On November 13th in Puerto Rico, 19-year-old Jorge Steven Lopez was brutally murdered — decapitated, dismembered, and partially burnt — by a suspect claiming a trans-panic defense.
The accused killer 26-year-old Martinez Matos told a Puerto Rican newspaper that he saw Lopez wearing a blue dress and boots. Thinking Lopez was female, Matos allegedly let Lopez into his car. Upon learning that Lopez was biologically male, the suspect alleges that he “had a flashback to when he was raped in prison” and proceeded to attack Lopez.
Lopez is the most recent victim of trans-phobic violence. His death and untold numbers of others will be remembered at annual Transgender Day of Remembrance celebrations across the country this weekend.
In Memphis, a ceremony will be held on Friday, Nov. 20th at Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church at 7350 Raleigh Lagrange Rd. at 6 p.m.