I’ve been mentally putting together a post about a host of things - ‘trans panic’ defences, ‘deception’, victim blaming, and all the issues that’ve been swirling around my head in the wake of the Angie Zapata murder.
I’m not quite there yet, but there’s been a few excellent things written over the last couple of days, however, making some really excellent, and sometimes overlooked points when we’re talking about transphobic hate crimes. I put them here so I won’t forget as much as anything else, but they’re posts that really need to be read.
So why is it just a given that “it”-that the dehumanization of Zapata-is not necessarily intertwined with and dependent upon her identity as a Latina? That is, would the panic defense be so easy to get away with if Angie wasn’t Latina? Would she be so easy to turn into “it” if we U.S. citizens weren’t already perfectly aware that Latin@s are people who could “trick” us if we aren’t careful? Even more to the point, would it have been so easy to kill Angie Zapata if she weren’t a Latina living in a country that actively criminalizes and dehumanizes people who look, sound, and have names similar to Angie’s?
Seriously, don’t let anyone sell you the usual line that “oh, she tricked him and then he freaked out and killed her.” For one thing, even if that was the case, the appropriate reaction is not to kill someone. But more importantly, it’s often totally fabricated. But everyone just believes it because it’s so “plausible.” It’s the entire audience of listeners to these stories that need to wise up.
There’s also been quite a few people making the point that if you transfer the ‘deception’ bullshit so often used to blame trans murder victims for their own deaths into basically any other context, it just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Though I’m so unsurprised that even in these circumstances, some “feminist” folks can’t resist using our dead for a good old rhetorical debate: witness the turning of the Shakesville thread into a big ol’ debate about genderqueer pronouns. Ugh.