In an earlier era, FC Martinez would have been
Instead, sixteen year old FC was murdered in a brutal hate crime in June 1991.
June 2011: Two Spirits, the documentary, is a powerful film about the brutal murder of Fred Martinez, about a time when the world wasn't simply divided into male and female, and about the place of honor in many Native American cultures for people across a spectrum of sexuality and gender expression. It premiered on November 21, 2009 in Denver, Colorado; and screened on Independent Lens on 140 PBS stations from June 14-29, 2011. It is a production of Say Yes Quickly Productions, Henry Ansbacher, executive producer; Riding the Tiger Productions, Lydia Nibley, director, co-producer, and co-writer; and Just Media, Inc., Russell Martin, co-producer and co-writer -- with Darrin Navarro, editor; David A. Armstrong, director of photography; and Ron Eng, supervising sound editor and sound designer.
Responses to the film:
TWO SPIRITS: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez
Hate Crimes, Media and Two Spirits - October 26, 2009 - by Gail Binkly, Editor, Four Corners Free Press - posted on Huffington Post.
Retelling Racialized Violence, Remaking White Innocence: The Politics of
Interlocking Oppressions in Transgender Day of Remembrance Starting at a beginning:
Note: Contact phone numbers and email addresses on this page have mostly been
taken off 2001 press releases as they are probably out of date.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 5, 2001 GLAAD News Pop
Starting at a beginning:
Note: Contact phone numbers and email addresses on this page have mostly been
taken off 2001 press releases as they are probably out of date.
Note: Contact phone numbers and email addresses on this page have mostly been taken off 2001 press releases as they are probably out of date.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 5, 2001
GLAAD News Pop
July 5, 2001
Press Release: 4CGLAD AND PFLAG DURANGO/FOUR CORNERS RESPOND
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 30, 2001
Kathy Keyes, Board Chair, Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity (970) 264-0051
Alan Cook, Psychotherapist, Director, C.A.R.S. (970) 565-4100
John Peters-Campbell, Cortez Board Member, Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity (970) 564-0665
Terry Helm, Counselor, Montezuma-Cortez High School (970) 562-2629
Denise de Percin, Executive Director, Colorado Anti Violence Project (303) 839-5204, (720) 270-1368
4CGLAD JOINS THE COMMUNITY MOURNING THE LOSS OF FRED MARTINEZ
On June 21, the body of Fred Martinez, a 16 year old openly gay Montezuma-Cortez High School student, was found south of Cortez, Colorado, apparently the victim of blunt trauma and exposure. Montezuma County and Cortez law enforcement agencies are investigating the death, considering the possibility that Fred was attacked because of
his sexual orientation. Law enforcement is examining evidence to determine whether or not this was a hate crime.
The Four Corners gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) community joins with the citizens of Cortez in mourning the loss of Fred Martinez, and offer to his family, friends and community our condolences. Fred was a model for us in his ability to express his individuality despite the pressures of convention, while garnering the
love of many around him.
As members of the GLBT community, we respond to the murder of Fred with the concern that his attack may have been a hate motivated crime. We appreciate that Montezuma County law enforcement is investigating Fred's
death with bias against homosexuals as a possible motive, despite the lack of hate crimes legislation inclusive of the GLBT community in Colorado. We support them in their efforts to solve this case in their process.
We ask all citizens of Colorado to join us in our efforts to extend the protections enumerated in the Ethnic Intimidation Act to the GLBT citizens of Colorado. Whatever is determined to be the motivation behind the murder of Fred Martinez, the specter of hate crimes associated with this case pointedly reminds us that members of the GLBT
community continue to be targets of violence born of hate, ignorance and fear. What we desire most is that the community at large stand with us to make it clear that hate crimes against us will not be tolerated.
PFLAG Durango/Four Corners is involved in supporting the family. The contact person for that chapter is Betsy Stephens, Chapter President. Contact information for her is:
July 5, 2001
Denise de Percin, Executive Director
Carter Klenk, Director
Colorado Anti-Violence Program Applauds Apprehension of Suspect in Murder of Fred Martinez, Jr.
