A conviction and a day of silence

The death of Angie Zapata leaves a scar on human rights in the nation.

This last Friday, Americans across the country took part in the nationwide protest, Day of Silence , to fight and bring attention to harassment and bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Coincidently, on Tuesday, 32-year-old Allen Andrade was found guilty for the murder of Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender woman. Andrade was charged with first-degree murder, bias-motivated crime and vehicle and identity theft. He was sentenced to life in prison. The coincidence of the events taking place in the same week brought extra attention to GBLT harassment and bullying, and we believe justice was served. In a social climate where the GBLT community has appeared to have made huge strides, such as Iowa newly making same-sex marriage legal, it became apparent with the death of Zapata that there are still many large issues to be dealt with in our country. As far as we have come with the issues of civil rights for individuals who have been victims of prejudice due to their sexual orientation and nature, this tragic incident has left a scar on the progress made by those who silence themselves every year in protest for the cause of basic human rights. We give our condolences to the Zapata family, and to all those who have been affected by such tragedies. We cannot understand bias-motivated crimes against transgender people or any person, for that matter. We want to encourage members of every sector of society to participate in any way they can to eradicate the dissemination of bigotry. It is important that we come together as a community to stand against such crimes, and it is important that we stand up for those who are left in silence. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in The Mirror at the University of Northern Colorado. Please send comments to [email protected].