WASHINGTON,–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – U.S. Newswire)–Aug. 19, 2003–LLEGO — the Washington-based National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization — will participate in a vigil this evening for Bella Evangelista, a Latina transgender who was murdered during an apparent hate crime this past weekend.
“Bella Evangelista’s murder is the latest example of the kind of vicious, hateful violence that members of our communities endure for simply being who they are,” said Martin Ornelas-Quintero, LLEGO executive director.
Evangelista, 25, a Guatemalan immigrant also known as Elvys Augusto Perez, was a well-known drag performer in Washington nightclubs who sometimes lip-synched to songs by salsa legend Celia Cruz. Police say a man paid Evangelista, who dressed and lived as a woman, for oral sex early Saturday morning, then returned and shot her after learning that Evangelista was biologically male. Antoine D. Jacobs, 22, of the 1400 block of Buchanan Street NW — two blocks from the shooting — has been charged with first-degree murder. According to the Washington Post, the killing has been classified as a hate/bias-motivated crime, which carries a longer prison sentence under Washington law.
Tonight’s vigil, organized by la Clinica del Pueblo, takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the murder site, 14th and Allison streets NW. La Clinica del Pueblo provides free, culturally appropriate health services to the Latino community.
“LLEGO joins with la Clinica del Pueblo tonight in remembering Bella and calling for an end to the bigotry which took her life,” said Ornelas-Quintero. Evangelista’s death occurred just over a year after the double murder of teenage transgenders Ukea Davis and Stephanie Thomas, who were shot as they sat in a car in Southeast Washington. Police say those killings, which have not been solved, might also have been hate crimes.
LLEGO is the only national nonprofit organization devoted to representing Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and addressing their growing needs regarding an array of social issues ranging from civil rights and social justice to health and human services. LLEGO develops solutions to social, health and political disparities which exist due to discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity and which affect the lives and well-being of Latino LGBT people and their families.
Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization
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202-408-5380 ext. 108