From Gay City News:
A suspect, 26-year-old Juan Martínez Matos, was arrested three days after the murder, and the prosecutor in the case, Jose Bermudez Santos, told the newspaper El Nuevo Dia that Martínez confessed to killing López and mutilating his body. In his confession, Martínez claimed he’d met López while looking for a woman in an area known for prostitution, that López was dressed as a female, and that he killed and mutilated him after discovering he was a man.
But NGLTF’s [Pedro Julio] Serrano contradicted the implications in the confessed murderer’s account of the crime.
“None of Jorge Steven’s friends, and I’ve spoken to many of them, knew anything about his ever having engaged in sex work, not his family, and not the police,” Serrano, who met with investigators on the case, told this reporter. “Nor was he known as a cross-dresser. He identified and lived as a very proud gay man, he was very genuine and authentic. He was just very fashion-oriented and what you could call a gender-bender, but not in a transgendered way.”
Well gee, if any of his friends and/or family have the attitude toward trans people and issues that certain elitists on the mainland do, would it be any wonder that Jorge might never tell any of them about being a cross-dresser or possibly even a transsexual?
Make no mistake: I’m not discounting the very real possibility that Serrano could be on the money about all of this; as of right now, we really don’t know for sure. However, it does seem that he’s a bit too eager to find an excuse to permanently chisel Jorge off of Remembering Our Dead and claim Jorge as a homosexually pure gay male martyr.
But he works for NGLTF, currently Transgender Civil Rights Project-ed by a non-trans woman, and formerly Executively Directed by a guy who, in his job before that, refused to take a principled stand against New York giving gays and lesbians the special right to discriminate against trans people.
And he works there as a “Communications Director.”
Let’s refer back up to a communication that he directed:
He identified and lived as a very proud gay man, he was very genuine and authentic. He was just very fashion-oriented and what you could call a gender-bender, but not in a transgendered way
You mean like Roy Cohn was homosexual, but not in a gay way? Or was it gay, but not in a homosexual way?
Here’s a trans legal refresher:
[H]aving or being perceived as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s biological maleness or femaleness.
That’s the critical portion of Minnesota’s definition of “sexual orientation.”
What sort of “gender-bend[ing]” would not be encompassed by that language – the transgender clause of the definition?
Transgender – the big, bad umbrella term?
Now again, I’m going to repeat: Serrano may be onto something. If so, I can understand wanting to preclude the accused killer from using a ‘gay panic’ defense. Yet, there is no reason for being so willing – eager even - to discount any possibility of there being some trans aspect to Mercado’s life (sorry, but the minute I saw his photos, I wondered if there was a trans element wither to his life or to the murder – or both); and there is even less reason for anyone privileged with the ability to draw a paycheck from working at an LGB(T) rights organization to utter something as out-of-touch as “gender-bender, but not in a transgendered way.”