Two Teens Admit to Targeting Trans Activist in a Recent Attack in Texas

A second suspect in an attack on a transgender woman last week admitted to Austin police that he targeted the victim because of her gender identity, according to court papers filed Monday.

Rayshad Deloach, 17, and his brother, Raymond, have both been accused of carjacking and mugging Stephanie Martinez¹, an Austin transgender activist.

“Rayshad admitted that he attacked Martinez because she was transgender,” police officers wrote in his arrest affidavit.

In his statement to the police, Rayshad Deloach confirmed the details of the Thursday afternoon attack that Martinez relayed to the police, including punching her several times in the face and picking up a log as if to use it to bash her head.

Just a day after the attack, Martinez testified before state lawmakers at the Capitol as they debated the so-called bathroom bills², laws that would restrict local governments and school districts from implementing transgender-friendly bathroom policies.

The measure is one of the most contentious being debated during the Legislature’s special session.

“This bill is not about safety, this bill is not about bathrooms,” Martinez told a committee of state senators, which backed the legislation after hours of testimony that went largely against the measure. “This bill is about limiting my ability to navigate public life.”

Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans in January unveiled the so-called “bathroom bill” to regulate bathroom use and keep transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Senate Bill 6, one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s legislative priorities, would have required transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex.” The measure would also pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The ripple effects of such hate inspired legislation, has made the lives of many trans people in the state less safe³. When a politician tells his constituents, that the lives of trans people are debatable, and legally ok to be ridiculed, attacks like these happen. Rayshad, and Raymond Deloach should be charged with a hate crime, but they are not the only ones. The state Republicans, pushing these hate bills, are also responsible for this, and every attack, on every trans person in the state of Texas.

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  1. Stephanie Martinez, is an activist with the Transgender Education Network of Texas. She was able to attend the senate hearing on anti-transgender legislation Friday and speak out against SB3 ad SB99. She listens to he Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, the Texas Freedom Network and the Transgender Education Network of Texas gather in the outdoor rotunda of the Texas Capitol extension Friday afternoon to propose anti-transgender legislation bills SB 3 and SB99 at the Texas Capitol July 21, 2017.
  2. Senate Bill 3, a so-called “bathroom bill,” would regulate public school facilities, open-enrollment charter school facilities, and local government restrooms to be “used only by persons of the same sex as stated on a person’s birth certificate.” It will now advance to the full Senate for consideration.
  3. “A Matter of Life and Death” brings to light the stories of the at least 21 trans people who have been murdered since the beginning of this year, and it estimates there have been at least 74 murders of transgender people since 2013.
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Actor James Wood’s Transphobic Tweets about a Child

Earlier in James Wood’s acting career, he had no issue taking on gay characters, yet remains homophobic and transphobic.  He has not wavered from speaking of his support for Trump, or his support for the countless anti trans bathroom laws across the country. Yet, his countless bigoted remarks hit a new low yesterday, as he attacked a gender non-conforming child in his latest tweets. Woods bluntly suggested that the child would grow up to be a serial killer in his deeply transphobic 140-character rejoinder.

Actor James Woods in ‘Once Upon A Time in America’

Woods, who is 70 years old, shared a photo of a couple with their son at the Orange County Pride Parade in California. The couple of 13 years, was there to support their child, and was bearing posters that read, “I love my gender creative son!” and “My son wears dresses & makeup… Get over it!!”

 

Seeing this, the Once Upon a Time in America¹ actor wrote, “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”

That tweet follows nearly  two years to the day, after James Woods tweeted out a link to a public service announcement he appeared in to bring attention to the plight of homeless LGBT youth², the double Oscar nominee tweeted a transphobic response to a photo of parents supporting their gender-nonconforming child.

Woods bigotry, and his rightwing conservative views has become increasingly more homophobic and xenophobic on Twitter over the past few years, taking aim at the likes of Black Lives Matter, Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour, Lena Dunham, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. A tweet about Anderson Cooper this May particularly put the once-prominent actor back in the spotlight for a moment. When Cooper famously rolled his eyes at Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s dissembling about FBI director James Comey’s firing, Woods responded to the eye-roll that went viral with a nasty little gay joke.

Woods has received a flood of backlash on Twitter, as well as criticism from gay actor, Neil Patrick Harris, who responded with a tweet of his own. “Utterly ignorant and classless, Mr. Woods,” the Gone Girl actor, 44, wrote. “I’m friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself.”

The mother of the family in the photo, Lori Duron³, blogged about their son’s recent experiences at Pride in a post titled, “My Gender Creative Son’s First Pride.

My sweet, fabulous, rainbow boy has never received so many compliments,” Duron wrote. “He’s used to getting stares and whispers when we’re out in public. He’s not used to getting the smiles, hugs and encouragement he received at Pride.”

 

 

 

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  1.  Once Upon a Time in America, is a revised version of the same 1984 film, directed by Sergio Leone, and starring Robert DeNiro and James Woods.
  2. Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers, by the Center for American Progress
  3. Lori Duron, proud parent of gender non-conforming child’s Blog.
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