Statement from Angie Zapata’s Family on Andrade’s Conviction

Via Monica of Transgriot is a video of the statement from Angie Zapata‘s family, on the trial of Allen Andrade. It is read by Angie’s brother, Gonzalo Zapata.

A warning that it is difficult to watch, and may be triggering or upsetting. Watching Angie’s family break down in memory of her, and in knowledge of her brutal death, had me in tears. But Andrade has ensured that Angie cannot speak for herself about what he did to her — I think it’s only right then to listen, if we can, to what her family has to say.

Monica also had a loose transcript of the video. I’ve updated it as best I can to make it a full transcript of the statement itself, and it’s below the jump:

“Angie was my sister.

“She was a member of our family. We loved her very much, and we will miss her every day. Every day and every night my mom has to deal with great pain that she saw one of her babies being buried.  An experience no parent should have to witness. Every day my siblings and I reach for the phone and realize we’ll never hear her voice. There are times when we try to call and get her advice, and realize, there’s no answer anymore.

“A part of our family is missing, stolen from us. Angie was 18, her life was just beginning. Angie was brave, she had guts, she had courage, and was beautiful, was fun and loving. She was our little sister.

“Throughout the past week and a half, we have watched as our sister Angie was lied about in this court, we watched angrily as the defense presented an image of my sister that wasn’t true. Their strategy — and make no mistake about it — it was tearing down my sister to make a monster look better. It will not work.

“We want to make things clear: Angie was our sister, an aunt and a daughter. Life was sometimes difficult for her, and we learned along with her to understand that she was born a girl with a body that was wrong for her.

“We know that Angie was one thing above all else: honest. It took such courage to be who she was. Life wasn’t always easy, but she was strong, and there was no reason to believe my sister was anything but strong and honest with everyone.

“This week, we are deeply saddened and angry as we witnessed graphic details about the last few minutes of my sister’s life. A big brother is supposed to protect his little sister. It breaks my heart to think that there was nothing I could do.

“My sisters, Monica and Ashley, when they saw what this monster had done to her, they wanted to hold her, to comfort her and make her feel better. It’s hard for them to realize that there was nothing they could have been done.

“He stole something so precious from us.

“Only a monster can look at a beautiful 18-year-old and beat her to death. This monster not only hit my sister, but continued to beat her head in over and over and over again until her head was crushed in. Then, he left her there to die.

“He’ll never understand how angry we are at him and how much he has hurt us. This past week and half, we’ve seen attorneys working their hardest to seek justice for my sister. Our family wants to thank [list of names and organizations] . . . for their support of our family and standing with us and standing with Angie.

“We are grateful Colorado has tough laws that make it clear that attacking people because of anti-gender bias will be taken seriously. Targeting someone because she is transgender will be prosecuted a aggressively in Weld County. This means a lot to our family, we are grateful that the laws are in place for hate crimes.

“In memory of Angie, we call on Colorado’s leaders to pass a federal hate crime law to protect everyone.

“Justice was achieved for my sister today. A message was sent loud and clear that crimes targeting LGBT will not be tolerated in Colorado, and specifically Weld County.

“We would ask everyone to remember my sister as we do, as a beautiful, wonderful, precious teenager. She would want us to remember the happy times in her life. And in Angie’s memory, to make the world a better place.

“We will always love you Angie and we will always miss you, mija.

“Thank you!”

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14 comments for “Statement from Angie Zapata’s Family on Andrade’s Conviction

  1. April 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth. Voltaire

    We owe it to Angie to tell the truth: we, as a culture, are all complicit in her death. Until LGTB’s are all viewed as equal in every way, we cannot give voice to the truth: she was a person, and deserved to live her life as she saw fit. That I can do so, and she could not, is an indictment of us all.

  2. Morganna
    April 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I’m tearing up. And Personal Failure is right-she deserved to live as she saw fit. We need to make it safe for people like Angie to live.

  3. April 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for the link love….

    One way to help ensure transpeople get a fair shake is to push your congressmembers to pass a transgender inclusive ENDA (Employment and Non Discrimination Act) and hate crimes bill.

    If you live in a state that doesn’t have a gate crimes statute, help get one passed similar to the one Colorado had on the books that allowed justice for Angie to prevail.


  4. Denise
    April 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    What a beautiful, loving family. Angie was blessed to have them and they were blessed with her. I can’t imagine the pain they must now live with. If only we could all find such pure unconditional love in our hearts, the world would be a better place and monsters like Andrade wouldn’t exist.

  5. Persia
    April 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Their respect and love for Angie, just as she was, always leaps out at me from their statements. How cruel to end a young life and tear a strong, supportive family apart.

  6. April 23, 2009 at 4:05 pm


    Such good folks, it is so horrifying that they have lost their youngest member, their baby. I can’t imagine such pain.

    Their strategy — and make no mistake about it — it was tearing down my sister to make a monster look better. It will not work.

    I am so glad it didn’t, and thank God for that.

  7. Egyptgirl42
    April 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Dear god, I thought I wouldn’t be able to stand listening to the family without crying and only read the transcript. And I still cried! It’s sickenning that anyone can harm such a loving woman and her wonderful family. The family is to be truly commended for their courage throughout this ordeal, especially with the heinous defense strategy of de-humanizing Angie. I know that if she was my sister, I would’ve been arrested for clobbering the defense attorney the minute the hate speach began.

  8. April 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    What a loving family. Nearly a dozen times Gonzalo says “sister”: indeed, he starts by saying “Angie was my sister.” That this family recognized and loved their “sister, aunt and daughter” as she was–not how she may have been born or others wanted her to be–they’re titans. They’re just glorious.

    I’m proud of Colorado for what they did, and will always hope that I can be as loving as the Zapata family was to their sister, aunt and daughter.

  9. Bagelsan
    April 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve got baby sisters too (17 and 19) and it just kills me to think of anything happening to them. My heart really goes out to this family (if I was the type who prayed I’d pray for them — I’ll just have to forward them on to my mom, who prays like awesome.)

  10. April 24, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I am thankful that Mr. Andrade is in jail for the remainder of his natural life for what he did to Angie.

  11. denelian
    April 25, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    is it wierd that i cheered?

    i am glad that Angie had such an awesome family, i hope that this family can teach all the other families

  12. April 26, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    this is completely heartbreaking to watch, but thank you for posting it (transgriot & feministe). it’s so important to see representations of trans folks as part of loving families and communities (because we are) – and so fucked that the circumstances of this particular video are what they are.

  13. md
    April 27, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Too bad, as Pam (at her house blend) said, the mainstream queer media isn’t reporting on this – but thanks Feministe for doing so!

    This is so awesome, yet so sad. Justice was served and her family really loved her, but she’s still gone like so many others…

  14. Quercki M. Singer
    April 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for covering the family’s response. I’m so glad that Angie had a loving family. I’m also glad that the “trans panic” defense didn’t work this time.

    Here’s a link to an article about Gwen Araujo’s mother’s Life After Gwen

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