Editor's note : I also know both Laura, Vice President of our Transgenracion 2000 organization, and Silvia Boots, and saw both within the last 2 weeks.
This tragedy is heightened by the fact that it occured before the backdrop of war [which started during our memorial for Laura, at which the author Maria Roman spoke eloquently Wednesday evening, at Arena Cafe in Hollywood] and the U. S. culture of gun violence as documented in Michael Moore's Oscar-nominated film "Bowing for Columbine"
Maria's words apply equally to our society at large.
Laura, you will always be in our hearts and minds.
Sent: Tue 3/18/2003 2:27 PM
Subject: TRAGEDY IN THE LATINA TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY
ON MONDAY THE LATINA TRANSGENDER CULTURE WITNESSED AGAIN WHAT IGNORANCE, INTOLERANCE AND HATE DOES TO OUR COMMUNITY.
LAURA BANUELOS, A VERY WELL KNOWN TRANSGENDER LATINA IN LOS ANGELES AND THE VICE PRESIDENT OF "TRANSGENERATION 2000" HAS BEEN MURDERED.
THIS HORRIBLE TRAGEDY TOOK PLACE AT THE YUKON MINING RESTAURANT IN WEST HOLLYWOOD. LAURA WAS SHOT IN THE CHEST AND HEAD AFTER AN ARGUMENT THAT WAS LEAD WEEKS PRIOR BY DEBATE OF WHOM WAS MORE "BEAUTIFUL, ATTRACTIVE".
THIS HATE CRIME WAS NOT COMMITTED BY AN OUTSIDER BUT RATHER BY ONE OF OUR OWN, AS HARD AS IT MAY SOUND THIS SENSELESS ACT WAS COMMITTED BY A TRANSGENDER ALLEGEDLY "SYLVIA BOOTS' ALSO WELL-KNOWN WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.
THIS IS A CLEAR SIGN OF HOW MUCH WORK IS AHEAD TO UNIFY OUR COMMUNITY AND TO BEGIN A HEALING PROCESS. TWO LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST. WORDS cannot EXPRESS HOW I, AM, AFFECTED, SADDEN AND IN PAIN SINCE I KNEW BOTH OF THIS BEAUTIFUL WOMEN.
THE MURDER OF LAURA IS ANOTHER PROOF THAT WE CAN'T BE SAFE OF IGNORANCE, INTOLERANCE AND HATE EVEN WITHIN OUR OWN COMMUNITY. WE NEED TO BEGIN TO FOCUS ON OUR COMMONALTIES AND NOT OUR DIFFERENCES.
Maria Louise Roman
Program Manager, Transgeneros Unidas
Bienestar Human Services
4955 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027