08 February 2015

Taja DeJesus Murdered In SF: If We're Not Safe There, Where Are We?

A Jewish man whose parents survived the Holocaust once told me that the only time he ever felt safe was when he was in Israel.

I mention that, not to take a side in the conflicts that tear that part of the world, but to relate something I thought about as I heard some more terrible news.

Taja DeJesus was raised in San Jose but moved to San Francisco because of the greater acceptance of transgender people found in the City By The Bay.  Some in our community think of it as our Israel, if you will.

She was found with stab wounds on McKinnon Avenue in the city's Bayview district around 9 last Sunday morning.  Authorities are not calling her murder a hate crime.  According to anonymous sources, the suspect was found dead, an apparent suicide, behind a warehouse not far from where De Jesus's body was found.

Even in a city with a reputation like San Francisco's, there are areas--Bayview being one of them--where trans people aren't accepted or that are simply dangerous.  Lord knows we have such places here in NYC.  Even the "gayborhoods" aren't always safe for trans people.  Actually, they can be even more dangerous because thugs come from other parts, and outside, of the city, specifically to get their thrills from bashing actual or perceived LGBT people.

Perhaps we need a place an Israel:  You know, a place where we can go and be accepted for who we are--or at least be reasonably sure that we won't experience bigotry or bullying, or get killed, just for being who we are. 


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