Equality on the brink.

I write this installation of KW because of a recent discussion on Facebook.  The topic touched on my concerns / fear of discrimination against Gays.  I answered here, on KW, because the text is so lengthy.

The last question posed during this discussion on Facebook came from Mark.

I must be naive. Help me understand what Trump has done which would exile you to Wyoming? I have an increased anxiety both from government regulations and radical animal rights group. I was called all kind of nasty names by lefties after last election. White cops felt unsupported last four years. Seems like society has a lot of tension which started to ramp up over last five years. But I won’t live in fear. Didn’t Roosevelt say “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”? I think we have checks and balances in places. You already see the more extreme statements getting walked back. I give Trump a 50. He has both negatives and positives. I hope at the end of the day I come in above average. And sorry about making you hit the red light.

Hi Mark.  Thank you for those great insights.  But I feel there is cause to be guarded, especially for certain groups.

I understand, we all have our challenges, and those who oppose us.  We are all in the same soup there, on some level.  However, some factions of our population seemed to be more targeted than others.  Take the most recent destruction of Jewish Cemeteries, and recent bomb threats to the Jewish Community.

In our particular comparison, I Googled “Hate Crimes against Dairy Farmers” and did not get any viable hits.  I then Googled “Hate Crimes against Gays” and the results were sizable.

BELOW is a list of Hate Crimes against the LGBT Community, in the most RECENT years (since 2010).  The list goes on, and on, year by year, decade by decade.  These crimes include assault, battery, and murder.

Besides this list of crimes, why do I fear ending up in a detainment camp, or worse yet, murdered because of who I am?

History has a way of repeating itself.  As the list at the end of this suggests, Hate Crimes are alive and well.  But not in our community?  Not until it happens.  If my partner and I, of nearly 30 years, went in to the Eaton Place, and held hands across the table, we would be ostracized, to say the very least.   We really don’t have any equality in that faction.   Or in many others.

I won’t even go in to the religious views on this.  We could beat the Bible all night long, back and forth.  But we have “family and friends” who do not accept,  or recognize, our lifetime commitment to one another, because we are “sinners” in their eyes.  I cannot tell you the gut-wrenching utter sadness, and disappointment, this causes me.  My God made me just the way I am. Joyfully.  My God is all loving.

But  what about our current government.  Well, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with people who have a reputation and history of running anti-gay campaigns, legislation, and policies.  Trump transition team’s domestic policy advisor, Ken Blackwell, has said gays can be reformed, “just like arsonists.”

There are the like of Jeff Sessions,  who has a“zero percent” voting record on LGBT rights.  This record goes beyond voting for a failed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and against the repeal of “Don’t ask don’t tell,” as Sessions did, and includes his opposition to expanding the definition of a hate crime to include LGBTQ people.

Then, Ben Carson.  He has said sexual orientation is a choice, comparing gay sex to bestiality, and opining that LGBTQs have more rights than Christians in America.

Betsy DeVos, our Education Matron, is an antigay activist. Her family has donated to anti-gay groups, including groups that advocate for the widely discredited conversion therapy to “cure” gays of their same-sex attraction.  What is she going to do for protecting LGBT kids in school, who are just figuring out who they are?

Steve Bannon and his alleged coddling of white supremacists. But as the chairman of Breitbart News Network, he also signed off on antigay stories, with headlines like “Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It’s Time to Get Back in the Closet.”

Mike Pence.  Our Vice President.  As Indiana governor, Pence signed a controversial “license to discriminate” bill that allowed business to refuse service to LGBTQ people. As a Congressman, he urged lawmakers to “oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status.”

These are the reasons for my concern.  There are people in high-ranking, government positions, who have set out to pass legislation against me.

I am confounded by this.  I am scared by this.  And I do not know how FAR THEY will take this.


