I filled out the post a little bit. In my haste to post something, I left out my thoughts on the quotes — why they were hurtful in the sense that these quotes were specifically about Angie, but had broader implications, and hit for me a little too close to where I live.
And then, we spell checked too.
I listened to a lot of statements made by Angie Zapata yesterday afternoon and this morning as audio played in court. There were five jailhouse telephone calls from Allen Ray Andrade, the admitted killer of Angie Zapata: one to Angie Tyree, and four to Felicia Mendoza. These were all recorded, collect calls from jailhouses to these two witnesses.
The title to this piece is a quote from Andrade — it was from one of the calls played in court yesterday.
I’d have liked to have this diary up yesterday, as I broke down in tears in the courtroom twice yesterday over the feelings of lost humanity…a feeling that my life, in the defendant’s and his…well, my tears were over statements made by Andrade in his calls to Mendoza. It wasn’t just that the comments were just demeaning to Angie — which these statements definitely were — but in how one statement played to all the transyouth, trans adults, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults who all could be the next hate crime victims … the next Angie’s. Andrade’s statements in the first quote so much of a broader commentary about minority populations in general.
And, the second quote — it just hit too close to home. I wasn’t mentally prepared for flood of emotions upon hearing it.
I’d also love this diary to be more detailed, but I’m writing most of this during my lunch break.
It’s not like I went up to a schoolteacher and shot her in the head or … killed a law-abiding straight citizen.
It was a comment not just about Angie, but about all trans people — all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people. The problem with this quote is that there is a measure of truth to this quote — it goes to how a gay panic/trans panic strategy is likely to be used in a killing of a trans victim, no matter what the circumstances of the homicide. I felt a sense of loss and worthlessness in hearing the audio statement.
The other is one I suppressed sobs over was this one from Andrade to Mendoza:
Did you see that thing in make-up?
I added the emphasis — Andrade did not say “that thing” in any particularly emphasizing way.
The reason that one evoked tears was that the last time I was called a trans related epithet to my face, it was “that thing.” It just reminds me of being perceived and treated as a less than human being. So, it brought me to both identifying with Angie as the victim of a brutal killing, and an awareness of sharing the epithet of “that thing” with Angie. One more way her death and family’s pain became personal for me…it’s hard for me to separate from her in my reporting when I identify so much with her.
Tears. Lots of tears. There’s a reason I bring tissues to court.