Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

NYC Memorial for Jorge Steven López Mercado – Sunday, November 22 at the Christopher Street Piers (Tentative), 7 – 9 p.m. Further Information: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179256219695

Jorge Steven López Mercado, 19

November 18, 2009 Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Blame the victim, Decapitation and dismemberment, gay men, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, immolation, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, New York, Remembrances, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NYC Memorial for Jorge Steven López Mercado – Sunday, November 22 at the Christopher Street Piers (Tentative), 7 – 9 p.m. Further Information: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179256219695

DC Trans Murder ‘Possible’ Hate Crime

Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack, Aram Vartian photo for the Blade

Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack, Aram Vartian photo for the Blade

Washington, DC – Police found the bleeding body of Tyli’a “NaNa Boo” Mack, a 21-year-old transwoman of color on the sidewalk at 209 Q Street, N.W. on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 26.  She and a second transwoman had been stabbed after an apparent hate crime attack, according to the Washington Blade.  30 minutes later, Ms. Mack was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.  The second victim’s identity has not been released for her own protection, pending the success of the investigation of the Gay and Lesbian Unit of the D.C. police force, who are handling the case.  Sources in the G&L Unit report preliminarily that some homophobic and transphobic language may have been used by the attacker(s), and so the crime has been tentatively designated as bias motivated.  A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who carried out the fatal attack against Ms. Mack.  The Mack family, led by her mother, Beverlyn Mack, are encouraging anyone with information about the crime to come forward.  Both Ms. Mack and the surviving victim were clients of THE, Transgender Health Empowerment, a non-profit agency offering a range of programs and counseling to the transgender population of the District of Columbia.  Brian Watson, an official of THE, related an account of what happened in the attack according to the report given him by the surviving victim on Thursday.  According to the eye witness account as related by Watson, a man and a woman began an argument with Ms. Mack at the Giant Supermarket on Ninth and O Streets, N.W.  They followed the two transgender women as they headed from the supermarket toward the offices of THE at North Capitol and P Streets N.W., and the argument continued off and on for the whole 10 block journey.  As they reached the 200 block of Q Street N.W., the argument “escalated,” and the man stabbed both Ms. Mack and her friend.  Anthony Hall, executive director of THE, issued the following statement to the press: “As members of the transgender community, we are too well aware of the mental and physical effects of threats and violence. The violent attack on Aug. 26 is one in a long string of violence against transgender people in the Metro D.C. area.”

August 31, 2009 Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Slurs and epithets, stabbings, transgender persons, transphobia, Washington, D.C., women | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on DC Trans Murder ‘Possible’ Hate Crime

NC Gay Bashings Alarm Wilmington and Greensboro

Chaz Housand shows gay bashing injuries (Paul Stephen photo for StarNewsOnline)

Chaz Housand shows gay bashing injuries (Paul Stephen photo for StarNewsOnline)

Wilmington, NC – Protesters are calling for hate crime protection for the LGBT community in New Hanover County, the heart of Coastal Carolina country, after two gay men were brutally beaten unconscious last month.  Three men shouting anti-gay slurs attacked Chaz Housand and Chet Saunders as they walked out of the door of a popular Front Street bar in the early morning of July 17, according to witnesses at the scene. StarNewsOnline reports that just after 2 a.m., witnesses flagged down a police officer to tell him that two young men had been beaten.  Both Housand, 22, and Saunders, also 22, had no recollection of the attack.  “The last thing I remember,” Housand told reporter Dave Reynolds, “I was walking out of the door.  Then I remember waking up in the hospital.”  The only thing the victims can think motivated the attack was their sexual orientation.  The recollection of the eyewitnesses, and the severity of the wounds inflicted on the two gay men seem to substantiate that suspicion.  According to the police incident report, a witness remembered one of the suspected attackers shouting, “This is our town!” as he struck Housand and Saunders.  Three suspects were arrested by the police in short order and charged with the assault: Jong Tae Chung, 27; Melvin Lee Spicer, 25; and Daniel Minwoo Lee, 21.  While North Carolina does not have a hate crime law that covers sexual orientation, District Attorney Ben David told Star News that a judge may very well increase the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony in light of the brutality of the attack and the extensive injuries sustained by the victims.  Bones in Housand’s face were broken and he suffered deep cuts above his eye and around his mouth.  Saunders suffered a concussion and internal bruising, and he has still not recovered the motor skills needed to use a knife and a fork to feed himself as of July 27. Housand, who had been celebrating his birthday with his friend just before the attack, told reporters that as a university student, he had been involved in social action to change North Carolina’s hate crimes statute to include sexual orientation, but never imagined he would be personally involved in a hate crime.  Public Radio, WHQR FM, reports that the downtown beating last month ignited protests by LGBT people and straight allies outside the New Hanover County Courthouse August 24.  Outraged by the bashing, locals are calling on the state to protect LGBT citizens.  Some in the LGBT community are convinced that the attack was hate-motivated due to the hallmark overkill of the assault.  Lynn Casper, one of the courthouse protesters, said that everything about the bashing indicates that it was about homophobia, and gay people in Wilmington are frightened.  “I’ve heard a lot of people talk in the queer community,” Casper told reporters.  “They’re a lot more scared now.”  Wilmington, the largest city on the Carolina coast, is no stranger to anti-LGBT murder.  Lesbian Talana Quay Kreeger, 32, was manually disemboweled by a trucker in 1990.  Tab Ballis, a local documentary filmmaker, is working to complete a film telling her story, called “Park View.” Now, LGBT people across the Tarheel State are worried that bias crimes against anyone perceived to be gay are on the rise.  In Greensboro, the largest city in the Piedmont, a 25-year-old Pilot Mountain man was attacked on July 4 by a group of young men yelling anti-gay epithets.  Matt Comer of Q Notes reports that the as-yet unidentified victim was merely thought to be gay by his assailants who targeted him as he left a popular gay night club with two gay friends.  The victim was struck on the back of the head and knocked to the ground.  His friends ran to find help.  Greensboro Police have arrested Tyren Hassan McNeill, 25, and charged him with felony aggravated assault.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Beatings and battery, Bludgeoning, gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Legislation, Lesbian women, Mistaken as LGBT, North Carolina, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Protests and Demonstrations, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, Stomping and Kicking Violence | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fate of Angie Zapata’s Confessed Murderer Goes to Jury


Allen Ray Andrade, on trial for the Murder of transgender woman Angie Zapata, awaits his verdict in Greeley, CO today. Prosecution goes for first degree murder. Andrade, already confessed to the murder, was deeply homophobic, according to statements from the jail to girlfriends, such as “Gay things must die.”

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Bludgeoning, Colorado, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, transgender persons | , , , , | Comments Off on Fate of Angie Zapata’s Confessed Murderer Goes to Jury


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