16 April 2011

Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, One Year Later

The other day, someone sent me a link to a site that displayed one of my posts on this blog.  

I was a bit surprised, as the post is a year old.  But I am glad, for one thing, that someone is reading something I wrote a year after I wrote it.  My writing may not echo through the eons, but knowing that someone else is thinking, when I'm not, about something I wrote is nice.  

However, as much as I want to be a famous writer and all that, there is a far more important reason why I'm happy someone is referencing a post of mine a year after the fact.  You see, the post has had more views than any other I've made on this blog.  I'm happy for that, though not the occasion that prompted the post:  the murder of  Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar.

She was a young and beautiful woman whose given name was Edelbuerto.  Her death was ruled, not only as a homicide, but as a hate crime.  And, thankfully, her killer was caught.  But that makes her case almost one in a hundred.  According to Interpol, more than ninety percent of all killings of transgender or other gender-variant people since 1975 haven't been solved.  Some are never investigated in the first place; worse yet, no one hears about many other killings of trans people because so many have been cast aside by their families, friends and other communities.

Amanda experienced some of that rejection, I'm sure.  But people who knew her have told me that she was an outgoing, friendly woman who had a number of friends.  Apparently, she had not become alienated or hostile, as too many other members of marginalized minorities become.  That should serve as a reminder that hostile people are, for the most part, made, not born.  

I just hope that wherever Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar is, one year after she was killed, her spirit is appreciated and she does not have to experience the violence--to her body or spirit--to which she was subjected at the end of her life here, in Queens, just a couple of neighborhoods away from where I live.