Thursday, April 23, 2009

Angie Zapata and the body

This week Allen Andrade was convicted of first degree murder and of hate crimes for killing Angie Zapata because "he found out" she was a transwoman. @justiceforangie liveblogged most (or all, I'm not sure) of the trial on twitter.

I came across the feed a few days ago and realized that I haven't at all addressed the issues of transmen and transwomen in advertising. Part of this, of course, is probably for the same reason I've failed to mention anything concrete about disability in advertising either. My lack of knowledge (both academically and socially) of either group, I'm ashamed to say, made it easy for me to overlook them though they were well within the scope of this project.

I've already finished the paper based around this project and am actually sitting just outside of the class I'm about to turn it in at, and I feel bad that I can't take some time to add issues I missed to my project.

One of the things that stood out to me during while I was reading the liveblog was this tweet:

@justiceforangie: Saying finding out that Angie has male genitalia was sufficient "provocation." #zapata

The entire defense was based not around the idea that Andrade didn't commit the crime, but that his finding out (though I think they proved he already knew) about Zapata being transgender was reason enough to cause a reaction that ended in her death. This transphobic defense was a surprise to no one.

It says quite a bit about what people expect of the human body that these people would even consider trying to justify a lethal action by saying that this man discovering a penis is provocation.

Thankfully, though, the jury knew otherwise and this man is going to jail.