When I was a teen, I acted shamefully. I had a friend, who’s name was Brett, who I ended up shunning when he came out as a gay teen. I was a closeted trans person who’s church — I was raised a Pentecostal — was, well, much less than “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans affirming.” I didn’t want to hang out with my effeminate gay friend because I was afraid people would be able to tell I was trans — or believe I was gay — if I was seen in the company of a gay peer.

As many of us remember doing, some of us in the gay community went beyond shunning when we were in the closet — we were homophobic and transphobic bullies. We were the ones who were the worst at calling individually out lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans (LGBT) people, or gender variant people (effeminate males and masculine females) as “faggot,” “fairy,” “dyke,” “it,” and “that thing.” Many of us, when we were closeted, were physically violent against those who were out as LGBT, or who were gender variant.

We were so often afraid of being discovered as LGBT ourselves that we called others names, and/or became physically violent to out LGBT individuals because we were afraid that if we were seen as not being bullies against out LGBT individuals and gender variant people, we would be discovered as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender ourselves.

In court yesterday, three things that I thought were very significant were entered into evidence. To me, these explain this crime is a way many in the LGBT community “get,” in the mode of many of having been homophobic and transphobic before we came out.

The first thing is that Allen Ray Andrade, according to his ex-girlfriend, was seen browsing the bisexual pages of the social networking website Mocospace.

The second thing is that hat Allen Ray Andrade, according to his ex-girlfriend, was a “snapcat” (or “snap cat”). He was called this because he was often quick to snap to anger. The ex-girlfriend also testified that he literally hit himself sometimes when he got angry at himself.

Lastly, a pink vibrator was entered into evidence that was collected from Angie Zapata’s apartment. When DNA tested, only Allen Ray Andrade’s unidentified DNA (as in it was with scientifically certainty that this was his DNA, but it wasn’t as being his semen — not sure identifiable as which part of the body the DNA came from), was on the vibrator. The defense was trying to argue that this could be “touch” DNA from someone who was particularly sweaty, but the DNA testing expert stated that “possible, but not probable.” This is because of the amount of Andrade’s DNA was on the pink vibrator.

Paraphrasing he DNA expert, she explained that her studies and experience in DNA that would lead her to a reading amount of 3.19 measuring units of DNA if he had put the pink vibrator in his mouth, but he had 19 point something units of measuring units of his DNA on the pink vibrator — in other words, more than six times the DNA material expect if he had sucked on the pink vibrator. The Deputy DA who was questioning the DNA expert asked if this large amount of DNA could be explained by putting that pink vibrator up  an anus, and the DNA expert said yes, this would be one of the ways one could expect to find that much DNA material on this pink vibrator.  

In other words, the Deputy DA was essentially making the case Andrade had sexually used the pink vibrator in his anus.

Today, we’re going to hear a jailhouse telephone call between Allen Ray Andrade and his ex-girlfriend. In that phone call, he is going to be heard saying:

Gay things must die.

I go back to how I treated my friend Brett in high school. It was self-hate that motivated me to act homophobicly.

I’m only speculating, but it sounds like to me that we had a self-hater who killed someone whom he regretted that he spent time with. We in our community who have been in-the-closet homophobic bullies on the way to accepting our own sexual orientation, or own gender identity, know what that this not only is possible, but in this case probably probable.

By circumstantial evidence, the prosecution is showing that he went to traffic court on July 15th, 2008 with Angie — the day before he admittedly killed Angie. He allegedly heard the court refer to Angie by her male name approximately 36-hours before he killed her.

Angie ZapataAnd, we heard the testimony last Friday that Angie’s sister Monica literally saw Angie “always” out herself to strangers — especially male strangers that were hitting on her. Frankly, Angie was young and gorgeous, so she was hit on “a lot” by men. And yet, she had the habit of outing herself to men [add to sentence follows] when she could have just as easily chose not to out herself in the casual, non-sexual meeting-people situations.

In my mind…by my speculation…this wasn’t a crime of passion. Allen Ray Andrade very likely knew Angie was trans many hours — more than a day — before he admittedly killed her. It looks to me that a publicly homophobic, closeted gay or bisexual man killed a woman he saw as trans and gay because he didn’t want to be identified as gay himself. In my mind, this reads as a crime of angry regret instead of a crime of passion. The gay panic, trans panic strategy that Andrade’s defense is using seems to me to be a convenient ruse to violently attempt to hide his own sexuality. This would be no excuse for killing Angie — the young woman that he, after admittedly killing her, referred to as “it.”

Not he, not she, but “it.”

So, let me backtrack a bit — back to my story about Brett.

Brett, if you’re reading this piece, I’m so sorry. So, so, very sorry. I was a closeted, homophobic fool. I regret so deeply being an emotional bully to you — just so I wouldn’t be discovered as a gender variant, trans person. It’s my greatest regret in life — shunning you. You were my friend, and yet I behaved so wrongly to you. I’m so, so very sorry.