The Colorado Anti-Violence Program today applauded law enforcement in Montezuma County, CO and San Juan County, NM, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, for their cooperative efforts to apprehend those responsible for the murder of Fred Martinez, Jr. in Cortez, Colorado.
"Today's announcement by law enforcement that they have arrested a suspect provides a small measure of relief to all the communities affected by the murder, and also sends a clear signal that law enforcement has followed through on their commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Four Corner's area and throughout Colorado," said Denise de Percin, Executive Director. "Of course we still have concerns about whether the crime was motivated by any type of bias," she continued, "but we have renewed confidence that the investigation will eventually be able to address these questions."
Although Colorado has no hate crime legislation, the Federal Hate Crime Statistics Act does require the FBI to collect statistics from each state. However, state compliance is voluntary and effective documentation depends on a number of factors, including whether the state has passed hate crimes legislation that requires training for law enforcement and the development of mandates and protocols for reporting. The Campus Right to Know Act requires colleges to collect information on certain types of crimes, including hate crimes based on sexual orientation, and make that information publicly available.
The Colorado Anti-Violence Program documented 120 incidents of violence targeted at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and hiv+ people statewide in 2000, while the FBI reported only 26 incidents based on sexual orientation in Colorado during the same period.
"In a state that provides no
civil rights or hate crimes protections for LGBT people, there are huge
barriers to reporting violence to police," according to Carter Klenk
Colorado Anti-Violence Program Director. "This highlights the need for
community-based organizations, such as the CAVP, that the community trusts to
provide services, document violence, and, in some cases, be a conduit for
reporting to law enforcement."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2001
PFLAG Continues Support of Mom of Hate Crime Victim, Urges Police to Continue Investigation
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) today offered their continued support and assistance to the mother of Fred Martinez, Jr., a Colorado teen who was murdered in June. Montezuma County Court documents released yesterday concerning the death of Martinez - a gay, Two-Spirit Navajo youth - revealed that the suspect, Shaun Murphy, was quoted as bragging that 'he had beat up a fag.' The PFLAG Durango/Four Corners chapter members have been talking with Martinez's mother, Paula Mitchell, since the murder was first made public.
"This is a horrible tragedy for Fred's family," said Betsy Stephens, president of the PFLAG Durango/Four Corners chapter, "and we encourage the Montezuma County Sheriff's office to continue investigating the probable bias motive. Fred bravely endured harassment from his peers because he refused to hide his true self, and we should remember him as the genuine person he was. His life and tragic death are examples of the struggle that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in order to be honest about themselves, and the horrible consequences of homophobia in our society."
Other PFLAG members, particularly those who have experienced hate violence, have offered their support to Mitchell. "This is a horrible tragedy, and we are doing all we can to help Paula through this very difficult time," said PFLAG Olympia (Washington) member Gabi Clayton, whose bisexual teenage son committed suicide in 1995 after experiencing a hate crime. "The loss of a child is overwhelming and heartbreaking, and we are trying to be there emotionally for Paula, especially those of us who have experienced that loss."
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy. Serving more than 84,000 supporters, PFLAG's more than 460 chapters and affiliates are located in communities across the United
[GLAAD Western Call to Action] Call to Action 7/13/01-----Original Message-----
From: @glaad.org On Behalf Of Hallie Whittaker
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 2:54 PM
To: Multiple recipients of WCALL
Subject: [GLAAD Western Call to Action] Call to Action 7/13/01
July 13, 2001
The GLAAD Call to Action is the regional activation tool of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
COVERAGE ROUND-UP: THE MURDER OF FRED MARTINEZ, JR.
The tragic murder of openly gay, Two-Spirit Navajo youth Fred Martinez, Jr., has presented many challenges and opportunities to local, regional and national media covering the story. Martinez, a 16-year-old resident of Cortez, Colo., is described by family and friends as a loving, promising youth who acknowledged the complexities of his sexual orientation and gender identity. He identified himself differently to different people; depending on who
you asked, he described himself as half-Navajo, openly gay, Two-Spirit and transgender, among other descriptions. GLAAD, the Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity (4cGLAD), the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, and PFLAG Durango/Four Corners have been working with reporters in Cortez and elsewhere to ensure that
descriptions of Martinez's sexual orientation and gender identity are not only fair, accurate and inclusive, but also sensitive to the complexities of his life experience.
