I just got the following email from a gay straight alliance here in Colorado:
On Thursday, July 17, Angie Zapata, an 18-year old Latina transwoman was murdered in her home in Greeley, CO. She suffered two severe fractures in her skull. Her family believes that she was murdered by her boyfriend or members of her boyfriend’s gang because of her gender identity.
The Greeley Tribune, a local newspaper reporting on this case, continues to use an incorrect name and pronouns for Angie. Her family has been very supportive of her and are both angry and upset at this lack of accuracy and sensitivity in reporting. Please let the Greeley Tribune know that this is not acceptable and their lack of appropriate reporting is contributing to an environment where violence against transgender people is continuing.
Last year a Christian friend told me that they felt Christians were the most hated minority in the United States. While there's so much wrong with that statement, I think if you're staging a competition of minority groups in our country, the "winners" would be our transgender brothers and sisters. I'm so disgusted by this latest murder, and how as of today, the Greeley Tribune was still referring to Angie by her birth name, instead of her chosen name (they since have reported that the victim "lived as a woman" and have made their pronouns neutral, but only this evening, and the murder happened last week). I'm sickened by one more violent act in a world of violence (whether of fist or of heart) against the transgender community. I don't even have any more words.
UPDATE: 8/30/08 - The suspect has been caught and has confessed to "killing it". I hope that he will be the first person in Colorado to be charged with a murder with a hate crime enhancement against a transgender person. I'm sorry we have to have hate crime legislation, but I'm glad that as a state we've added transgender identity to our hate crime laws.