Latinos allegedly involved in gang rape of lesbian woman

When I read this post over at WOC Phd, my heart sank. It details the story of a black lesbian mother who was gang raped by four assailants. At least two of those assailants are suspected to be Latino. Even worse, the assailants specifically stated that they were raping the woman because she was a lesbian.

The only thing I could think about when reading about this was how the white gay community insisted post-Prop 8 on making the loss about them. That is, blacks were conservative socially and voted against the Proposition even though white gays voted for Obama. And in the tit for tat business of politics, the blacks just fucked over the gays. But because white gays found it easier to wield the “you should understand what it’s like to not have civil rights!” against the black community, it was soon lost in the fray (among other things) that Latinos *also* voted against the proposition.

I want to say that Latinos would never do something like this. But I know better. I, like so many women before me, left home as soon as it was possible because I couldn’t stand the stifling sexism of my community. Even more to the point, I couldn’t stand the sexism that was steeped in queer hatred. Men weren’t ridiculed, ostracized, or violated because they were queer (although they certainly weren’t embraced either).


Women, on the other hand, were. And they still are. Think about it. In just this case alone, how many Latinas specifically and queer women generally were leered at, threatened, smacked around, isolated, mocked, intimidated by the men who raped this woman? I ask because can we really believe that this woman’s rape was the first time that the men involved ever expressed anti-woman, anti-queer hatred?

But there hasn’t been much of a chance to talk about that among the queer community. There wasn’t much of a chance to hear from queer Latinas, queer black women, queer Asian women post-Prop 8–there wasn’t much of a chance to hear from *anybody* because the hurt and anger of gay white men somehow managed to become more important than everything and everybody else.

Is this what privilege is called?

There is SO much work to be done in the queer community. So many people whose basic bodily integrity is NOT a given, so many people who can’t and/or don’t want to ‘pass,’ so many people who are under constant surveillance, interrogation, and suspicion by their own family members or community. And the thing is, I live in an area where *white* gays are just like the rest of us–the *only* reason they are safer than any of the rest of of us is because they are white, and that’s what haters see first.

I myself am a queer with lots of privilege. I may be Latina, but I am in a relationship that looks heterosexual on the surface, and we can easily pass. I understand the power of safety and legitimacy that marriage brings to queers and gays. And so I am not saying that the queer community should not make marriage a part of their ‘rights’ platform. As a person who is living that privilege, I don’t have that right.

What I *do* have is the knowledge that marriage is not a way to safety for too many of my sisters, mis hermanas. Would the woman who was raped have been safer if she had her female partner there? Or would that simply have resulted in her partner being raped too? Would all the leering, intimidating, and violence that the women around them experience have ended because they were all married?

Would the Latino (or black, Asian, Native, Arab, etc) community embrace queer women knowing that they could get married?

There is SO much more work to be done. And just like I don’t have the right to tell queers/gays to not be too concerned about marriage, white queers/gays don’t have the right to make the solutions to queer hate all about them and their pain.

May this woman be blessed with a supportive community that pulls around her and keeps her safe while she physically recovers. If you want to help, see here:

The police have released a description of the attackers as follows:

* Latino, 5′6″, 180lb, dark hair and mustache, mid-30s
* African American male, 5′10″, 170 1bs, dark hair and brown eyes, 20s, nickname “blu”
* Latino, 18-20, nickname “pato”

These nicknames were used during the assault and may or may not be used in real life.

Ways you can help:

* If you have any information call Detective Ysenia Rogers at (510) 672-1718 with any information.
* You can make contributions to assisting her, her partner, and their 8-year-old daughter at:

Community Violence Solutions
2101 Van Ness Ave.,
San Pablo, CA 94806
Attn: Mrs. Joanne Douglas

* Send a sympathy and solidarity card to the address below

Richmond Police Department
Attn: Sgt. Brian Dickerson
1701 Regatta Blvd.
Richmond, CA 94804

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