Brandon Ray Teena|
(December 12, 1972 - December 31, 1993) U.S.A.
Killed for being a trans
Born a girl as Teena Renae Brandon, she lived as a boy. At the age of twenty, Brandon Teena started a new life in Falls City, Nebraska, where he moved into the home of Lisa Lambert and began dating Lana Tisdel.
Just before Christmas 1993, Brandon was arrested for forging checks; because of the local authorities' discriminatory policies, Brandon, who was born with female anatomy, was placed in the women's section of the local jail.
Brandon Teena, left, and Lana Tisdel, ca. 1993. Photo c/o AP.
Days later, the town's paper posted a notice about Brandon's arrest, though the news ran under Brandon's birth name. Then, during a Christmas Eve party, John Lotter and Tom Nissen, two men that Brandon had befriended, assaulted him, stripped him, and forced Tisdel to look at Brandon's body; hours later, they forced Brandon into a car, drove him to a parking lot, and beat and raped him.
Although the men threatened to kill Teena if he reported the crime, he nonetheless went to Sheriff Charles Laux, who subjected him to a dehumanizing line of questions and then declined to arrest the attackers.
When they learned of Teena's report, Lotter and Nissen went to Lambert's home and killed Brandon Teena, Lisa Lambert, and friend Phillip DeVine.
At the direction of his mother, Brandon was buried under a headstone bearing his birth name and the epitaph "Daughter, Sister, & Friend."
Lotter is on death row and Nissen is serving three consecutive life sentences.
As with virtually all anti-trans violence, Brandon Teena's murder initially failed to get national attention. His story was later told in the documentary The Brandon Teena Story, and in the award-winning film Boys Don't Cry (1999), starring Hilary Swank as Teena, drawing attention to the epidemic of violence directed at the trans community.
To red more about Brandon, see our Memorial Hall.