UPDATE: The memorial and funeral arrangements for Nikki Araguz Loyd have been announced. View Nikki’s memorial service below.
Nikki Araguz Loyd, ground breaking transgender activist and owner of local cafe, Nectar, died on Wednesday, November 6th. She was 44. She passed away at her home in Atascocita. The cause of death is undetermined at this time.
Nikki was a trailblazing activist for the LGBTQ community for over 20 years, a patron and purveyer of the arts, founder of the nonprofit Transgender National Alliance, and had become a successful restauranteur in the last years of her life.
Nikki prided herself on her activism, but becoming the wife of William Loyd and a mother to her children, Charlotte and Cash, was the most beloved role of her life. She is survived by her family and in the hearts and memories of the millions of people she brought light and laughter to.
*In honor of Nikki, donations can be made to the GoFundMe campaign and flowers can be sent to the Rosewood Funeral Home.
Wednesday, November 13th 4:00pm-8:00pm
Rosewood Funeral Home (Atascocita location)
17404 West Lake Houston Pkwy
Humble, TX 77346
Celebration of Life Party
Thursday, November 14th 1:00pm-4:00pm
Humble Civic Center in Ballroom 1
8233 Will Clayton Pkwy
Humble, TX 77338
**DRESS CODE FOR BOTH SERVICES: Anything goes! Nikki was loud, colorful, boisterous, sexy, and glamorous. She would want everyone showing up as their fun, authentic selves, so let’s make this an event to remember!
*Rosewood Funeral Home Memorial Page:
Transgender activist Nikki Araguz Loyd of Houston, TX has passed away, her husband, William Loyd confirms. No cause of death was given.
Nikki Araguz Loyd became an ardent advocate of transgender rights and HIV awareness in the 1990s when, as an adolescent, she made several TV appearances to discuss being transgender and also about having been infected with HIV as a result of rape. After the breakup of her first marriage, to Emilio Delgado, she later became an advocate for marriage equality after her second husband, Houston firefighter Thomas Araguz, was killed in July 2010, while fighting a fire at an egg plant in Boling, Texas.
Nikki was off on a business trip at the time and learned of her husband’s death through a social media post. Her in-laws then obtained custody of her two step-sons, denying her visitation rights.
Close to a year later, State District Judge Randy Clapp ruled in favor of Thomas’ family and nullified Nikki’s marriage, maintaining she wasn’t really his widow — that their marriage wasn’t legitimate because she had been assigned male at birth and hadn’t undergone gender-confirmation surgery by the time of their marriage, although she did shortly afterward. Texas didn’t acknowledge same-sex marriages at the time. Still, after several years of court battles, an appeals court in 2015 ordered the first judge to reverse his ruling.
Nikki remarried — to Houston artist William Loyd — and fought onward for her constitutional rights. They ran an art gallery together in Houston for a time, and she became stepmother to his two children. In Fall 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage equality nationwide, and after an appeals court had ruled in her favor and sent it back to Clapp’s court, Clapp ruled that Nikki was, in fact, legally married to Thomas Araguz at the time of his death.
I think Nikki sums herself up beautifully in a 2011 Out interview, quoted below:
Nikki is survived by her husband, William Loyd, and their children, Cash and Charlotte, and countless family and friends in the Houston transgender community and the American transgender community.
Funeral arrangements are pending.