KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The life and death of a 15-year-old transgender girl who was killed by her classmate in Oxnard, California, in 2008 is the focus of a talk on the campus of Western Michigan University Wednesday, Dec. 6.
"The Life and Death of Latisha King" will be explored by Dr. Gayle Salamon, author and associate professor of English at Princeton University, at noon in the Lee Honors College lounge. The event is part of the Lee Honors College Lyceum Series and is free and open to the public.
Latisha King was shot by 14-year-old Brian McInerney in their junior high school classroom. The press coverage of the shooting, as well as the legal trial that followed, referred to Latisha, assigned male at birth, as Larry.
Salamon discusses the consequences of representing the victim as Larry, a gay boy, instead of Latisha, a transgender girl. Using phenomenology, Salamon argues that this case provides a vivid example of the consequences of misreading gender identity as sexual identity, and shows how misreading enables the attribution of aggression to gender nonconforming people who are victims of violence.
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