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21 November 2008


Baltimore Femme

Rod I really appreciate work you done on this and other trans murders...I know you don't have to be but thanks....Baltimore Femme

Red Bone

I sincerely hope charges upgraded. What are maximum penalties he faces?

Derrick from Philly

I can't see how it is not a hate crime--even if the murderer claims he was sexually attracted to Lateisha, and then extremely insulted to find that she was a transwoman (gay/trans panic)--it's still a hate crime.

I've debated with friends (those my age) for a few years now saying that I thought life (in the hood)was better for noticeably gay folks and transfolk back in the 1970s than life is now. My friends tell me I'm crazy, and romanticizing the Disco era. But I remember being considered exotic within the black communities back then--not so hated. And of course, there was a lot of bisexual activity--almost out in the open with it. But then my friends begin to reel off the names of gay/trans people who've been murdered & lynched since the 70s. Then I realize-- they've been killing us for a long time.

I guess the hatred just didn't seem as widespread back then as it is now in the HipHop era. But when you're young you are resilient. Maybe the hate just didn't affect us back then.

South Side

Derrick you might be onto something. I grew up in Chicago in the late 70s and early 80s and there were always queens and youg gays in the hood. Some of my friends lived in the projects and were quite flamboyant and didn't have any problems. There also were many boys on the down low and trade. A few fights I can remember but never a murder. But I am sure there were anti gay murders, it just seemed more tolerant.


i can't see a prosecutor allowing a transphobic panic defense. but clearly the suspect was not at risk and there was no sex, it probably wouldn't hold water

Femme 4 Femme

Hello family. I just want to cosign Baltimore.

Rod, thanks a MILLION for reporting on ALL types of BLACK GAY MEN AND YOUNG BLACK GAY AND TRANS. I am so upset that more of our brothers will not welcome us into the discussion or don't want to discuss the violence in our community.

Yeah and don't worry about those haters. LET YOUR HATERS BE YOUR MOTIVATORS.


i'd have to agree with your friends derrick. i grew up in philly and i remember we did have local queens that nobody bothered while they were in their own neighborhoods. i also remember once people left their hoods it got a lot harder. people got bashed all the time on 13th St a surrounding areas. most people didn't any attention to it because many of us thought it was the price you paid for being "a faggot." the difference is we know better now and we are demanding respect and we are demanding equal protection under the law.

i was the doorman at catacombs back in the day and i can recall every so often, straight boys hanging around to snatch jewelry of the children once they left the club or drag queens being robbed and beaten after working all night. it was a mess.

as bad as things are, believe it or not, they are getting better. 20 years ago leteisha green's murder would not have even made the news.

Derrick from Philly

I guess you're right, freeleo. It just seems to me that the hate got worse in the mid 80s with the rise of Rap...and HIV.

Pharrell Luvr

Will Hate Crimes Charges Be Filed in Syracuse Transgender Murder?


Pharrell Luvr



Weighing in on the debate over whether things were better for us back in the late 70s/early 80's - I'd have to say YES! I grew up in Covington KY, and back then everyone could be as OUT as they wanted to be. Those who were transgendered easily mixed local social settings i.e. nightclubs, dances, social clubs, and private homes. One church had an annual Womanless Wedding as a fundraiser, and it was the local drag queens who often came in to do the makeup or "marry" the brothas of the church. MANY of the men in our community often had a wife/girlfriend and a boyfriend on the side. Everyone knew it but their women hardly batted an eye. It was the same right across the bridge in the local black Cincinnati communities. Yes, everything changed indeed around the middle 80's with the rise of hip-hop (and gang) culture, and the introduction of crack cocaine into our communities. The freedom to BE that we enjoyed back then is positively, absolutely UNTHINKABLE for the youngin's now.


oh come on. i think some of you guys are romanticizing the past just a bit. let's keep in mind the world we live in now. if an lgbt person gets killed in texas, new jersey, or dc, we know about it right away because of the internet and good people like rod. Back in the day, if someone murdered a gay person it wasn't considered a hate crime. they didn't even start keeping statistics of such things until very recently. we have no idea how many of our brothers were murdered while they were out cruising or just out living their lives. i know several who died in philly and jersey under suspicious circumstances. gays have been getting harassed forever. hiv/aids just gave them more of an excuse.

Thomas M

This is a horrible story. So sad.

Danny Rivera

LGBT folk have always been harassed and attcked, but only there is awareness now...television, internet and relaxed attitudes. People are more likely to report. But I also agree with Derrick and Corey that anti-gay attitudes are stronger now. It used to be live and let live, not its more violent. Just my two cents.

Eddy Tolbert

Corey and Derrick, those are fascinating stories.

I pray for this family and wish them the best.

Gina O

I feel sick and angry and mad....another young black LGBT has been killed by another young b;lack man...my heart is breaking in two ...

Good lookin out Rod, thanks for remembering the T in LGBT ;)

Please pray for this family


This is a monstrous story on so many levels. If the family loved and accepted Lateisha, then why couldn't other people love and accept Lateisha. But I am so glad the family is standing by their gay son and their desceased trans girl. RIP Lateisha


On the debate whether things were better in the past: I would say in general, no matter what community you are talking about, whenever LGBT people demand respect for themselves from society as LGBT people, that puts some "straight" people under psychological pressure. Suddenly, straight people worry about showing affection toward the same sex, because someone might think they were gay. Suddenly, their desires to be physically close to their friends becomes a "problem" for their identity. That spills out sometimes as resentment toward LGBT "flaunting" their sexuality.

This is not blaming LGBT people for the violent reactions of straight people. But we as a society of LGBT and straight people living together have to do a better job of communicating what it means to be straight, which is not the absence of same-sex desire and arousal, but the presence of opposite-sex desire and arousal. That way straight people can continue to feel comfortable in their own identity even when they notice same-sex feelings in themselves.

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