July 9, 2009

Community Memorial Service Set to Remember Slain Transgender Woman Lateisha Green

Service Held Before Court Trial Trying Green’s Murder as Hate Crime on Monday, July 13, 2009

WHO     Family and friends of Lateisha Green, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), The Rainbow Alliance of Central NY, and community members.

WHAT     Local Syracuse organizations including The Rainbow Alliance of Central New York and P.E.A.C.E., Inc. have come together to organize a memorial service for the family of Lateisha Green, a 22-year-old African American transgender woman and Syracuse resident who was shot and killed outside of a house party on Friday, November 14, 2008.  Lateisha's family members will be present to speak about her life.  The program will also include remarks by Reverend Sharon Perry and performances by La Joven Guardia del Teatro y La Danza Latina and the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus.  There will be closing remarks and a release of doves and bubbles immediately following the service.  The ceremony will be followed by a community dinner and dancing with DJ Flagg.

WHERE     First English Lutheran Church, 501 James Street, Syracuse, New York.

WHEN     The memorial service will begin at 12:00pm.  Reporters and journalists are invited to attend the memorial service, but camera crews or photographers will not be allowed to shoot footage during this time.  Camera crews and photographers are invited to shoot footage at 1:00pm during the closing remarks and the release of doves and bubbles.

WHY     This is the first hate crime prosecution in New York State involving the murder of a transgender person.  Indeed, it is the first murder ever classified as a hate crime in Onondaga County.  If DeLee is convicted of committing a hate crime, it will be only the second hate crime conviction involving the murder of a transgender person in the United States.  "Transgender people face tremendous violence in their lives," said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman.  According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, murders of LGBT people in 2008 increased 28% from the previous year.  More than 2,400 people reported being victims of hate violence involving incidents motivated by anti-LGBT bias.  12% of these reports on hate violence involved incidents motivated by anti-transgender bias.  Nearly 300 transgender people filed reports of violence against them during the reporting period.  On average, a transgender person is murdered once a month in the United States.