I’ve been thinking a lot about the Angie Zapata murder. I have a personal interest in the case. For those who do not know, Angie was an 18 year old, pre-op transsexual. Angie identified and lived as a woman. She wanted to take the steps to physically become a woman, but that was all taken away when Allen Ray Andrade came into her life.

As much as I have to say that Allen Ray Andrade had no right to kill Angie, I have to believe this was a major warning to the transgender community, as a whole. No one has the right to take another life (except in self-defense – if you are going to try and kill me I’m going to try to kill you back and that is okay IMO). Angie was young and made a mistake in getting involved with Andrade, and it cost the young woman her life.

I am glad Andrade got a harsh sentence, but it’d be nice if we could get true justice by torturing these kinds of murderers. He had no remorse and stole Angie’s car, to escape, which is how he was found. Still, something is nagging me, by the entire situation. Angie ignored warning signs that might have ensured she was alive today. I think Andrade would still have killed someone else, because no one is capable of that much violence (Angie was essentially, violently bludgeoned to death) without being hardwired for such actions. Still, I can’t help but think Angie’s death could have been prevented.

If you plan to have a sexual relationship with someone and you have had or want to have sexual reassignment surgery, you owe it to your partner to disclose this. Angie performed oral sex on Andrade and he didn’t know she was a transsexual. When he discovered it, he planned out her murder. Psychologists say that is because Andrade hated gay people (and was probably gay himself and in denial), confusing gender dysphoria with sexuality (they are different). Angie may have prevented his violent rage by being honest from the time she knew she wanted to be intimate with him.

If you are post-op I can see not telling just anyone about your past (it’s redundant), but I personally think it is only fair to disclose your past to those you plan to be intimate with in any way in you are pre-op. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to be intimate with anyone who was hateful towards me because they don’t understand gender identity issues. Of course, I may be the minority on this. Still, this bit of advice can and will save lives. It is for the trans person’s protection!

My other problem with Andrade is his look. He looks like he could be a part of a white supremacist group. These men hate gay people. Angie knew Andrade hated gay people and she probably knew he was stupid enough to confuse her gender identity issues with her being gay (which she isn’t), yet she still had sex with him. She wouldn’t let him touch her though, so she knew he would freak out if he found out. Had she listened to the warnings, I believe she would still be alive.

It reminds me of another tragic death, that of Brandon Teena. Also dealing with gender identity issues, Brandon was murdered by a group of men and his story was the basis for the movie Boys Don’t Cry starring Hilary Swank as Brandon. Brandon knew these guys were stupid rednecks, and yet he hung out with them. He knew they hated people like Brandon and yet he continued to date a woman (without telling her the truth) who the men were close to. The entire thing might have been prevented had Brandon been honest with the woman. He didn’t deserve to die, but common sense reasoning might just have saved his life.

These deaths…Brandon and Angie…are warnings to our community. Whether we are post op or pre op, we owe it not only to our sexual partners, but to ourselves to be careful when sleeping with them if we are not disclosing. We need to consider doing so, for our own protection. Not only is it the right thing to do, it could save a life. Statistics show that 1 in 12 transgender individuals are at risk of being victims of violence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a statistic. Learn from Angie’s death and be smart and safe. The law can only protect us from people like Andrade so much. The rest is up to us.

[tags]transgender, transsexual, Angie Zapata, Allen Ray Andrade, warning, death, Brandon Teena[/tags]

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