Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Transgender Woman Murdered in Queens

Queens, NY – The last images we have of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar are on a video capture at the entrance to her apartment building in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens with a tall man wearing a dark hoodie. Sometime late on Friday, March 26 or very early on Saturday, March 27, Ms. Gonzalez-Andujar, 29, was strangled to death in her home. Her body was not discovered until March 30, stripped of all her clothing except for her bra, lying across the bed in her ransacked apartment. Her Marilyn Monroe photos, part of a collection of Marilyn memorabilia her friends said was precious to her, were destroyed, frames smashed and images defaced. Police are continuing to investigate the apparent homicide, and have not yet issued a statement about the possible hate crime aspect of the case. It is difficult to believe that some form of transphobia or gender hatred did not motivate the murder to some degree, given the destruction of the Monroe photographs. The search is still on for the tall man who accompanied her into her home, a person authorities and friends presume to be Ms. Gonzalez-Andujar’s boyfriend. The New York Daily News, which broke the story, reports that a neighbor called police after becoming alarmed the evening of the 26th about the sound of a loud argument in the apartment. When the landlord beat loudly on the door, however, no one answered. One of the problems attendant to translife is a subtle form of isolation separating a transperson from getting to know neighbors in the usual way people relate in communities.  This isolation probably contributed to the lag time between Ms. Gonzalez-Andujoar’s disappearance and the discovery of her body in a fully occupied apartment building. A laptop with potential evidence of the identity of her murderer was missing, perhaps stolen in an attempt to slow law enforcement from tracking him down. EDGE Boston reports that the Queens Pride House and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund are expressing alarm at the continuing violence against transfolk in New York’s five boroughs. In a joint statement to the press, Pride House and TLDEF said, “As organizations serving the transgender community, we are very concerned about the safety of transgender women within our community. We condemn the violence against Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar and encourage swift action by law enforcement to apprehend suspects, and to fully investigate this brutal crime and bring all appropriate charges.” Commenting on the difficulty transgender women face in the United States, MtoF transwoman from Queens, Justine Valinotti writes in her blog, transwomantimes, “If we–that is to say, our souls–go anywhere after this life, I hope Amanda finds love and acceptance there.”

April 2, 2010 Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Hate Crimes, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Strangulation, transgender persons, transphobia, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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