October 5, 2009

Community Forum Planned on Transgender Hate Crimes

Panel Discussion to Feature Advocates, Victims and Victim's Family Members

Who  Lateisha Green's family
           Leslie Mora
           Carmella Etienne
           Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) executive director
                Michael Silverman
           Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) senior media
                strategist Andy Marra
           Empire State Pride Agenda transgender rights program organizer Ejay Carter
           Anti-Violence Project
           Brooklyn Law School
           Make the Road New York
           New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy and Queens Pride House.

What  Transgender people face pervasive discrimination, harassment and violence. Leslie Mora and Carmella Etienne—victims of hate crimes in two separate incidents in Queens—are witnesses to the violence that is perpetrated against people because of their gender identity or expression. In its most extreme form, such violence can turn deadly, as it did in the case of Lateisha Green, a young African American woman who was shot and killed, and whose death led to New York State’s first hate crime trial and conviction stemming from the death of a transgender person. TLDEF clients Leslie Mora and Carmella Etienne will be joined by Lateisha Green's family, TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman and GLAAD senior media strategist Andy Marra to discuss hate-motivated violence and strategies for preventing and responding to it.

Where  Brooklyn Law School, Forchelli Conference Center, 205 State Street, Brooklyn, New York.

When  Wednesday, October 7th, 7 p.m.

Why  The conviction of Dwight DeLee for the shooting death of Lateisha Green was the first hate crime conviction in New York State involving the death of a transgender person.  It was only the second hate crime conviction involving the killing of a transgender person in the United States.  Leslie Mora and Carmella Etienne were each attacked in separate incidents in Queens motivated by anti-LGBT bias.  "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.