Aimee Stephens. (Photo Credit: ACLU)

On May 12, the world lost Aimee Stephens, 59, a transgender activist from Michigan whose U.S. Supreme Court case is one of three that are awaiting a decision that could change the way the U.S. handles civil rights.

“We learned … of the passing of Aimee Stephens, whose groundbreaking case at the Supreme Court will determine whether transgender workers are protected from discrimination based on their gender identity,” the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law Williams Institute shared.

The suit that was filed on her behalf was due to her being fired from a job at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes after she disclosed to the owners her intent to transition. “I found it a little overwhelming when I realized that I could be in the history books, but somebody’s gotta do it, and I’d be happy and satisfied to be that person,” Stephens said shortly before her death as reported by Vox.

Stephens family was from North Carolina and liked to visit them, BetweentheLines reported.

An outpouring of condolences were posted on social media. Some of those who shared their sentiments were the ACLU, Former Vice President Joe Biden and Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Alphonso David, to name a few.

Stephens’ death leaves end-of-life and funeral costs for her survivors and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money to help defray those costs. She had developed kidney disease five years ago and had been undergoing frequent dialysis. The financial strain on her and Donna, her spouse, was significant after Stephens was fired from her job. As of press time, $26,460 has been raised out of a $15,000 goal. To contribute, visit

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.