poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 25, 2004

see you there~~~~!!!!!

Trans March and rally

When: Today, 7 - 9:30 p.m.

Where: Dolores Park (begin march) to Asian Art Museum (rally and inauguration of first annual Trans Altar)

Speakers: Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco; San Francisco Police Commissioner Theresa Sparks; UCSF TRANS Program Director Joanne Keatley; Harvey Milk Democratic Club Co-Chair Robert Haaland

Information: www.sfteam.or


Advocate for transgender tolerance
Mother of slain teen to address pride gathering
Kelly St. John, Janine DeFao, Chronicle Staff Writers

When she learned earlier this week that a jury had deadlocked on whether to convict the men accused of murdering her transgender child, Sylvia Guerrero fled the courtroom in tears, too overcome by emotion to speak.

"I felt like I'd faint," she said of that moment. "I just wanted to crawl away and go to sleep."

But she will speak tonight before hundreds of members of the transgender community marching for the first time as part of San Francisco's pride weekend. And she will tell them what she told relatives angered by Tuesday's mistrial of the three men prosecutors say killed Gwen Araujo: Everything happens for a reason, so have faith that the issue is now in God's hands.

That doesn't mean Guerrero wasn't upset that jurors failed to reach a verdict of first-degree murder, which required a showing that the crime was premeditated.


Education is key in transgender cases
Carolyn Laub, Julie Dorf

This week, the Gwen Araujo murder trial was declared a mistrial because the jury could not decide whether the three defendants were guilty of first- or second-degree murder. According to the Alameda County district attorney's office, none of the jurors was willing to settle for the lesser offense of manslaughter -- despite efforts by defense attorneys in the case to argue that Gwen Araujo's killers were somehow justified because she did not disclose her transgender identity to them.

In rejecting manslaughter, the jury effectively rejected defense attorneys' outdated arguments that were akin to blaming Gwen Araujo for her own murder. But because of the hung jury in this case, we all must wait for justice to be served.

Over the many weeks of testimony that we both attended during the lengthy trial in Hayward, we got to know the faces of regulars in the courtroom. Because of our work with the Gwen Araujo Memorial Fund, we know her mother, Sylvia Guerrero, and her large and supportive family and friends. We also began to recognize the family and friends of the three defendants, Jason Cazares, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel. Not surprisingly, the pain and anxiety so clear in the faces of Gwen Araujo's loved ones were reflected in the faces of the defendants' family and friends as well throughout the trial.

This shared and prolonged devastation reminds us that preventing hate crimes such as this from occurring is important not just for the potential victims, but also for the potential perpetrators. Everyone in that courtroom wished that this crime hadn't happened, and no one's life will be the same now that it has.


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