In addition, local groups also have encouraged journalists to look at underreported aspects of this story, including: transgender identity, Two-Spirit identity, anti-transgender bias, and coverage of a probable hate crime in a state where no protections exist for LGBT people.
Three outlets deserve mention in light of their coverage, whether excellent, improving or problematic: the "Cortez [Colo.] Journal," "The Denver Post," and the Associated Press.
Fred Martinez's hometown newspaper, the "Cortez Journal," has set a high standard of journalistic excellence in covering this story. Staff writer Aspen Emmett and editorial staffers Suzy Meyer and Gail Binkly have made consistently professional, brave reporting decisions since Martinez's body was discovered three weeks ago. The "Journal" has not shied away from factual, open discussions of Martinez's gender identity and sexual orientation and how anti-gay/anti-trans bias likely was a factor in his murder.
In response to criticism of the "Journal's" factual reporting of Martinez's gay and transgender identity, the paper published an editorial ("There was nothing shameful about Martinez's sexuality" - July 10) that forcefully and eloquently defended its coverage. "Let's make one thing clear," the editorial concluded. "We do not believe there is anything shameful about homosexuality or being transgendered. We do not believe, as our anonymous letter-writer
does, that it is a flaw. If Fred Martinez didn't try to hide the fact that he was gay, why should we? And as long as people believe homosexuality is a dark secret to be concealed at all cost, how will gays ever come to be fully accepted into society?"
Please thank the "Cortez Journal" for its excellent news and editorial coverage.
Suzy Meyer, Editor/General Manager
37 E. Main St., P.O. Box J, Cortez, CO 81321
Phone: (970) 565-8527
Fax: (970) 565-8532
THE DENVER POST
Largely problematic in the early days of the story, "The Denver Post's" coverage dramatically improved after conversations with the Colorado Anti-Violence Project, 4cGLAD, PFLAG Durango/Four Corners and local community members. "The Denver Post," a major regional newspaper that is located nearly 500 miles northeast of Cortez, has recognized the regional importance of the story and has been covering the story prominently out of its Four Corners Bureau. While it initially identified Fred Martinez only as openly gay, the "Post" recently has reported on both Martinez's gay and transgender identities.
Strong reporting by the "Post" is crucial because it informs coverage by local outlets throughout the region. Please thank "The Denver Post" for its improved coverage and its commitment to fair, accurate and inclusive reporting.
Todd Engdahl, Editor
The Denver Post
Denver, Colorado 80202-1577
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
In contrast to the increasingly sensitive, accurate coverage by the "Cortez Journal" and "The Denver Post," the Associated Press Denver Bureau published stories on July 6 and July 12 that oversimplified
and sensationalized Fred Martinez's identity. The articles (which were not by-lined) identify Martinez only as "openly gay" and report that Martinez "was known to pluck his eyebrows, wear makeup and carry a purse to school." These associations not only conflate gender expression with sexual orientation, but also fail to mention Martinez's self-identification as a transgender and Two-Spirit person.
The AP articles are even more disappointing in light of fact that GLAAD met last year with the Associated Press Stylebook to discuss the proper terminology to use when writing about issues involving sexual orientation and gender identity. Please contact the AP Denver Bureau and ask that future articles demonstrate more sensitivity toward the complexities of Fred Martinez's identity.
The Associated Press
1444 Wazee St., Ste. 130
Denver, CO 80202-1395
NOTES ON COVERAGE OF FRED MARTINEZ'S TWO-SPIRIT IDENTITY
Also noteworthy are articles in the "Denver Rocky Mountain News" and the Farmington, N.M. "Daily Times" that specifically mention Fred Martinez's Two-Spirit identity.
Two-Spirit is a term used by some Native Americans to describe a person who embraces a gender identity that differs from his or her biological sex and/or a person who is attracted to members of the same sex. The term, which may be defined or used differently by various Native Americans, stems from a traditional belief that some
people have two spirits, embodying both male and female gender identities.
Thus far, the "Rocky Mountain News" and the "Daily Times" are the only outlets to name and discuss this important identity, and they have opened the door to a more nuanced discussion about the complexities of gender identity, ethnic identity and sexual orientation.