•    January 18, 2010 – The half-naked corpse of Myra Chanel Ical, a 51-year-old trans woman of color, was found in a vacant lot in Houston, Texas.[133]
•    March 30, 2010 – Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old Latina trans woman, was found dead in her Queens, New York, apartment. The autopsy found that her attacker, Rasheen Everett, had strangled her then doused her body with bleach.[134] In December 2013 Everett was sentenced to 29 years to life. At sentencing Everett’s lawyer, John Scarpa, disputed the sentence with the statement: “Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?” The judge, Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter responded, “This court believes every human life in sacred… It’s not easy living as a transgender, and I commend the family for supporting her.”[135]
•    April 3, 2010 – Toni Alston, a black 44-year-old transgender woman, was shot in the front door of her home in western Charlotte, North Carolina.[136]
•    May 7, 2010 – Dana A. “Chanel” Larkin, a 26-year-old black trans woman who worked as a prostitute, was shot three times in the head by her client, Andrew Olacirequi, after she asked him if he was okay with them having sex despite her male genitalia. She was found dead on the pavement of a Milwaukee street.[137]
•    June 21, 2010 – Sandy Woulard, a 28-year-old trans woman, was shot in the chest in South Side, Chicago. A passing motorist found her lying in the street, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital.[138]
•    October 3, 2010 – A 30-year-old male known as “la Reina” (the Queen), Bryan Almonte, 17, and Brian Cepeda, 17, were kidnapped in the Bronx by a homophobic group of youths calling themselves the Latin King Goonies, sodomized by foreign objects including a plunger and baseball bat, burned with cigarettes, and tortured for hours. One of the teenage victims had wanted to join the gang the attackers were part of, but when members saw him with the 30-year-old, they later picked him up and took him to an abandoned apartment and asked him if the two had had sex. When the teenager responded positively, he was beaten and sodomized. The gang later picked up the second teenager whom they had also seen with the 30-year-old and repeated the process. They then lured the 30-year-old to the building with the promise of a party. When he arrived with alcohol, the gang tied him up and tortured him and made the 17-year-old burn him with cigarettes. They then robbed the man’s 40-year-old brother, coercing him by putting a cellphone to his ear so he could hear his brother beg to pay them.[139][140][141]
•    September 11, 2010 – Victoria Carmen White, a 28-year-old black transgender woman, died of bullet wounds in her New Jersey apartment. It is unknown whether she was targeted by her killer, Alrashim Chambers, for her gender identity.[142]
•    October 14, 2010 – Stacey Blahnik Lee, a 31-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered in her Philadelphia home by her boyfriend.[143]
•    November 17, 2010 – 18-year-old Joshua Wilkerson was found dead in a field in Pearland, Texas, after being beaten to death and set on fire by a friend of 5 years, Hermilio Moralez. This was supposedly a retaliation to unwanted sexual advances.[144]
•    January 11, 2011 – Chrissie Bates, a 45-year-old transgender woman, was stabbed to death in her downtown Minneapolis apartment. Arnold Darwin Waukazo was sentenced to 367 months in prison for the murder.[145]
•    February 19, 2011 – Tyra Trent, a black 25-year-old trans woman, was found strangled to death in a vacant house.[146]
•    April 2011 – Kevin Pennington, a gay 28-year-old male, was kidnapped and severely beaten in a Kentucky park by two men shouting anti gay epithets. David Jason Jenkins and Anthony Ray Jenkins face possible life sentences for anti gay hate crime.[147] On March 15, 2012, the Kentucky State Police assisted the FBI in arresting David Jenkins, Anthony Jenkins, Mable Jenkins, and Alexis Jenkins of Partridge, KY for the beating of Kevin Pennington during a late-night attack in April 2011 at Kingdom Come State Park,[148][149] near Cumberland. The push came from the gay-rights group Kentucky Equality Federation, whose president, Jordan Palmer, began lobbying the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky in August 2011[150] to prosecute after stating he had no confidence in the Harlan County Commonwealth’s Attorney to act.[151] “I think the case’s notoriety may have derived in large part from the Kentucky Equality Federation efforts,” said Harvey, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.[152] Mable Jenkins, and Alexis Jenkins plead guilty.[152]
•    April 22, 2011 – Chrissy Lee Polis,[153] a 22-year-old trans woman, was beaten in a violent struggle by two African-American women for entering the women’s bathroom in Baltimore County, Maryland, which triggered her to have a seizure. A McDonald’s employee, who was later fired, filmed the encounter and released the film on the internet; it since went viral. Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and a hate crime in the beating, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison, plus three years of supervised probation. The other woman was charged as a juvenile and committed to a juvenile detention facility.[154]
•    June 2011 – Rosita Hernandez, a Cuban trans woman, was stabbed to death in Miami.[155] In November 2011, Miguel Pavon was charged with first degree murder after his DNA was matched with samples found in the victim’s residence.[156]
