Cash Askew, 22, was a captivating person with visionary musical talent. One half of dream-pop duo Them Are Us Too, she was a beloved figure in the Bay Area music community, especially within queer and trans circles.
Askew’s stepfather, Sunny Haire (former manager of the Lexington Club, a now-shuttered lesbian bar in San Francisco’s Mission) taught Askew to play guitar at the age of seven. “As a child, Cash would spend time with her stepfather in the Lexington Club, sipping cranberry juice and watching the clientele,” The Washington Post notes in a story about Askew.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Askew's stepfather Sunny Haire and mother Leisa Baird Askew said: "She was very special, an enigma, and I can say without hesitation she truly affected and made an impression upon everyone she met..." With her passing, the world lost a tender, luminous spirit who was just beginning to imprint an indelible mark on the world through her art and through her humanity.”
In an interview with writer Beth Winegarner, published on Medium in the wake of the Oakland warehouse fire, Askew, who identified as transgender and used the feminine pronoun, spoke about how her early explorations of gender and music intertwined. “As a young teenager, I was definitely attracted to goth and new wave in part because of the androgyny,” Askew says, “And that aesthetic gave me a way to explore my gender expression before I could even come to terms with being transgender.”