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Posts Tagged ‘Angie Zapata’

PhoneWhen I get really stressed or upset, my skin breaks out. But my recent irritations have been small and haven’t resulted in a full-blown eruption – more like a minor rash.

Some of the more trivial annoyances in the last couple of weeks have been:

1. I called the utility company and was ma’amed through the whole conversation. Then I called the phone company and was sirred through the whole conversation. Same me, same voice, all within the same 15 minutes, proving that gender is in the eye of the beholder and that the telephone is an instrument from hell.

2. A major marketing company surveyed the “LGBT” community on their spending habits, then released survey results for gay men and lesbians only. They at least explained that they separated out the results, which is more than a lot of places do. But I’m well aware of why they took trans results out – we bring down the income averages and the purchasing averages and reduce the “spending power” figures.

You know how you could bring that up without excluding trans people? Fight your checkbook off for an inclusive ENDA and other non-discrimination policies. I don’t know why they left the bisexual results out. Bisexuality is so misunderstood, maybe they thought that bisexual people were spending half their money on men and the other half on women. (more…)

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Ask Matt“How can I find a trans-friendly city?” For this “Ask Matt” question, I definitely want to enlist the help of my readers.

I personally think that many cities in Colorado are great places to live and the state, for the most part, is trans friendly. Yes, we have discrimination here – and hate crimes.

But a jury in Greeley, a relatively rural town about an hour north of Denver, brought back a historic hate crimes verdict in the murder of trans woman Angie Zapata. And the prosecutor on the case, Ken Buck, who fought for that verdict and made it a point to learn about trans people along the way, is a conservative Republican now running for the U.S. Senate.

Our statewide employment non-discrimination act (ENDA) and our public accommodations law cover trans people. We have one of the oldest gender centers in the country. And Colorado Springs is one of the first cities in the country to require training on transgender issues for its city workers, starting with the police department (thank you, Nancy-Jo and Crystal Ann).

I’ve lived in Denver for 20 years and will probably stay here the rest of my life. But if I had to move out of Colorado for whatever reason, here is what I would look for when considering where to live: (more…)

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Colle CarpenterColle Carpenter, a trans man who was physically assaulted on the Cal State Long Beach campus, spoke out last week about his assault at a rally that was organized in response to the violence.

Carpenter, a student at the college, was shoved into a campus bathroom stall about two weeks ago, and his attacker slashed the word “It” into his chest. He told the crowd that the school and the police are being very supportive during the investigation.

Fortunately, Carpenter is alive. Unfortunately, as trans men continue to come out and be out, this type of violence will probably increase against the men in our community. And it is a violence very similar to what we are already seeing directed at trans women — because it involves physical mutilation. (more…)

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2010Personally, 2009 has been just so-so, and I’m looking forward to starting a “new year,” even though the “starting over” thing is purely psychological. But for the community as a whole, 2009 has provided some successes, some setbacks, and some downright sleepers. Here are just a few of each, in my opinion:

The Best:

Chaz Bono comes out: A major boost for trans recognition and acceptance, particularly for the “invisible” female-to-male set, Bono’s public transition (he has no other choice) has allowed non-trans people to see that anyone can be trans, and that gender issues are not confined to some specific oddball set of the population that they can ignore, sweep under the carpet, or therapize into submission. It has also forced non-trans people to recognize trans men — “Wow, you mean there are guys out there, too?”

Hate crimes verdict in the Angie Zapata case: While acknowledging that there are two sides to the hate crimes issue, and I haven’t yet decided which side I’m on, I still like this verdict — the first in the country to recognize trans status as a hate-crimes motivator in a murder. It has allowed non-trans people to see that trans people cannot be ignored, swept under the carpet, therapized into submission — or brutally murdered — without some ramifications. (more…)

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Jorge MercadoA story on 365gay.com last week indicated that the alleged killer of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, the 19-year-old Puerto Rican man who was murdered in mid-November — and not just murdered, but beheaded, dismembered, and burned — might use the “homosexual panic” defense at his trial.

Apparently, according to reports, Juan Antonio Martinez Matos was looking for a prostitute on the night that he picked up Mercado, and when he discovered that Mercado, who was apparently wearing a dress and wig, had a male body, he “had a flashback to when he was raped in prison” and proceeded to kill, decapitate, and dismember Mercado.

Oh, please.

I’m sorry if Matos was raped in prison. It shouldn’t have happened, I have no doubt that it was traumatic, and, with the current state of the prison system, it’s unlikely that he received adequate, or any, counseling to deal with it.

But if any jury seriously considers a gay or trans panic defense as legitimate in this case (or in any case), there is something seriously wrong with the justice system (well, we already know that, too). (more…)

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Robert EadsToday is Memorial Day, when we remember and honor our dead soldiers and our dead loved ones. I’m not one to get sentimental, but I would like to make a couple of points here (because don’t I always?).

Trans people are killed in this country at an alarming rate. Some, like Angie Zapata, are brutally murdered, just for being who they are.

Others, like Robert Eads and Tyra Hunter, are left to die by uncaring medical personnel. Eads, who contacted over 20 doctors before he found one willing to treat his ovarian cancer, died from the disease. Hunter, who was in a car accident, was left to die while emergency medical technicians stood by and laughed instead of treating her when they discovered her male genitalia.

In either case, we die because of the prejudice, discrimination, and hatred that still exist in our society. So on Memorial Day, we should not only remember our dead, but continue to fight for our right to be first-class citizens, to be free from violence, and to receive the medical care that we are entitled to just for being human beings. (more…)

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Angie ZapataA central premise of the Allen Ray Andrade murder trial was whether or not Andrade knew that Angie Zapata was transgender before they had contact.

I wasn’t at the trial, but my understanding is that the defense’s “trans panic” argument revolved around the fact that, when Andrade had physical contact with Zapata and discovered that she had some male physical characteristics, he became enraged and killed her without thinking. She had “fooled” him. She had “tricked” him. So, naturally, he killed her (because that’s what we do when we get mad at someone), but it was second-degree murder, not first-degree, because she had provoked his anger. It was, in so many words, her fault. (more…)

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