The Lavender Files: Crimes UnmaskedExplicit

by Kacie Esparza & Lizeth Alva

Welcome to "The Lavender Files: Crimes Unmasked," a powerful true crime podcast shedding light on crimes against the LGBTQ community. Join us to raise awareness, honor victims, and champion a safer, more inclusive world for all. Tune in now for compelling stories and vital conversations.


Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Sakia Gunn: Unveiling a Life of Courage and Tragedy


    Sakia Gunn: Unveiling a Life of Courage and Tragedy


    Sakia Gunn, born in 1987, grew up as the oldest of three siblings. She was known for being a peacemaker within her family. Despite being raised by her Jehovah's Witness grandmother, Thelma, Sakia embraced her own identity. She was described as charismatic and dynamic by her friends. Sakia had a passion for basketball and aspired to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association.Identifying as an African American lesbian, Sakia faced discrimination both within and outside the LGBTQ+ community. She proudly identified as an "AG-lesbian" and "Aggressive," challenging societal norms. Sakia and her friends often visited LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhoods and hangouts.On a significant day, an unfortunate encounter occurred that led to a tragic turn of events. This incident highlighted the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly those of color, and sparked outrage within the community. The aftermath of this event underscored the importance of unity and justice.For more information, please see our citations:Sprinkle, Stephen. Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims. Eugene, Or, Resource Publications, 2011.‌Meenan, Mick. “Sakia Gunn’s Killer Pleads Guilty – Gay City News.”, 16 Mar. 2005, Accessed 20 Aug. 2023.‌Kelley, Kristin. A Mixed-Method Examination of Homicides Targeting LGBT Individuals in the United States. 2013.‌Music Credit:Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): code: DSUNKBMLNGRCYTRVMusic from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): code: NLTQLQAUBV0UXMZH

  • Brandon Teena's Murder


    Brandon Teena's Murder


    Brandon Teena, born Teena Renae Brandon, was a transgender man from Nebraska. In 1993, he began living as a man and formed friendships in a new town. However, his identity was discovered, leading to a brutal attack and murder by two men in December 1993. Brandon's story highlighted the violence transgender individuals face and sparked discussions about LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance, further amplified by the film "Boys Don't Cry."For more information, please visit our citations:“The Brandon Teena Story — the Trial — Crime Library on”, 14 Dec. 2013, Accessed 6 Aug. 2023.Bergin, Nicholas (December 29, 2013). "Brandon Teena's mom: 'We've come a long way'". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved August 6, 2023."Brandon film lawsuit settled". Chicago Sun-Times. March 11, 2000. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2023.Music Credit:Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): code: YAYGA8L0LTVP4I8YMusic from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): code: UBQH2GUGVWOLBLZO

  • The Story of Matthew Shepard


    The Story of Matthew Shepard


    In this true crime episode, we are discussing Matthew Shepard, a young gay man from Wyoming, USA, who became a symbol of hate crime victimization. His tragic death sparked widespread outrage and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, leading to the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, which expanded federal hate crime legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity. For more information please visit our citations: Our story. Matthew Shepard Foundation. (2023, May 24). Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2023, June 20). Matthew Shepard. Encyclopædia Britannica. Guardian News and Media. (2014, October 26). The truth behind America’s most famous gay-hate murder. The Guardian. Music Credit: Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): License code: MC31BWMOQ1XLYVHM Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): License code: W9Y4EKGSHLA5ABB4