The Trib published a guest column on the trial in the brutal murder of Angie Zapato. She was killed because she was a trans woman. Her murderer was found guilty of first degree murder and a hate crime.
Like the U.S. women's movement, which has worked hard to challenge the cruel and faulty assumption that women are to be blamed for sexual assaults they survived, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement is fighting its own struggle to hold offenders of hate violence accountable for their actions.
Hatred of someone's gender presentation is not justification for violence in Zapata's case or in anyone else's.
The right to live free from violence is not conditional. It is a right granted to all of us regardless of whether or not we identify with the gender we were assigned at birth.
This is a human rights issue.
We call on our lawmakers to pass legislation that funds community-based prevention initiatives and public education that works to counter the stereotypes and misinformation at the root of hate violence and legislation removing “trans panic” as an admissible defense in court.
We call on people to stand up, speak out and organize to create safer communities where we are all free to live our lives without the fear of violence.