Recently, MJD posted a much-discussed diary on ColoradoPols: “The Angie Zapata Act”:
Somewhat lost in the celebration and remembrance of Matthew Shepard, the bill’s namesake, was the story of Angie Zapata, an 18 year-old transgender woman from Greeley. She was brutally beaten to death with a fire extinguisher and left for dead just over a year ago because, as the thug who murdered confessed, “gay things must die.”
Zapata, of course, hasn’t been the only overlooked victim of a hate crime. I was just reminded of the case of Fred Martinez–the “youngest-ever victim of a hate crime”–while looking at the schedule for the Starz Denver Film Festival. The documentary “Two Spirits” will playing on November 21:
In 2001, 16-year-old Fred Martinez was brutally murdered near his hometown of Cortez, Colorado. He was poor, Navajo, and transgendered – a girl in a boy’s body. Fred was blessed to have grown up with the cultural belief there are four genders, not only male and female but mixed identities like his. Among his own people, he was accepted as nádleehí, a word that means “one who constantly transforms” in the Navajo language; it connotes a spiritual and sexual being who is also known to and honored by other Native American cultures as a “two-spirit person.” The traditional roles of such people have included healing, mediation, and the parenting of orphans. The tragedy of Fred’s life, however, is that also he grew up in small-town America, where far narrower views of both ethnicity and gender ultimately proved fatal to him.
Looks like a disturbing — yet worthy — documentary.
(Side note: Music at end of trailer by Patti Smith.)