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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yes, it can happen in San Francisco

Last Friday the body of a Hispanic male-to-female transgendered person was found naked in a bleak industrial area of San Francisco. As of the today, five days later, there are no leads and no witnesses. Only a few puzzling soundbites in the local press and a vague tie-in to a naked blonde female seen hitchhiking in the vicinity around the time the body was found.

This murder offers a disturbing glance at the simmering hate that exists even in San Francisco. The madness is here, too.

Then we remember the high-profile case of Gwen Araujo, a transgendered teen from the Bay Area who was brutally murdered by three male acquaintances in 2002 upon discovery she was genetically male. In 2005, these same men were cleared of committing a hate crime by a jury of our peers. A crime "motivated by feelings of enmity against an identifiable social group." Say what! And so we discover that we Bay-Area-dwellers do not live in a happy shiny bubble of love. In fact, something is very wrong here. Not just in the way out yonder Red States.

The tragedy of the situation only grows when we consider that this is only one of an unknown number of transgender victims, many of whom will know never show up in the newspaper and whose names we'll never know.

If you have more information on the case, SF based Community United Against Violence has sent out a media alert asking community members to contact them or the SFPD with any information that you may have relating to the case:

· Tina D'Elia, CUAV's Hate Violence Survivor Program Director: (415) 777-5500 ext. 304
· The SFPD Hot Line: (415) 575-4444
· Homicide Detail Inspectors Karen Lynch or Tom Cleary: (415) 553-1145


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