Drop Box Assignment Chapter 9
I choose to do more research on hate crimes. I found that in the past 15 years popular media has prominently focused on two particular hate crime victims, Brandon Teena, a transgender man killed in Humboldt, Nebraska, and Matthew Shepard, a gay male killed in Laramie, Wyoming.
Brandon Teena was born Teena Brandon in 1972 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sometime after puberty, Teena began rejecting her own sex and living as a man, adopting the name Brandon. At the time of his death in 1993, he was living in Humboldt, Nebraska and had begun dating Lana Tisdale, the former girlfriend of local ex-convict John Lotter, one of the people Teena had been socializing with in Humboldt, who would later become his murderer. Lotter and Marvin Nissen, the other killer, were “outraged at their inability to categorize him” and chose to resort to violence. Prior to the murder, they forcefully removed Teena’s pants in order to expose his sex, and proceeded to drive him to a remote location and rape him.
Brandon escaped from Lotter and Nissen and reported the rape to the authoritys. The sheriff’s interrogation was reportedly abusive and critical and focused more on Teena’s gender identity than on the actual crime. About a week later, on New Year’s Eve, Lotter and Nissen shot Teena, along with friends Lisa Lambert and Phillip DeVine, as they had threatened to do if the rape was ever reported. The three were found dead in Lambert’s home.
The case received little mainstream media attention until the beginning of Nissen’s trial, when articles started apearing all over the media. In the days following the murder, young LGBT activists began organizing in response to the event, demanding “greater civil rights protection.” The Oscar-nominated film Boys Don’t Cry, featuring Hilary Swank and based in the murder, turned Brandon Teena into a prominent queer figure.
Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old...