Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Transgender Latina teen murdered in Colorado

History unfortunately keeps repeating itself. Word tonight that a 18 year-old transgender Latina woman has been murdered in Greely, Colorado.

NBC affiliate 9 News reports that close to 200 people gathered today at a Baptist church to mourn the passing of Angie Zapata (born Justin) who was found beaten to death in her apartment a week ago on Thursday.

Police indicate that they have information that might lead to an arrest and have not ruled out that this might be a hate crime but they have also indicated that the killer or killers might be acquaintances of the victim.

On a related matter, blogger TransGriot is taking the Associated Press to task for their common practice of calling trans people by their name of birth instead of their current adopted name ("Another transwoman murdered, another media diss").

AP reporter Mike Peters - who wrote the original story and made no mention of Zapata's gender identity ("Car still missing in homicide") - acknowledged his mistake in a follow up column posted today ("Homicide victim was living as a woman"). Unfortunately he takes a defensive attitude and name-tags the Greely police department, the Weld County's Coroner's Office, and the fact that Angie identified herself with the name of Justin in a couple appearances before a Colorado court for traffic-related violations as reason enough to have identified her as a male in his first report.

Both her parents, who mourn her passing at this time, accepted her fully as a woman and are said to have been greatly supportive of Angie. Let's hope they catch the perpetrators.

1 comment:

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks Andres for the shout out.

As you picked up on, I'm tired of the media continuing to diss transgender people when the AP Stylebook guidelines for writing about transgeder people have been in place and published since 2001.

It's also distressing that 60% of the Remembering our Dead list that memorializes fallen transgender people is disproportionately made up of people of color.