Earlier this morning, Dwight Delee was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the hate crime killing of Lateisha Green, the 22-year-old black transgender woman who killed in Syracuse, NY last fall. Green's mother, Roxanne Greene, was in the courtroom. Greene writes about the murder of her daughter and anti-transgender violence at Essence.com. It's an excellent opportunity to bring trans awareness to the black community.
Since Lateisha's death, I haven't known how to help my family, especially her father. He's hurting so badly. When Lateisha came out, he was hurt because he has always tried to protect her. She was such a sensitive child and would get so upset when the kids would jump her after school. But in the end, neither one of us could protect her. We're used to a having this happy-go-lucky person, who could just light up the room with us all the time. I never knew I could miss something so much in my life. I just want to scream sometimes. I've never felt this type of pain before. I'm bitter and I hate it.
I will definitely be there on August 18 to see Dwight DeLee sentenced. This is when he will have to look at me and tell me why he did this. I'll finally get to ask what did [Lateisha] ever do to you that was so bad? Did [her] preference really bother him so much for you to take his life?
I hope like hell some good comes out of this. We've had to deal with threats as we leave the courthouse and messages on my phone. People act like we took something from them. They took something from us! I want DeLee to get life without parole. Transgenders are human beings like anyone else. Who are we to say that people shouldn't be who they want to be? Parents need to realize you can't turn your kid away. You're all they have and I knew that with Lateisha. If felt like as long as I supported her, she would know we were there for her and that's what matters.
Lateisha Green's family is lobbying state legislators to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which includes transgenders in hate crime protection laws. Roxanne Greene adds: "I'm getting ready to go to Albany to speak and get this bill passed in Lateisha's name. I will never forget the look on my child's face the day she died in front of our house and I hope people can understand that."