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Angie Zapata, 18, Dead from Transphobia

Perhaps because I surround myself with so many gender-queer folks, I sometimes forget what it's like to interact with non-gender-queer people that have a HUGE problem with the gender-queer.

So, let me run it down for you what happened to Angie Zapata:
- She met a man, Allen Ray Andrare, and set a date. Yay dates! Squee, right?
- She invited him home, for a nightcap, I imagine, and performs oral sex on him.
- The next day, Andrare looks around the apartment and sees photos that make him question what he's done.
- He confronts Angie, and when he demands what her gender is, she says, "I'm all woman."
- He grabs her crotch, finds male genitals.

He then proceeded to beat the shit out of her with a fire extinguisher.

After that, she's on the floor, bloodied up and shit right? Later, he would say, he thought he had "killed it."

IT.

Not "her", nor even "him", but "IT".

You know, that pronoun we usually reserve for things? Objects?

AND SO HE BEATS THE SHIT OUT OF HER AGAIN.

THIS TIME TO DEATH.


And then he runs off.

With her car.


Wait for it!

People will come squealing out from all corners, pleading "trans-panic", that he was brought to a sudden fit of rage and panic. Rage at having been "fooled" into sleeping with a man. (Because we all know this is like, the most demasculating act ever right?) Panic, because what would people say? BLAM. That his reaction was perfectly understandable, she should have told him right off the bat. That it was her fault anyway for hooking up with a person she'd met online. That this wasn't a hate crime, for several dozens reasons why this couldn't be a hate crime, just another random occurance in the daily life of the Planet! That she, being a trans, was probably a prostitute (yeah, like THAT matters) so of COURSE it would happen! That he didn't have a chance to think about what he was doing.

Riiiiiiiiight. He didn't have a chance to think about what he was doing, even after she was trying to get up the first time after being beaten and he bludgeoned her again to death. He TOTALLY didn't have a chance to think about what he was doing - that's why he also ran off with her car! (and purse, and keys, and cellphone.) Because that is exactly what totally panicking people do!

What else could he have done? He could have walked away. He could have just left and not said another word. He could have chalked it up as a mistake and made sure to double-check a person's genitals before sleeping with them again. He could have done a LOT OF OTHER THINGS BESIDES KILL HER.

She was only eighteen. And it just hit home that she's.... younger than me.

A few critiques from around the blogosphere:

Melissa from Shakesville: Andrade could have shouted, could have stormed out, could have just gone quietly and never looked back. But he had to "kill it." He had to destroy all trace and presence of what he perceived as a mistake that impugned his very manhood. And so he grabbed at the notion of transgender people as "things," as freaks and monsters, as Its, the narrative of objects and outcasts, always so close at hand in a culture hostile to everything and everyone different—he grabbed it and seized it and held it close while he killed a living, breathing person. Angie Zapata. A trans woman who was loved.

And now people who never, ever, would have known the names Allen Ray Andrade or Angie Zapata know that they fucked and know that he murdered her. Because he couldn't bear to just walk away. Because he is a coward who would rather kill than defend his choices, and a stupid man who didn't consider that stealing Zapata of her humanity to justify slaying her would only rob him of whatever humanity he ever had.


From Questioning Transphobia: But also, Andrade assaulted Zapata physically - he grabbed for her genitals because she wouldn’t tell him that she was trans. He obviously felt entitled to handle her body as he saw fit. What would have happened if she hadn’t been trans, or had previously had surgery? It’d be sexual assault. It still is sexual assault, followed immediately by a brutal murder.

Sam's elegant religious analogy at Feministe: On Passover, Jews recount the joyful story of the exodus from Egypt, the journey from slavery to freedom. Yet this freedom came at a price: in the story, God brought ten plagues on the Egyptians—even killing all the firstborn males in the kingdom—before Pharaoh would allow the people to leave the land. During the seder celebrations on the night of Passover, when the ten plagues are recounted, it is a custom among many Jews to spill a drop of wine from their cups, to symbolize the fact that we cannot celebrate with a full cup when that celebration is born of other people’s suffering.

From PageOneQ: "It should be frightening to all of us," Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told PageOneQ. "What is indisputable is that a beautiful teenager, who was loved by her family and her friends, was beaten with a fire extinguisher by someone who thought he was somehow justified in doing so. [Angie] wasn't killed because she was lying to him. She wasn't killed because she had a secret. She was killed because we live in a society that doesn't teach not to kill."

More links:
La Chola
Transgriot
Post Chronicle
Rocky Mountain News
ABC News
Greeley Tribune

Comments

( 5 Words — Have Your Say )
lisaquestions
Aug. 3rd, 2008 06:29 am (UTC)
My point with the sexual assault quote is incomplete. :( I was trying to say there'd be real outrage all over the place if she were cis and a man grabbed at her crotch, whether or not he killed her afterward.
fantasyecho
Aug. 3rd, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
My apologies. I really latched on to the idea of male entitlement that was oozing from his actions towards her, which would have happened whether she was trans or cis. Except, obviously, there would have been more outrage if she had been cis. I'm not sure what else I should have quoted, since that entire paragraph packs in both male entitlement and cis-privilege (and I linked in case someone else wanted full context). I'm willing to fix it; just let me know how!
lisaquestions
Aug. 3rd, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
What? No, no apologies! I was just reading it by itself and thinking "oh, wow, I didn't say that as well as I wanted to."

Your post is great.
fantasyecho
Aug. 3rd, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, haha. I liked how you said it; like I said, there were two ideas within that one paragraph, which was neat ^^

Thanks for reading!
eiko82
Aug. 3rd, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
WTF?!? That is absolutely horrible!

That poor, poor girl. I hope that jerk rots in prison and then in hell for a very, very long time.
( 5 Words — Have Your Say )