•    June 5, 2011 – CeCe McDonald, a young African American trans woman, was attacked outside a tavern shortly after midnight in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[157] CeCe fatally stabbed her attacker with a pair of scissors.[158] She was subsequently convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 19 months in a men’s prison.[159]
•    July 20, 2011 – Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old African American trans woman, was shot to death in Northeast, Washington, D.C.[160]
•    August 11, 2011 – Camila Guzman, a Latina transgender woman, was found murdered in her apartment in East Harlem, Manhattan.[161]
•    September 8, 2011 – Cameron Nelson, a 32-year-old gay man, was attacked at his place of employment in Utah.[162]
•    October 11, 2011 – Shelley Hilliard, a black transgender teen who had been reported missing, had her burnt torso identified by police in Detroit.[163] Her killer, 30-year-old Qasim Raqib, was sentenced on March 6, 2012 to 25–40 years in jail.[164]
•    November 15, 2011 – Danny Vega, a 58-year-old Asian-American gay man who worked as a hairdresser in Rainier Valley, Seattle, was beaten and robbed as he was taking a walk. The beating left Vega in a coma from which he later died.[165]
•    November 17, 2011 – Cassidy Nathan Vickers, a 32-year-old black transgender woman, died from a fatal gunshot wound to the chest in Hollywood. Her killer, who is still unidentified, is suspected of also attempting to rob and non-fatally shoot another black transgender woman on the same day.[166]
•    December 17, 2011 – Charlie Hernandez, a 26-year-old who was openly gay, was stabbed to death following a brawl that included anti-gay slurs that occurred with two men after he accidentally stepped on some sunglasses.[167]
•    December 24, 2011 – Dee Dee Pearson, a 31-year-old transgender woman, died from bullet wounds in Kansas City, Missouri. Kenyan L. Jones was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Jones told police he paid to have sexual relations with Pearson, believing her to be a cisgender woman, but hours after having sex with her, discovered she was not.[168] Angered by what he considered to be a deception, he got a 9 mm caliber handgun, found Ms Pearson, and killed her.[169] Jones was arrested on suspicion of her murder.[170]
•    December 29, 2011 – The body of Githe Goines, a black 23-year-old trans woman[171] who had been reported missing 2 weeks beforehand, was found in a scrapheap in New Orleans. An autopsy set that the time of her death as much as 2 days before her body was discovered, and that she had been strangled.[172]
•    January 21, 2012 – Crain Conaway, a black 47-year-old trans woman, was found dead in her home in Oceanside, California.[173] Tyree Paschall Monday was arrested in connection with her murder.[174]
•    February 2, 2012 – JaParker “Deoni” Jones, a 23-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed in the head while waiting at a Metrobus stop in Washington, D.C..[175]
•    February 2012 – Cody Rogers, an 18-year-old teenager, was brutally assaulted and targeted with homophobic slurs at a party in Oklahoma after defending a female friend who was also attacked.[176]
•    March 24, 2012 – Several transgender and crossdressing people were shot at and robbed in Florida by a man, suspected to be De Los Santos. 23-year-old Tyrell Jackson was fatally wounded in the shooting, which also injured 20-year-old Michael Hunter.[177]
•    April 3, 2012 – Coko Williams, a black trans woman, was found murdered in East Detroit, Michigan. The homicide may have been related to Coko’s involvement in sex work.[178]
•    April 16, 2012 – Paige Clay, 23, a black trans woman, was found dead, with a bullet wound to her face in West Garfield Park, Chicago. The death was ruled as a homicide.[179]
•    April 21, 2012 – Eric Unger, a 23-year-old gay man living in Illinois, was attacked by a group of men on the way home from a party, while they shouted anti-gay epithets at him. The investigation is ongoing.[180]
•    May 2012 – Max Pelofske, a 21-year-old gay man, was beaten by a group of youths at a party in Minnesota. Pelofske claims it was a hate crime, but police disagree.[181]
•    June 5, 2012 – Kardin Ulysse, a black 14-year-old boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School in Brooklyn, New York, by another group of boys. He was called anti-gay slurs and sustained damage to the cornea of one of his eyes, leaving him blinded. Ulysse’s parents planned on suing New York City for failing to supervise its students properly.[182]
•    June 23, 2012 – Mollie Olgin, 19 years old, and her girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, 18 years old, were found shot in the head near Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas. Olgin died at the scene and Chapa survived. Law enforcement has said there is no evidence to suggest that the incident is a hate crime.[183] The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas urged a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and Portland police to find the shooter.[184]
•    July 5, 2012 – Tracy Johnson, a 40-year-old black trans woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds in Baltimore, Maryland.[185]
•    August 14, 2012 – Tiffany Gooden, a 19-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered on the second floor of an abandoned building in Chicago. An autopsy verified that she had been stabbed to death. Notably, the body of Paige Clay, another young black trans woman, was discovered in April 3 blocks away from where Tiffany was found. The pair were known as friends.[186]
