Angie Zapata was brutally murdered in Greeley, Colorado in July 2008. Angie was a transgender woman and she was murdered because of anti-transgender bias.If you check out my Facebook profile, you'll note that I have lit a candle for Angie on my profile. I think you should, too, and become a fan of the movement on Facebook.
On April 14, 2009, her alleged killer will go on trial in Greeley, Colorado. The trial marks the first time that Colorado’s gender identity-inclusive hate crimes statute—and in fact any state’s hate crimes law—has been applied in the investigation and prosecution of an anti-transgender murder case.
The tragic circumstances of Angie’s death gives Coloradans an opportunity to better understand Angie’s life and the lives of transgender people. It offers a chance to talk about the importance of Colorado’s hate crime law. And it highlights the need to stop excluding people from the protections of a federal hate crimes law simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Is this the first time a trans or queer person has been murdered because of who they were? No. Is it going to be the last? No. But, aren't we tired of the violence? I am never sure the value of activism by teh interwebs -- we'll call it "keyboard activism" -- but I'll say this: over the last 6 months, I have heard more about us in the mainstream media than I ever have before. And I think that even something as simple as changing your profile picture on Facebook can yield amazing results, sometimes.
Oh, and Jamie at Stuff Queer People Need to Know reminds us that victims of violence are not always just the people who are physically attacked.