Mercury II project

American Girl

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American Girl was a project in Mercury II (November 2020)

written by Mikki Gillette

Transgender teen Nikki Kuhnhausen was murdered in Vancouver, WA in 2019. Authorities suspect her death was a hate crime, and her family members, friends and activists rallied around her loss in 2020 to pass the Nikki Kuhnhausen Act, which bans the use of the LGBTQ Panic Defense in Washington courts. Who was Nikki Kuhnhausen, though, and how did she and her alleged killer’s paths cross on that tragic June evening? 

American Girl, by trans playwright Mikki Gillette tells the story of Nikki and her family. Based on extensive interviews with Nikki’s family members and friends, the play dramatizes the final years of her life. A story of drug addiction, homelessness, generational violence and sex work, it depicts a side of our society too seldom seen on our stages. Nikki was one of twenty-five trans people in the U.S. killed because they were trans in 2019. American Girl tells the tragic story of that loss.

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