Denton County authorities investigating murder of transgender woman

MaddenThe Denton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of transgender woman Artegus Konyale Madden.

Madden, 34, who went by Konyale Madden on Facebook, was found dead in her home on Hayden Lane in Savannah Estates by friends on Sunday, Sept. 1, Sgt. Larry Kish told the Denton Record-Chronicle. Savannah is a small town east of Denton.

Officials thought Madden had been dead since Friday night or  Saturday morning and are investigating her death as a homicide.

Investigators said they initially believed the body to be a female, but did not elaborate on Madden’s identity.

Calls to Kish were not immediately returned.

Jermone Antonio Jones, a longtime friend of Madden’s, told the Denton Record-Chronicle that Madden identified as female growing up.

“As a child, he [Artegus] considered himself as a female and all through school,” Jones said. “He was the life of the party. If you had a party, you would want Artegus there.”

The two grew up together in Longview, where Madden attended high school.

The preliminary cause of death hasn’t been revealed by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, which covers Denton County.

The investigation is still ongoing and no arrests have been made. People with information leading to the death should contact Sgt. Kish at 940-349-1665.

Madden’s funeral was Sept. 7 in Longview, according to her obituary. Her family requested donations be made in her name to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in lieu of flowers.

—  Anna Waugh

Trans woman says she was singled out, detained at Dallas Love Field

Tegan Marie Smith

An Atlanta transgender woman is alleging discrimination after Dallas police detained her Monday at Love Field, causing her to miss her flight.

Tegan Marie Smith said she was headed home after visiting family in Dallas. After her 3 p.m. flight was canceled, she and a few passengers waiting for the 6 p.m. flight to Atlanta went to the bar inside the terminal. She said she had two beers and a shot during the three hours, but some passengers were drinking more than she was.

Shortly after she boarded the plane, Smith said a flight attendant walked her off the plane to a group of Dallas police officers, who handcuffed her and detained her for public drunkenness for two hours.

“I couldn’t understand,” she said. “I’d had a little bit to drink over three hours.”

Smith said she wasn’t given a breathalyzer or any other test for drunkenness, but said officers handcuffed her after she confirmed that she’d been drinking.

She thinks she was chosen from the people who were drinking because she’s trans.

“I did believe I was being singled out,” she said.

While being detained, she said officers searched her belongings and discovered her legal name change documents, which she said she carries with her just in case someone questions her identity.

—  Anna Waugh

Memorial service for trans murder victim Janette Tovar set for Thursday

A memorial service for family and friends of murdered transgender woman Janette Tovar is Thursday night.

Tovar died Oct. 15 after fighting with boyfriend Jonathan Kenney. He was later arrested for her murder and is still in jail.

The week of her death, about 200 of Tovar’s family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil Oct. 18 at The Grapevine Bar on Maple Avenue.

In a story in Dallas Voice this week, Tovar’s family and friends said a date for a service hadn’t been scheduled yet.

The service is 7 p.m. Thursday at White Rock Community Church, 9353 Garland Road, Dallas.

For more information, go here.

—  Anna Waugh

Dallas hospital tells trans woman it added LGBT policy, but did it really?

Green Oaks Hospital is establishing an LGBT policy after a transgender woman sent hospital administration a complaint about her time there.

Green Oaks, a mental health and addiction services facility in Dallas, recently received a complaint from Shawna Brooks after her experience in the hospital. The complaint led to a new trans policy, but the hospital has refused to provide any documentation of this policy or comment on its creation.

Brooks’ partner committed suicide in July. She then stayed with family to grieve. She returned to the apartment the couple shared in mid-August. Her family feared she, too, was suicidal because of the loss of her partner, so she was committed to Green Oaks, at 7808 Clodus Fields Drive.

During Brooks’ eight-day stay, she was denied a counselor to speak to about her loss and was offered only group therapy. She also requested a bed but was told they were for men only. Brooks was given a bed when she finally told a nurse other women were occupying beds, she told Instant Tea.

She also highlighted inadequate accommodations for transgender patients after a nurse rudely commented on medical needs specific to trans patients and denied her a private room, according to her complaint. Brooks had the nurse contact her doctor and was then granted privacy.

Brooks sent a letter about her experience to patient advocate Stephanie Haynes, who responded with a letter (see below) that stated “as a result of your feedback, our facility will implement a policy to better serve the transgender community.”

