Hate Crime in the "Sex Change Capital of the World"

August 11 2009, 11:24 AM

In the small town of Trinidad near the New Mexico border, police are expressing shock at the attempted murder and sexual assault of a transgender person in a local motel. Violence against transgender people in the so-called "sex change capital of the world" is rare, but this crime appears to have been motivated by hatred toward gays, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. The assailant tried to drown the unnamed victim and then tried, but failed, to use a blow dryer in a bathtub to electrocute the victim. Police have not yet made an arrest. Local District Attorney Frank Ruybalid can think of just one other bias-motivated crime in his two terms, saying, "This is the most serious [crime against a transgender person] that I have seen and definitely the most brutal." The incident recalls the recent murder of Angie Zapata--the first case in the nation to use a hate-crimes law in a conviction. Last month, The Los Angeles Times reported a second case, in which a man was convicted of murder and a hate crime in the shooting death of transgendered Lateisha Green. Meanwhile, social conservatives plan to oppose a proposed state rule that would allow transgender people to use public restrooms and locker rooms according to the gender with which they identify, writes The Denver Post.