Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Transwoman Murdered, Another Media Diss

Umm, this is getting ridiculous on a lot of levels. It's my sad duty to report that another transgender teen has lost her life. This time it happened in Greeley, CO to 18 year old Latina Angie Zapata.

Her family was supportive of her transition, but you wouldn't know it based on once again, a reporter (Mike Peters) not cracking open the AP Stylebook and failing to follow the guidelines in it for reporting on transgender people.

I ask once again, how fracking hard is it to follow this?
transgender-Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

Well, at least the media is consistent. We've seen numerous examples of media reports, no matter where the story is written that utterly failed to respect African-American transwomen.

Now it's a Latina.

Once again, if the media won't do it and respect our fallen transpeople, then I'm gonna do it my damned self on TransGriot. I'm rewriting Mike Peters July 17 story from the Greeley Tribune to show you what a properly written story on a transgender person following the AP Stylebook guidelines should look like.


In a quiet neighborhood in southeast Greeley, police Thursday were investigating the death of a victim they identified only as "a young woman."

Police were called to the apartment house in the 2000 block of 4th Avenue at about 3 p.m. Thursday when the body of an 18-year-old transgender woman was found in an upstairs apartment. Police at the scene said it appeared the young woman may have been dead for several hours before she was found.

The neighborhood is one-half block south of the University of Northern Colorado Transportation office. It's also about two blocks southeast of the Jackson Field Sports Complex.

Neighbors gathered on front lawns and in the streets as police officers arrived at the scene to begin the investigation. Yellow crime tape sealed off the upper floors of the two-story apartment complex. The apartment house is probably the newest building in the neighborhood, a large brick building with eight apartments and parking in the back.

A large group of children gathered across the street in the parking lot of a mobile home court, watching from their bicycles as the family grieved and the victim's body was removed.

The young woman's mother was outside the apartment, crying and screaming at police that she wanted to see her daughter. After police told her several times that they were keeping people out of the apartment to preserve the evidence, she left with friends and family.

Neighbors in the area all said they didn't know the people who lived in the apartment building.

The identity of the young woman was not released by Thursday night, nor was the cause of death.

Weld County Coroner Maria Vincent said the death appears to be a homicide, so she could not give any details. Sgt. Adam Turn said Greeley Police were waiting to officially rule the death as a homicide until the autopsy is conducted at 10 a.m. today.


Of course, local transgender peeps and our allies are outraged by the disrespectful way Angie's murder was written up in the paper. Here's a press release from Kelly Costello of the Colorado Anti-Violence Project.

On Thursday, July 17, Angie Zapata, an 18-year old Latina transwoman was murdered in her home in Greeley, CO. She suffered two severe fractures in her skull. Her family believes that she was murdered by her boyfriend or members of her boyfriend's gang because of her gender identity.

The Greeley Tribune, a local newspaper reporting on this case, continues to use an incorrect name and pronouns for Angie. Her family has been very supportive of her and are both angry and upset at this lack of accuracy and sensi tivity in reporting. Please let the Greeley Tribune know that this is not acceptable and their lack of appropriate reporting is contributing to an environment where violence against transgender people is continuing. Contact information for the newspaper, editor and reporter is below.

The perpetrator has stolen Angie's sister's car, a very dark forest green 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser with the Colorado license plate number 441ORN. There is a hubcap missing on the front passenger-side tire and there is paint missing on the front bumper on the driver-side, under the headlight.

Anyone with information about the car is asked to call the Greeley police through the communications center, 970-350-9600. In addition, Angie's cell phone and wallet were also stolen.

All media contacts should be directed to Kelly Costello, Director of Victim Services at the Colorado Anti-Violence Program (CAVP) at either kelly@coavp.org or 303-839-5204. CAVP works to eliminate violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities in Colorado.

Kelly Costello
Director of Victim Services
Colorado Anti-Violence Program
P.O. Box 181085
Denver, CO 80218

(888)557-4441 toll-free

Greeley Tribune

Write a letter to the editor

Randy Bangert, Editor
Phone Number: (970) 392-4435
E-Mail: rbangert@greeleytribune.com

Mike Peters, Reporter
Phone Number: (970) 392-4433
E-Mail: mpeters@greeleytribune.com



Hey there!

This is very, very sad....

I challenged a journalist about this issue about how transgenders are reported... he said "we have to report on facts and not on illusions when it comes to a person's identification...!


Clearly, he is stating that there is some sort of policy that reporters can not "misidentify" an individual just to appease that person's "illusion"?

I am getting a headache just typing this....

{shaking my head}

Monica Roberts said...

Yeah right, Lisa

They catered to the Bush administration's 'illusions' for the last 7 years

VĂ©ro B said...

Monica, is this an update?

Monica Roberts said...

I knew the folks in Colorado's transgender community were incensed by the initial story along with the parents of Angie Zapata.

maybe this will finally be the wake-up call that we need for the MSM to strive for balance in accurately reporting on transpeople.

Calling someone a 'man' who isn't living as one isn't 'stating the facts'.

Unknown said...

What makes me mad is the fact that this senseless kind of violence is still going on. Another thing that is upsetting is that neither the Denver papers nor the Boulder paper carried this story. I first had heard about it through the Ft. Collin's Lambda Centers e-mail.



MileHighGayGuy said...

Brilliant post Monica!

Monica Roberts said...

Glad I could help get the word out about this.