—  Anna Waugh

A rare public appearance: Trans filmmaker Lana Warchowski

Even though they became internationally famous after The Matrix films, the so-called Warchowski Brothers — Andy and Larry — were notoriously camera-shy. They had “no interviews” written into their contracts. They were rarely photographed.

Then several years ago, we learned what may have been part of the motivation for their privacy: Larry was transitioning into becoming Lana.

Until 2008′s Speed Racer, they were still credited at “The Warchowski Brothers;” now, it’s just “The Warchowskis.” And their new project is not only long-awaited for itself, but for the emergence of Lana. And in a big way.

Their new film — co-directed with Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) — is an adaptation of David Mitchell’s sweeping 2004 novel Cloud Atlas. The novel cuts across characters (including some gay ones) and time in a complex tapestry of interrelated tales. It’s a complex movie to summarize and get people excited about (even with a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon). So, to generate interest, the directors — all three — did a promotional video. Tykwer is on the far left; Andy W. is on the far right; and front and center? That’s Lana … the first time I’ve ever seen her. The movie looks fascinating (it comes out in October). I hope they took the “no interviews” clause out of this contract, because I for one would welcome the chance to interview Lana.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Well that takes the cake: “Drag Race’s” Carmen Carrera receives apology from TLC’s “Cake Boss”

Carmen Carrera, the self-identified trans woman who appeared on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, got a bit of a shock on Monday night. She made a guest appearance on the TLC show Cake Boss, where she apparently thought she would be portrayed as a role model for trans youth. Instead, it turned out to be a prank between the eponymous cake boss, Buddy Valastro, and his cousin Anthony. Anthony hit on Carmen in a bar, only to be told later — incorrectly, of course — that “that was a man!”

Carrera was outraged and complained — not the least of her complaints was that Anthony referred to her as “it.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TDOR: ‘Everyone deserves to be mourned’

Services planned this weekend in Dallas and Fort Worth to remember, honor the more than 200 trans people murdered worldwide in the last year

Marcal-Tye

Marcal Camero Tye

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

Marcal Camero Tye, 25, was a friendly, outgoing young woman who got along well with most people in the small town of Forrest City, Ark., where she lived — despite the fact that she was openly transgender in such a conservative atmosphere.

But sometime after leaving a party at a friend’s house on the evening of March 7, somebody murdered Marcal Tye.

Investigators say that Tye, whose body was found early in the morning of March 8 on a rural road outside Forrest City, was shot in the head and then run over by a car, her body apparently getting caught in the vehicle’s undercarriage and dragged for some distance.

St. Frances County Sheriff Bobby May has insisted that the killing was just “a regular murder” and not a hate crime. But those who knew Tye and LGBT activists who have been following the crime believe Tye was killed because she was transgender.

Marcal Tye is just one of the 22 trans people murdered over the last 12 months who will be remembered by name during Transgender Day of Remembrance services on Sunday at the Interfaith Peace Chapel in Dallas. And she is just one of 221 trans people murdered worldwide in the last year, according to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project.

Transgender Day of Remembrance began in November 1999 when trans activists and their allies gathered in San Francisco for a candlelight vigil to remember Rita Hester, a trans woman who had been stabbed to death a year earlier in her apartment in Allston, Mass., just outside of Boston.

Her murder has never been solved.

“There had been a candlelight vigil the year before in December, right after she was killed, there in Boston. But a year later, people felt the need to do something to bring attention to her murder and to the murders of other trans people,” explained Erin Roberts, one of the organizers of this year’s TDOR service.

“Just six weeks before Rita Hester was murdered, Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming, and that made headlines around the world. Everybody was talking about his murder, talking about doing something about hate crimes. But when Rita Hester was killed, very few people paid any attention. It seemed like nobody really paid attention when a trans person was murdered,” Robert said.

“And it’s not that we have any problem with all the publicity around Matthew Shepard’s murder. It was a horrible thing, and it deserved that attention,” Roberts continued. “But there was just such a stark contrast in the way the two murders were treated, especially in the press. People wanted to do something to bring attention to the fact that trans people are murdered every day in horrible, brutal ways.”

