Tuesday, July 22, 2008


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.


  1. I totally agree with you. That this happened to this poor woman is tragic. The fact that some journalists continue compound that tragedy with their insensitivity is inexcusable.

    -- Jarred.

  2. Seems to happen a lot, both the killing of transwomen and the second violation of referring to them as men and refusing to call them by the right name. I've seen lately that some "feminists" think transwomen somehow benefit from male privilege. Pisses me off. You can acknowledge that your group has problems without minimizing others' problems, but I guess lack of empathy is in all kinds of groups.

  3. I've seen lately that some "feminists" think transwomen somehow benefit from male privilege.

    Crackerlilo, I can't even begin to imagine the twists in logic that would bring people to such a conclusion. Have you ever been able to follow their reasoning?

  4. Christine - a heartbreaking story on multiple complex levels.
    I can only pray that her family is encountering people of genuine love and compassion in their time of grief.

  5. This is so sad. As a straight person I never know what pronouns to use with transgender people. I get mixed up with the sexuality and gender issues which seem to be completely separate. I would agree with you that transgender people are probably more hated than catholics but I'm betting it's close.

  6. It is something that I am always thinking about when ever I go out. Even when I go out to a place that I have been before, you never know when a customer is going to become violent.

    Jen, for me what is important is that you are trying and if you do not know what pronoun to use, ask. You are right, sexuality and gender are two separate things. I am a trans-woman and I am attracted to women.

  7. They just reported an arrest was made in her murder.

    MyFox 31 news still didn't get the name right or pronouns right.

    Arrest Made in Transgender Murder Case

    GREELEY - Greeley police have made an arrest in the death of an 18-year-old man who was living as a woman. Justin David Zapata, who was living as a woman named "Angie," was found by her sister in her apartment July 17.

  8. I'm watching FOX31 right now and they said the murder suspect said he "killed it." So far, this newscast is doing a respectable job of reporting this. Tonight in their teasers and story they have referred to "a transgendered woman" and never even mentioned Angie's former name.

    Also of note, our hate crime laws in Colorado just recently had transgender added to the usual g, l &b letters. The suspect will be the first person to (hopefully) be charged with a hate crime against a transgendered person.

    Diana, I'm so sorry that this threat of violence affects your life. Thank you for being who you are and for the work you do in education and activism for other transgendered people.