(NOTE: a library of news stories and editorials related to the Fred Martinez case is available at the 4cGLAD Web site, http://www.4cglad.org/)
TO JOIN GLAAD AND RECEIVE GLAAD's QUARTERLY GLAADNOTES MAGAZINE, call 1.800.GAY.MEDIA or join on the Web today at < www.glaad.org>.
NOTE: The following statement can be attributed to Pauline Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell is the mother of Fred C. Martinez, Jr., the sixteen year old Native American Two-Spirit youth whose body was discovered near Cortez, Colo., on June 21. Ms. Mitchell is releasing this statement in lieu of interviews. Additional contact information and resources are listed immediately below this statement.
Pauline Mitchell's statement
is also available here as a PDF file
which includes a photograph of Fred and the artwork from his memorial
service. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat reader to be able to open it.
JULY 18, 2001
"I feel it is time to talk about the death of my son, Fred C. Martinez,
Denise de Percin
AUGUST 6, 2001
Request to PFLAG chapters and glbt and other human rights organizations/communities
My name is Pauline Mitchell. My youngest son, Fred C. Martinez, Jr. was brutally assaulted and left to die alone in an anti-glbt hate crime in Cortez, Colorado. Fred was 16 yrs old. I am Navajo and a single working mother. I have encountered incredible problems here in seeking justice for my son. There are many who believe this is a "kid" who did not matter outside of his family and friends.
I desperately need your help in sending a message that people all over do care about the Fred's living in our communities and attending our schools. That we are no longer going to be silent when our children's lives are destroyed and taken just because they are different, that they dress and present outside of what boys or girls should wear, that they may love one of the same gender. That just because you are glbt or poor or with skin of a different color as my Fred was, does not lessen the value of his life or your loved ones or even yourselves.
PFLAG has helped me plan a vigil that will honor my son's life, the seeking of justice here and the larger message that this must stop and stop now. Please join us in Cortez, Colorado on the evening of August 11, 2001 to host a candle light vigil in your community. I and so many other's who have been hurt by hate violence beg for your help at this time. I am a PFLAG parent and loved my son without reservation. I accepted and permitted his exploration of all that he was. I was always afraid that violence would find him but didn't want to believe it would really come, that always happens to someone else. None of us are safe until we all join together with a unified voice.
PFLAG and other organizations will have the information you will need for a local vigil. Please help and let Carolyn at fuah.org know if you are willing to do this. Carolyn is out here with me now and has been for several weeks now. Personally, I do not know what I would have done if not for the support and guidance from two other PFLAG moms, Gabi Clayton and Carolyn Wagner and Betsy Stephens from PFLAG/Durango.
Gratefully, Paula Mitchell
May 23, 2002
by Jim Mimiaga - Cortez Journal - Cortez, Colorado
MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 3, 2002
PROGRAM COMMENDS JUDGE
The Colorado Anti-Violence Program (CAVP) responded with approval today at the forty year sentence imposed by Judge Hanson on Shawn Murphy, who pled guilty to second degree murder in the death of Fred Martinez, Jr. in Cortez, Colorado last June. The sentence is only five years less than the maximum allowed, and it will be twenty-five years before Shawn Murphy is eligible for parole.
"It has been a difficult and grueling year for Pauline Mitchell and her family," said Denise de Percin, Executive Director. "The evidence presented by the prosecution and the strong and emotional victim impact statement read by Pauline Mitchell to the court clearly convinced the judge of the profound impact of the loss on Fred's family and community."
Members of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community organization, 4 Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity, have been working closely with Pauline Mitchell since last June, and have provided support for her through the criminal justice process. "One can't be really be completely satisfied in a situation like this, but Pauline is at peace with the verdict, and its as good a result as we could have hoped for," said John Peters-Campbell, 4cGLAD board member from Cortez. "Shawn Murphy will spend most of his adult life in jail."
Statement of Pauline Mitchell at the sentencing hearing on June 3, 2002 of Shawn Murphy, who pled guilty to the murdered her son Fred Martinez, Jr. in Cortez, Colorado last June.