Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Angie Zapata's Killer Convicted On All Charges, Making Him The 1st Person Convicted For Hate Crime Against TG.

Angie Zapata

18 year old Angie Zapata was found beaten to death in her Colorado apartment in July 2008. People have been rallying for justice since.

This news just came in today, i quote from 9news Colorado:

The jury found 32-year-old Allen Andrade guilty of both first-degree murder and of a bias motivated crime or hate crime. It is believed to be the first conviction in state history for a hate crime against a transgender person.
I'm not sure if this sets a nationwide precedent, but i wouldn't be surprised.

As always, I have complex feelings around the failings of our (in)justice system, a system that does not rehabilitate, a system where big wigs make bank from imprisoning humans, a system rife with oppression... but i do hope that the friends and family of Angie Zapata find some redemption in this historical ruling, and i hope that this sends a message to people inclined to violence that you can't get away with hurting transgendered folks.

Rest In Peace Angie Zapata.

(click for tribute page, hear from her family, get educated on TG issues)



Lala said...

Nobody in the liberal community will say it but as bad a crime as it was transgendered people deceiving people should also be a crime. Not equating it with murder but certainly it is on par with a form of rape. It is unwilling sex by deception.

richard said...

i had to think long and hard about that one Lala.

its complicated. because two elements are possibly clashing: a TG's right to identify as whatever gender they choose vs. more heteronormative people who may not accept these declarations. from a TG perspective, this may not be a deception. For someone who was really into someone enough to have sex with them, then to find out that the person was biologically born another gender, it may be jarring- but people need to take a look at themselves and not act out violently on their own narrow conceptions of gender and sexuality.

if a multiracial woman of color can pass for white, is it her duty to imform people she sleeps with that she isn't just white in case they are racist sociopaths? should it be a crime for her to sleep with people without identifying herself racially?

i don't think laws should cater to people who accept the humanity of someone until they find out something about their gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, etc.

Lala said...

You begged the question. And how is it to on the one hand to expect gay sexual preferences to be respected and on the other dismiss hetro's as "narrow-minded". Would it be rape if a lesbian mistakenly picked up a cross-dressing hetrosexual male who penetrated her? I say yes. Same difference.

jack said...

lala, i disagree with you on many points.

zapata was not "deceiving" anyone. she was living her life as it was true to her. to call it "deceiving" is to come from the point of view that she is not actually a "real" woman. (which i believe is the bias you are coming from, but feel free to correct me if i am wrong about that.)

her choice to not disclose her trans-status is a choice that all should have. is it okay for someone to take advantage of someone else in a violent way if they suddenly become aware of a biological element of that person? richard's example about a multi-racial woman is a good one. here's another:

if a man pursues a woman sexually because of her perceived breast size and then realizes when they are in the act that she in fact wears a padded bra (she "deceived" him) is he then allowed to take that out on her in a violent way? rape? beating? murder?

no. of course not.

has she "raped" him?

no. of course not.

to use the rape argument about trans non-disclosure is to minimize the humanity of transpeople by applying your limited views of human "authenticity" and to minimize the crime of true rape.

as for your example about a lesbian picking up a cross-dressing hetero man that then penetrated her i cry foul. seriously, how is this penetration happening? did it happen because the lesbian was "fooled?" she would have let a woman penetrate her and was in the act of letting the man do so and then realized, oh my god, it's a dude? nothing about this example is realistic in the slightest.

you can be the most amazing drag queen in the world but you will never "fool" a lesbian.

or is the man taking her by force? if that is the issue, then obviously that is a case of rape. why bring the "cross-dresser" into it? that element has nothing to do with it. and that is not the case with this instance either. andrade didn't pick up zapata because he was "fooled" and then was raped by zapata. he stayed at her house for 3 days and then killed her.

they never had sex.

if i sleep with someone and then find out they have cancer is that rape? if i sleep with someone and then find out they are an awful person is that rape? if i sleep with someone and then find out they are an amputee wearing a prosthetic is that rape?

no. no. no.

Olin1984 said...

Lala, not to pick at a dead carcass (excuse the bad pun), but "It is unwilling sex by deception" means what?

A person consents to sex. Period.

People lie about who they are all the time, whether straight, gay, queer in order to get physically intimate (if that's the right word) with anther person. People lie when they at the bar, at the dinner table, etc. People lie about religion, wealth, marital status.

And whether you call it willed ignorance, stupidity, projection, or just being drunk, the person lied to believes it. That person is responsible for hir own decision-making, which is often unreliable when the person is desperate or high. I would venture to say that some element of exaggeration or self-silencing enters into most modern relationships at the beginning stages. Relationships are complex and can expose us to emotional (as well as other sorts of) pain, so we fib, we elide, we don't tell everything there is to tell. And guess what? That's NORMAL. I ain't saying it's healthy, but it's common.

The reason why many individuals such as yourself try to excuse murder of Angie Zapata or other "abnormal" people is because we live in a society that says it's okay to strike out against "those others." We live in a society rife with deception from the most financially affluent to the priest to our parent(s). And unlike in this instance, the person hurting us with their deception is somebody more powerful, so we repress that anger and unleash it on someone easier to pick on.