First Colorado Anti-Transgender Violence Hate Crime Goes To Trial

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

So, the Dog thought that he was a pretty aware Liberal type hound as far as being sensitive to various minority groups’ issues and problems. Then he joined DD and found that there was a group of people that were all but forgotten about, the transgendered. Having the redoubtable Robyn on these pages for the last couple of years has taught the Dog that transgendered citizens are really not given the attention and help they need in terms of the law to live the lives they want.  

This is slowly starting to change. Here in Colorado we have expanded our Hate Crimes law to include transgender citizens. Sadly the first trial for an anti-transgender crime is going to start next week. In July of last year Angie Zapata, a transgender woman, went on a date with a man she had met on the internet. This man Allen Andrade has admitted to police that he killed Ms. Zapata with a fire extinguisher.

It seems pretty clear that Mr. Andrade will be found guilty of this heinous crime. But this is only the start. We must get the Federal Hate Crimes law to acknowledge the legal existence and need for protection from hate crimes of the transgendered. The Dog knows that some might think this minority too small to protect, after all gay citizens are still being denied rights, but that is the wrong way to look at it.

Last year, 21 transgendered and gender non-conforming people were murdered. What was the heinous thing they did? Nothing, they were trying to do what we all do, be themselves to the best of their ability and live a life where they can be accepted by society. If we are to become the tolerant nation we seek to be we must expand the protections in terms of hate crimes to this group of fellow human beings.

There was a step forward in this area as last Thursday the Mathew Shepard Act was introduced in Congress. It includes the categories of protection for sexual orientation and gender identity. This is necessary as crimes based on a persons real or perceived sexual identity are the third most common after race or religion. There is no way to break out the instance of transgender violence as the FBI does not, yet, keep statistics on this.

The Dog intends to keep you informed on this issue as the trial progresses, but if you would all just take moment to call your Senators and Representative and urge them to vote for the Mathew Shepard Act, it would go a long way to making this country a better place.

The floor is yours.  


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  1. I wish the awareness you have given me was not triggered by this horrible crime. Hopefully Angie’s killer will rot forever in jail, and this trial will spur the passage of the Mathew Shepard Act.  

  2. …thanks for covering this.

    Trans violence statistics would be good.  Tip o’the freakin’ iceberg, but good…

    The thing that I always come back to per transie stuff is that we are really excellent canaries.  Kate Bornstien, in one of her interminable books, has said that one of the hard parts of sympathizing with trans folks is that we walk into our otherness.  But, in the same way, this sometimes means — if we’re otherwise acceptable members of society (a small minority within the minority) — that we’re still able to speak in terms the dominant culture can “get” (a little).  You can hear the tweet before the creature goes feet up.  

    The subjectivity of the excluded is pretty close at hand in almost any direction you can name.  I feel a bit weird, always, at “trans issues” standing alone.  But if trans issues can serve as a window on the social contract, then all the crap, grief, and general bullshit are redeemed.  


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