Also on the list of those killed in the past 12 months are six trans women who were killed in a 60-day period in the Honduras, beginning last November. The most recent additions to the list of 22 are 19-year-old Shelley Hilliard, who was killed then decapitated, dismembered and burned on Oct. 23 in Detroit; and Jessica Rollon, 32, who was strangled to death in Bergamo, Italy on Oct. 30.

Roberts pointed out that when transgender people are killed, the murders are often characterized by extreme violence and “overkill.” They aren’t just shot, they are shot and beaten. They aren’t just stabbed, they are stabbed over and over and over.

“And as long as trans people continue to be dehumanized, it will continue to happen,” Roberts said. “We are real people, with real emotions. We feel love and pain and joy and sorrow, just like anyone else. But people don’t see us that way. They see us as ‘other,’ and something besides regular human beings.”

Roberts said this week that “one of the last things I did as a boy” was to attend TDOR services last year in Dallas. And after transitioning earlier this year, she said, she got involved in helping organize this year’s service. And she will do it again next year, too.

“As long as we continue to be killed and brutalized, we will continue to have Transgender Day of Remembrance events,” Roberts said. “Because everyone deserves to be mourned.”

TDOR services in Dallas will be held Sunday, Nov. 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. The evening will include a performance by the singing group Mosaic and speeches by Rafael McDonnell with Resource Center Dallas, Roberts, Oliver Blumer and Rosemarie Odom.

The names of the 20 victims will be read aloud, and flowers will be placed on the podium in memory of each one. There will also be a candlelight vigil.
Blumer and Nell Gaither were co-organizers of the event with Roberts.

Fort Worth TDOR

Agape Metropolitan Community Church of Fort Worth and Trinity Metropolitan Community Church of Arlington are joining forces to hold an interfaith gathering for TDOR on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. at Agape MCC, 4615 E. California Parkway in southeast Fort Worth.

The Rev.  Stephen V. Sprinkle from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University will speak on the topic “Unfinished Lessons,” explaining “five lessons that LGBTQ hate crimes murder victims have to teach us, if we will only learn them.”

Tori Van Fleet, a forensics expert with the Fort Worth Police Department who came out as a trans women when she joined the fight to get the city of Fort Worth to add protections for trans people to its nondiscrimination ordinance, will also speak during the service.

Van Fleet said this week, “I am looking forward to the day when the TDOR bells are silent due to there not being any more violence against my transgender brothers and sisters. Until then, we will continue to bring attention to the violence we face due to bigotry, hate, fear and even misinformation, simply for being ourselves and trying to live our lives as best we can.”

Several Brite Divinity student clergy have also been active in planning and will participate in the service through music, media and readings.

………………………

REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS

The 20 trans people who will be remembered by name during Transgender Day of Remembrance services Sunday in Dallas are:

Idania Roberta Sevilla Raudales, 58, Comayagüela City, Honduras; died Nov. 29, 2010; had her throat slit.

Luisa Alvarado Hernández, 23,Comayagüela City, Honduras; died Dec. 22, 2010; was stoned, beaten and burned.

• Lady Óscar Martínez Salgado, 43, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; died Dec. 22, 2010; was burned and stabbed.

• Reana ‘Cheo’ Bustamente, age unknown, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; died Dec. Jan. 2, 2011; was stabbed multiple times in the chest.

• Génesis Briget Makaligton, mid-20s, Comayagüela City, Honduras; died Jan. 7, 2011; was strangled to death.

• Krissy Bates, 45, Minneapolis, Minn.; died Jan. 10, 2011; was stabbed multiple times.

• Fergie Alice Ferg, age unknown, San Pedro Sula, Honduras; died Jan. 18, 2011; was shot multiple times in the head and chest.

• Tyra Trent, 25, Baltimore, Md.; died Feb. 19, 2011; was strangled to death.

• Priscila Brandão, 22, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; died March 2, 2011; was shot in the head.

• Marcal Camero Tye, 25, Forrest City, Ark.; died March 8, 2011; was shot in the head, run over and dragged by a car.

• Shakira Harahap, 28, Taman Lawang, Jakarta, Indonesia; died March 10, 2011; was shot to death.

• Miss Nate Nate (or Née) Eugene Davis, 44, Houston; died June 13, 2011; was shot to death., Washington, D.C.; died July 20, 2011; was shot to death.

• Didem, 26, Findikzade, Istanbul; died July 31, 2011; had her throat slit.

