Lorena Borjas — a human trafficking survivor and lifelong defender of immigrants, sex workers, and trans folks — died this morning from complications due to COVID-19, according to tweets by Bianey Garcia, Borjas’s chosen daughter. She was 60 years old.
Ever since the 1969 riots on the streets outside New York City’s Stonewall Inn, L.G.B.T.Q. communities have gathered there to express their joy, their anger, their pain and their power.
The Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, had passed the Assembly in every session since 2008 but had failed to clear the Republican-led Senate. Now Democrats have a majority in both chambers, a key factor in the bill’s success. It adds gender identity and expression to New York’s civil rights law, banning discrimination based on these characteristics in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The law had included sexual orientation since 2002.
“Over the past several years, the Legal Aid Society of New York has handled so many of these cases of wrongful arrest, particularly among transgender women who are black and Hispanic, that on Friday it filed a federal civil rights suit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of several plaintiffs — Ms. Martin is one of them — challenging the constitutionality of the law. Between 2012 and 2015, the Legal Aid Society says, nearly 1,300 people were arrested in New York City under the loitering law. More than 600 were convicted, and close to 240 served some time in jail. During that period, five precincts in the city were responsible for more than two-thirds of the arrests, each of the precincts serving neighborhoods that are predominantly black and Hispanic, in the Bronx and central Brooklyn.”
“Police early Sunday released surveillance photos of three suspects who allegedly attacked and beat a transgender woman in Park Slope, Brooklyn.”
“The day she got a lucky break, the kind budding New York actors dream about, Harmony Santana was living in a Harlem shelter for homeless youth and contemplating what she stood to lose by starting to live as a woman permanently.”
Not if your homeless in New York…
(Photo Credit: AP)
Mayor Bloomberg On Homeless Girl Featured I nThe New York Times: ‘That’s Just The Way God Works’
“This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” he told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”
(Well, if this isn’t the Christian spirit we should all be showing at this time of year, what is?)
Homelessness swelled by 60 percent during Bloomberg’s term, despite his vow to reduce the city’s homeless population by two-thirds in five years. The mayor told the New York Times last year that families were staying in shelters longer because he had improved them to be “a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before” — a quote that stood in stark contrast with Elliott’s descriptions of Dasani’s decrepit shelter, which is still operating after inspectors cited it for violations 400 times.
(Because who wouldn’t rather live in a rat and bug infested, run down building on the tax payers dime than actually have to… I don’t know, work and have a clean, safe place for their families?)
Bloomberg went on to attack the media for not understanding how good Dasani and her family have it compared to poor people in developing countries. “I think one of the problems is a lot of journalists have never looked around the world,” he said, going on to tell the reporter that “your smirk shows you haven’t been outside the country and don’t know what poverty means elsewheres.”
(Because everyone knows there’s poverty and then there is American Poverty and which would you rather suffer from. right?)
Read the full story at ThinkProgress
Editorial: Battling Homelessness in New York City (nytimes.com)
A Homeless Baby’s Sad Legacy (likeandmention.wordpress.com)
Invisible Child – Girl in the Shadows: Dasani’s Homeless Life (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
As if the death of one Transwoman wasn’t one too many, we have this out of New York.
The 21-year-old woman was apparently assaulted after the suspect learned she was transgender.
The death of a transgendered woman who was assaulted by a group of men in Harlem Saturday night has been ruled a homicide and is being investigated as a possible hate crime, police say.
The 21-year-old woman, Islan Nettles, died of blunt impact injuries to the head, the medical examiner’s office determined Friday.