received a threatening phone call from a strange man who said that if he ever set foot in Mexico again, he would not leave the country alive.

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4. The House Of Xtravaganza

While many people got to know Miriam during her time on TV shows like Big Brother Australia and the dating competition There's Something About Miriam, that's not where she got her start on the road to fame. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Miriam was very active in the New York drag ball scene. If you don't know what the drag ball scene is I urge you to go and watch Paris is Burning. Anyhoo, she was made a member of the legendary House of Xtravaganza, and when news of her passing reached them they honored her in a touching post they made to their Instagram page.

5. Her Friends Speak Out

Miriam's friends and family are still intensely mourning her loss. Some of them, like her friend Jeanett Ørtoft, agree with her husband's take that the sudden death of Miriam is much more mysterious than a straightforward suicide. “Some say she was killed for going against human trafficking, others say she took her own life,” she said. Jeanett also shared a touching public memorial for her friend on Facebook saying: "RIP, dearest Miriam. The news about you been taken away from this world far too early and in this way broke my heart and left me in shock and tears. You made a huge difference for me and so many other people around this planet, that you made significantly more colourful. Your life was too short, but you sure made it remarkable."

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6. Troubling Statistics

The statistics about suicide rates in the trans community (particularly among adolescents, though all ages are impacted) are truly appalling. Whatever really happened to Miriam, she would want people like her to know that suicide is not the answer, no matter how dark things might get.

If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re a young LGBTQ person and need to talk to someone, call The Trevor Project’s 24-hour crisis hotline for youth at 1-866-488-7386. If you are a transgender person of any age, call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.