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Angie Zapata's Lesbian Sister Attacked

Angie Zapata's Lesbian Sister Attacked

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When Allen Andrade was on trial for killing Angie Zapata, a trans woman who was beaten to death in Greeley, Colo., in 2008, it was Zapata's lesbian sister, Stephanie Villalobos, who sat stoically on the stand, reminding everyone in the courtroom that Zapata was a woman who didn't deserve to die, even as the defense attorneys constantly tried to undermine her testimony, pointing out that Zapata had been born male.

Zapata's case marked the first time in U.S. history that the murder of a transgender person was successfully prosecuted as a hate crime. Now, according to The Tribune of Greeley, Villalobos has become the victim of what her family thinks is also a hate crime. On March 5, Villalobos was hit by a car, dragged for four blocks, and left for dead in a pool of her own blood. She nearly died, spent weeks in a coma, and is still recovering today (after three brain surgeries) while the accused perpetrator, 22-year-old Jose Javier Martinez-Hernandez, is being prosecuted for attempted murder and assault.

According to the newspaper, Martinez-Hernandez was involved with Stephanie's ex-girlfriend, Miranda Martinez. In fact, he'd fathered her child before they broke up and Martinez opted to get back together with Stephanie. The family believes the assault was motivated by Martinez-Hernandez's outrage that his girlfriend left him for another woman. Villalobos and Martinez had dated for six years prior, and Martinez-Hernandez was well aware of the relationship, the family said. Villalobos's name was even tattooed on Miranda's chest.

A year before the incident, Villalobos reportedly received several threatening yet anonymous text messages warning that she needed to be careful or she'd "end up like her sister." Fort Lupton police traced the texts back to a phone assigned to Martinez-Hernandez.

"I never understood why Allen did that to my sister Angie, and I don't know why this happened to Stephanie," said the family's eldest sibling, Monica Zapata, 35. "I'll never understand why this continues to happen to my family."

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Diane Anderson-Minshall

Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.
Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.