Malary, 31, made a great impact on Chicago's LGBTQ community, which was evident with a huge turnout to a candlelight vigil in Andersonville on Sunday night. Malary was remembered for not just her activism, but for her presence and energy.
"The only thing we can do is shed tears and cry and to be vulnerable and to heal our own wounds from the light that was taken away from us," said her close friend Angelina Nordstrom.
"It's feeling really special to be in community. I think Elise would've really been so touched--I hope she is--by everyone who was here tonight, the outpouring of love and support," said Lindsay Doyle, Malary's colleague at the Chicago Therapy Collective. "The lives of Black trans women are deeply disproportionately impacted by violence. We would have no LGBTQ movement without the labor and sacrifices of Black trans women."
Both the Governor's and State Attorney General's office released statements saying they are heartbroken, with Kwame Raoul's office calling her "a tireless advocate" for transgender rights.
Malary's colleagues at Chicago Therapy Collective are urging a full investigation into the circumstances of her death; this past week, Evanston Police had said there were no signs of foul play.