Hundreds of mourners gathered and paid homage to the life of Muhlaysia Booker during her funeral at the Dallas’ Cathedral of Hope after she was brutally murdered, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Dallas city officials, Bookers friends, family and faithful members of the LGBT community attended her funeral and came together Tuesday with the clear intention to lift up her life that was “cut short by hatred.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we should not be here today. But we are,” the Rev. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas preached to a crowd of mourners at the church.
“She was a young woman whose life was cut short by hatred,” said Stephanie Martin, pastor of the Cosmopolitan Congregation of Dallas.
Booker, 22, was shot to death May 18 in Dallas. Just a month before she was brutally beaten by a group of people but survived and was seeking the help of a therapist to cope with the remnants of that traumatic event.
The video of the beating went viral and police arrested a man in the April attack but haven’t yet tied that suspect to Booker’s murder and they don’t know if there is a connection.
The April attack wasn’t the first for Booker, her mother, Stephanie Houston said.
“Muhlaysia had many fights,” Houston said. “Muhlaysia didn’t start trouble, but she would finish it. … She just always had to defend, defend, defend, defend.”
Will Horn, the pastor of the Cosmopolitan Congregation who delivered the eulogy at Booker’s service let it be known that her life would be praised.
“I came here for a celebration,” he said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sent a statement sharing those sentiments to celebrate the slain woman’s life.
“The people of Dallas and across Texas and this country mourn the loss of a bright, fun and loving woman,” read the statement.
The service ended with a video tribute of Booker, a proclamation by city of Dallas and the Texas Legislature, and a recessional with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” playing.