Light a Candle for Angie

Angie Zapata is a woman who was murdered in July 2008. I have written about her before. Her alleged murderer, Allen Andrade, is believed to have killed her because she was trans. The jury selection in the trial is set to begin on Tuesday, April 14th.

The video above was made by Angie’s family and friends as a part of a campaign to end the hate that caused someone to brutally take her life. These advertisements, via Questioning Transphobia, were also created by Angie’s family and a coalition of 50 civil rights and anti-violence organizations, and are running in 22 Colorado newspapers. The ads won’t be run in areas where the juror selection pool will be drawn from, so as not to be seen as attempting to influence them, but the aim is to raise awareness of violence against transgender people and encourage the hate to end.

It bears strong noting that Angie Zapata’s is the first murder of a transgender person that will be tried as a hate crime. This is a monumental moment for that reason, and also a highly sobering one — the Transgender Day of Remembrance is held ever year because of the fact that such astonishing numbers of transgender people are murdered as a result of hate.  The murders of so many should have been tried this way before.  It’s a disgrace that they were not.  And now, all we can do is hope for the best in Angie’s case, that the crime will be recognized for the act of hate and bigotry that it was, and that justice will be done.

Angie’s friends and family are asking you to light a candle for her. They don’t mean in your home, though you may choose to do so as well.  They mean publicly.  Become a fan of the page on Facebook, or a friend on MySpace.  Then, change your profile picture to that of a lit candle.  It can be one of the ones provided, or you can take a picture of yourself with a candle.  It’s up to you.  But change it, encourage your friends to do the same, and leave it there until the trial is over (it is currently set to last two weeks).  I’ve done it.  You can, too.  It’s the least that all of us can do. It’s an online vigil, take part.

Also, visit the Angie Zapata website and follow them for updates on Twitter. Put this badge in your own blog sidebar by saving the image, and putting the link to the facebook page around it (idea created by Autumn):


And check out the GLAAD Angie Zapata resource kit to learn more about why national hate crime legislation which protects on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation is desperately needed.

Just do something, anything, and preferably all that you can, to spread the word. This deadly hate has to end.

cross-posted at Feministe

0 thoughts on “Light a Candle for Angie

  1. SunlessNick

    The murders of so many should have been tried this way before. It’s a disgrace that they were not.

    Even more disgraceful, we’re not even past the point where such murders are treated as self-defense – as if transpeople were aggressing against their killers simply by existing.

  2. voz

    I noticed that u do not file these cases under violence against woman and girls, nor do you have a distinct trans category in ur tag cloud.

    perhaps ur site doesn’t allow u to classify us as women, eh? Or was it less of a technical concern, and more of a reflection of how u really see us?

    This is transmisogynistic. Separating out trans women from the factory issue version, and enforcing that separation is a big part of what got Angie killed.

    At this point, Cara, I have little hope for you. Despite r conversations, despite all the time u have been tooting ur horn as an ally, u still run a site that does not recognize trans women as in fact being women.

    nice knowin ya…ya me voy.

    1. Cara Post author

      Voz, I read your comment and was horrified that I left that tag off. I have a distinct memory of adding it, actually, and don’t know if my finger slipped or what . . . but when I saw you said “these cases,” I immediately checked, with additional horror, to see if it was on my previous Angie Zapata post.

      I was absolutely relieved that it was. It was there. As it should have been. As I intended it to be.

      I have properly added it to this post now, but I swear to you that it was already on the previous post. And though I have not checked, I am confident that it is on my previous posts about violence against trans women.

      I understand that you are upset and the choice is still up to you. I’m sincerely sorry for the distress I have caused you. But I do swear to you that it was an accident.

  3. Abby

    For another example showing that violence against trans people (fortuntely, only threatened violence in my friend Sarah’s case) is still alive and well, read here:

    I too will be watching the trial of Angie’s murderer and, even though I myself am a criminal defense attorney, hoping that her attorneys’ attempt to blame Angie’s murder on her and absolve Andrade completely will fail, as it should, both morally and legally.

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