•    August 18, 2012 – Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old black trans woman, died of gunshot wounds. Eugene Carlos Dukes was arrested in early September for her murder, and indicted later that month.[187]
•    August 26, 2012 – Deja Jones, a 33-year-old black trans woman, was shot to death in Miami. No arrest had been made.[188]
•    September 3, 2012 – The body of Kyra Cordova, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found in a wooded area in Frankford, Philadelphia.[189]
•    October 15, 2012 – Janette Tovar, a 43-year-old trans woman was murdered by her partner, Jonathan Kenney, according to police, who beat her and slammed her head into concrete. He was later arrested for her murder.[190]
•    March 1, 2013 – Sondra Scarber addressed a parent about her girlfriend’s son being bullied at Seabourn Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas, and was beaten by him when he realized that she was a lesbian.[191]
•    May 17, 2013 – Mark Carson, a 32-year old black gay man,[192] was shot to death by another man who trailed and taunted him and a friend as they walked down the street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. When the two friends ignored the assailant’s questions, the man began yelling anti-gay slurs and asked one of them, “You want to die tonight?” Elliot Morales, 33, was arrested briefly after the shooting and charged with murder and weapons charges on May 19.[193] According to police, Morales said he shot Carson because he was “acting tough”.[194] Morales pleaded not guilty, but on March 9, 2016 he was convicted by a Manhattan jury of murder as a hate crime.[195] Morales was sentenced on June 14, 2016 to 40 years to life in prison.
•    November 4, 2013 – Sasha Fleischman, a self identified agender (identifies as neither male nor female) 18-year-old, had their skirt set on fire while they were sleeping on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, California. Police arrested 16-year-old Richard Thomas and charged him with felony assault, with an enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury. Thomas admitted to police that he had started the fire and that he did it because he was “homophobic.”[196] On November 14, 2014, Thomas was sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention for his crime.[197]
•    December 31, 2013 – A fire was started in the stairway of a gay nightclub in Seattle, which was quickly extinguished. After suspect Musab Mohammaed Masmari had told a friend that “homosexuals should be exterminated”, an informer from the Muslim community told the FBI Masamari may have also been planning terrorist attacks. The native of Benghazi, Libya was arrested on his way to Turkey. On July 13, 2014, Masmari was sentenced to 10 years on federal arson charges.[198]
•    June 1, 2014 – Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, were killed execution-style shortly after midnight in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle shortly after they left a gay nightclub. Both victims were gay, and Ahmed was apparently lured by being contacting on Grindr, a social app popular with gay men. Anderson-Young was receiving a ride home from Ahmed Said. The case was soon investigated as a possible hate crime. Both Said and Anderson-Young were shot multiple times; Anderson-Young died inside Said’s car, while Said died immediately outside.[199] Suspect Ali Muhammad Brown has confessed to killing Said, Anderson-Young, and two men in Seattle and New Jersey, both of whom weren’t gay. Brown had previously been convicted of bank fraud and is believed to be in support of Muslim terrorists in Somalia. He told investigators that he was guided strictly by his faith, and that the killings were “just” because they were in retaliation for actions by the U.S. government in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.[200]
•    February 1, 2015 – Taja DeJesus, 36, a trans woman of color, was found stabbed to death in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, California.[201]
•    April 13, 2015 – Ron Lane was shot dead by a former student of Wayne Community College, identified as Kenneth M. Stancil III, who he had supervised at the campus print shop. His mother made unconfirmed allegations that Lane, who was gay, made unwanted sexual advances towards Stancil. The shooting was investigated as a hate crime.[202]
•    2015 – In 2016, for the first time the Justice Department used the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to bring criminal charges against a person for selecting a victim because of their gender identity.[203][204] In that case Joshua Brandon Vallum pled guilty to murdering Mercedes Williamson in 2015 because she was transgender, in violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.[203][204]
•    June 12, 2016 – The attack on an Orlando nightclub left 49 dead and 53 wounded at the gay nightclub Pulse. The gunman, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, was an American citizen of Afghan descent who pledged allegiance to terrorist organization ISIS in a 911 call he made about the attack.[205] ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack.[206] The incident was the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
•    September 7, 2016 – Michael Phillips was attacked after leaving his job at a gay bar. He and his husband say they have been targeted for their orientation multiple times.[207]

(Source of Hate Crimes List: History of violence against LGBT people in the United States  |  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_United_States)