• Camila Guzman, 38, New York City; died Aug. 1, 2011; was stabbed repeatedly in the back and neck.

• Gaby, age unknown, Jalisco, Mexico; died Aug. 6, 2011; was beaten and burned.

• Unidentified male dressed in women’s clothes, estimated age 30; Paris, France; was stabbed to death.

• Gaurav Gopalan, 35, Washington, D.C.; died Sept. 10, 2011; suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage due to blunt-force head trauma.

• Ramazan Çetin, 24, Gaziantep, Turkey; died Oct. 6, 2011; was shot to death by her brother who claimed to be defending the family’s honor.

• Shelley Hilliard, 19, Detroit, Mich.; died Oct.23 but body was not identified until Nov. 10; was killed, decapitated, dismembered and burned.

• Jessica Rollon, 32, Bergamo, Italy; died Oct. 30, 2011; was strangled to death.

• Astrid Carolina López Cruz, 30, Madrid, Spain; died Nov. 4, 2011; was beaten and stabbed.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 18, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Woman pleads guilty in case of videotaped beating of trans woman at McDonald’s

Teona Brown, 19, has pled guilty Thursday, Aug. 4, to first degree assault charges and a hate crime charge in connection with the beating of transgender woman Chrissy Polis last April in Towson,

Chrissy Polis

Md. The attack was captured on video by a McDonald’s employee — who filmed the assault rather than step in and try to stop it — last April. The video went viral online and was used, along with new footage from a surveillance camera, in court hearings this week. CBS Baltimore has this report on the plea.

Conviction on a first degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a hate crime conviction could add another 10 years. Because Brown pled guilty to the attack, prosecutors are recommending that the judge sentence her to five years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for next month.

Polis was present in court on Thursday, but told reporters she was nervous about being there and had no comment. “I just want to lay low and keep my life as normal as possible,” she said.

A second person charged in the attack was 14 at the time and has been charged with assault as a juvenile. Because she is a minor, her identity has not been released.

Below is a video of a news report aired on the Washington, D.C., Fox news program when the attack happened. It includes video of the attack and, as State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said this week, “The severity of the beating is much easier to understand when you see a video. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, a video’s worth a million.”

—  admin

Trans history unearthed in Prague, but existence of LGBTs in early cultures should be no surprise

Copper Age grave near Prague appears to be that of a trans woman.

Reports have surfaced this week on several websites with news of a grave unearthed in the Czech Republic of what archeologists are saying appears to be a transgender woman.

The grave, found in a suburb of Prague, contained a skeleton that, while anatomically male, was buried in the traditional manner of a woman. The UK LGBT news site Pink News reports that the skeleton and grave are thought to be about 5,000 years old, dating from between 2900 and 2500 B.C., and is from the Corded Ware culture of the Copper Age.

Archaeologists say that males from that era are usually found buried facing west, with their weapons interred with them. But this skeleton was buried in the manner reserved for women: facing east and surrounded by domestic jugs.

Pink News quotes Kamila Remišová, the head of the research team, as saying: “From history and ethnology, we know that when a culture had strict burial rules they never made mistakes with these sort of things.”

—  admin

Investigation continues into Marcal Tye’s murder

St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department investigators in Forrest City, Ark., have some leads in the March 8 murder of transwoman Marcal Tye, but have made no arrests yet and are waiting on the Arkansas State Crime Lab to complete forensic testing to move forward, according to reports in The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Ind. The Republic based its report on reports in the Forrest City Times-Herald, which requires a subscription to read its content online.

Marcal Tye

Preliminary autopsy reports indicate Tye was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head and from blunt force trauma caused by being run over. Her body was dragged several hundred feet by a car after she was shot. Investigators found two .38-caliber shell casings at the scene.

Tye, who was well known as a trans woman in Forrest City, was found dead by passersby on a country road just outside the Forrest Hill city limits in the early morning hours of March 8. The case received national attention when early news reports called Tye “a man in a dress” and quoted St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May as calling her a crossdresser.

The FBI is investigating the case as a possible civil rights violation but has made no determination on whether her death was a hate crime. Sheriff May has said it was “an ordinary murder” and not a hate crime.

The case has also raised new concerns for the transgender community in Memphis, about 45 miles away on Interstate 45, where a number of trans women have been killed or injured in attacks over the last five to six years.

—  admin