I've been meaning to blog about this for a while, and I haven't been able to find the words. But after reading Emily's post at Questioning Transphobia, I have to say something.
Angie Zapata was a transgender woman killed by a man after he discovered that she was transgender. His trial just started, and the defense is attempting to, in essence, say that he deserves to be let off because she "tricked" him.
Quite obviously, this clears the way for the inevitable “trans panic” defense, a form of victim blaming that only appears to have legal credibility when applied to trans people. So yes, I realise it is the defense’s job to cast doubt onto every piece of evidence that the prosecution raises, and even to attack the credibility of the victim and any material witnesses. But this is not doing that. It does not raise the question of whether Angie was of good character or not–it suggests from the start that she never could have been. This is pandering to the worst in cissexist biases, and painting transness of itself as deserving of death.
This is hate speech legitimating hate violence, pure and simple.
I agree, and I don't have much to add to her post. I wrote about this before at my blog, and there are links to the original posts about the murder here.
I wish I had anything coherent to say, but the torture memos have already fucked me up this week, so the only thing I can say is what kind of a world do we live in where it's OK to kill someone because she "tricked" you? Where that makes you a "victim"?