Remembering Brandy Martell, the Transgender Woman Killed in Oakland

I am a woman of Hispanic descent. My parents came here from Colombia and Cuba. Throughout my life, I never really faced discrimination as a Hispanic. I've faced more adversity for being female. During the 2008 election, I picketed against Proposition 8, in San Luis Obispo (where I lived at the time) during a Thursday night farmer's market. One night, a man approached me in a hostile and aggressive way, getting right up in my face. I don't remember what his line of reasoning was, but I do remember him yelling “you people.”

You people are what's wrong with this country!” he yelled.

I realized what he hated about me: He thought I was one of them — one of the gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, or transgender people who have filled my life since I was a child. At that moment I realized what a hate crime was and just how ugly ignorance makes people. I bring this up because a hate crime recently happened and I have to talk about it.

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