Fern Feather: A tribute to Zachary Barbeau

fern feather


fern feather

On Facebook, Fern Feather, whose birth name was Zachary Barbeau, filled her page with images of plants and nature. Feather of Vermont was remembered for her compassion and kindness and care for nature, people and abandoned animals.

Friends paid tribute to Feather after the Vermont transgender woman was stabbed to death, and the community has come together to remember Feather, who was described as an angel on earth.

“Fern’s life has been a sacred journey of becoming and a blessing to so many in our community. Fern has made a difference in the hearts of so many,” a friend wrote using the hashtag #translivesmatter.

“Your love for the earth, animals and all people was a joy to behold, you always comforted those in need, thank you for that 🙏🏼,” wrote another.

According to Vermont Biz, Feather, whose birth name was Zachary Barbeau, died of a stab wound to the chest. A hitchhiker Feather befriends is charged with murder.

In March, Feather wrote on Facebook, “Time to tell the world I’m a hot trans woman in a currently male hot body suit!! Damn, it sure took long enough, didn’t it?! Please share this to free our other beauties!” Feather’s family said in Feather’s obituary that she used all pronouns and was gender biased. Heavy uses female pronouns for Feather because she identified as a trans woman in such a recent post.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Feather was described as a “star being” who was an “angel on earth”.

Feather lived a life “centered on his love of the outdoors, his family and his extended community,” according to Feather’s obituary.

“He was a gifted gardener whose greatest joys were collecting and tending plants and creating phenomenal floral arrangements. He spent many years in both Vermont and Oregon creating an amazing collection of tropical plants. Fern was also an avid animal lover and has helped rescue, rehabilitate and find new homes for many creatures over the years.”

The obituary continued

Fern had a wealthy childhood in the beautiful woods of northern Vermont, surrounded by his narrow-minded and loving family. He graduated from North Country Union High School and explored the country, living a gypsy lifestyle while traveling from coast to coast and even making it to the 2012 Rainbow World Gathering. He touched the lives of hundreds of people and easily made friends wherever he went. Fern was a very special soul, filled with love and infectious joy, which he freely shared wherever he wandered.

An active and important member of Vermont’s queer community, Fern was fluid in his gender identity and used all pronouns (he, she, and them). In his heart he identified himself as a Star Being beyond gender. Fern was made of light, verily an angel on earth. His spirit was big and bright, with so much charisma that he attracted many people. Always generous with his presence, care and affection, he was loved beyond words.

2. Feather, remembered for kindness and compassion, once rescued an abandoned rooster

Friends posted tributes on social media.

“Here are some of my best moments with Fern Feather,” a friend wrote, continuing:

Fern amazingly caught this random rooster that had been abandoned at Park n Ride and brought him home for fostering. We had some good times together and it will forever make me a better person. I have no doubt that Fern’s death was the result of a hate crime for which I pray there is justice. Fern’s life has been a sacred journey of becoming and a blessing to so many in our community. Fern has made a difference in the hearts of so many. Thank you for the love, kindness and compassion you have spread everywhere, friend. May your essence be found in the dreamtime. ✨🦅🙏🏼💜
#FernFeather #translivesmatter

another friend wrote,

It has been several days since I received word that my old roommate, Fern Feather, was murdered last Tuesday at our old workplace in Vermont.
I’ve been silent to avoid sensationalizing this tragedy, and now I feel compelled to share just a little bit of my heart.
blessed fern,
Dear, you will always have a sacred, special place in my heart.
I miss how our house became a jungle with all the plants you brought.
You are and always will be so deeply inspirational.
Your love for the earth, animals and all people was a joy to behold, you always comforted people in need, thank you for that 🙏🏼
I will never forget the night our friend Dylan ate your green tourmaline while we were chilling in your room 🤣🤣🤣🤣
My son remembers the book by Dr. Seuss that you gave him and I cherish the times when you, Baker and I ate Indian food and talked about herbs.
May your soul be free dear old friend, you deserve to be at peace.
And I forgive your cat for scratching my dog’s eye 🤣🙏🏼
May the Vermont community be healed and more united by this tragedy.

3. Seth Brunell, who was under psychiatric treatment, is charged with Feather’s death

According to VT Digger, Feather, 29, picked up Brunell while he was hitchhiking and they began spending time together.

Feather described Brunell to a friend as a “good guy” and “a special friend,” but around 8 a.m. on April 12, 2022, the Lamoille North Supervisory Union reported that a car “had been parked in their parking lot for a while and that there was.” someone inside is smoking a cigarette.” Brunell told authorities he was “recently discharged from Vermont State Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin and previously received a subpoena from Vermont State Police for theft of a vehicle,” VTDigger reported.

They found Brunell and Feather claiming they wanted to walk their dogs. A few hours later, Brunell is accused of confessing to Feather’s girlfriend that he killed her and saying that Feather “turned on me and went insane,” according to police reports obtained by VT Digger.

Police found Feather’s body and “a bloody 12-inch knife.”

According to VTDigger, citing a police affidavit, Brunell claimed Feather made a sexual advance, claiming “I was only defending myself,” but authorities found no injuries or signs of an “argument.”

Brunell told police Feather “attacked” him and said he turned down the advance because “I wasn’t gay,” adding, “I was just protecting myself.”

4. Spring has been described as “such a joy to so many.”

Mosiac Vermont wrote:

Fern Feather was an incredible human being – a gift to all who knew her, and even those who only knew her KNEW that Fern was special. She carried a light that shone upon everyone – she would look straight into you and recognize and uplift your amazingness. In her presence one felt like a magical creature.

Fern Feather was well known in our community and her assassination sends shock waves. At Mosaic, we join our community in mourning the loss of this precious person and the clear realization that we do not live in a bubble here in Vermont; We are not immune to transphobic and homophobic hatred and violence. We send deep concern and love to those who were close to Fern and feel their loss the most, and we stand by our anti-violence work, building our skills as violence interrupters and prevention educators in our daily lives.

The Pride Center of Vermont wrote in a statement on Facebook, “We are heartbroken at the loss of one of our community members, Fern Feather. Fern has brought such joy to so many who were honored to know her and we mourn the loss of her light in this world… The Pride Center plans to host a place for the community to come together and mourn. “

According to the Advocate, Vermont does not allow “gay panic” or “transpanic” crime defenses. The law specifically addresses “circumstances in which the victim made an unforced, non-criminal romantic or sexual advance towards the defendant,” the attorney said.

5. Feather filled her Facebook page with nature photos

Feather wrote on Facebook that she “worked at the Salt Cafe” and “went to Lake Region Unified High School District 24.” Feather lived in San Marcos La Laguna, was single, and was from Montpelier, Vermont.

On Facebook, Feather filled her Facebook page mostly with images of nature, plants, and insects.

“I am so sorry that humanity has missed your path,” wrote a friend.

Nina Shoenthal, a friend of Federn, told Vermont Public Radio that Feather once stole an exotic turtle “to save it.”

“Fern was one of the most brilliant, colorful, loving, special, very special people you would ever meet,” Shoenthal told VPR. “The kind of person everyone loved. Everyone wanted to be close.”

CONTINUE READING: Graphic video shows death of 14-year-old boy on Orlando Free Fall Amusement Ride Fern Feather: A tribute to Zachary Barbeau

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