There were quite a few men who seemed to miss the whole message behind the trending hashtag, #MasculinitySoFragile. Perhaps, this tragic story will illustrate the problem that topic was trying to confront.
On October 15, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20-year-old Rico LeBlond shot and killed Zella Ziona, a trans woman.
According to charging documents obtained by a CBS affiliate, LeBlond killed Ziona because she “began acting flamboyantly towards LeBlond and greatly embarrassed LeBlond in front of his peers.”
Investigators believe that LeBlond and Ziona were having an argument as a result of their friendship becoming public. Sadly, the dispute went beyond words with LeBlond shooting Ziona multiple times in the head and groin.
Police are now considering hate crime charges in her death in addition to the first degree murder charge LeBlond is facing.
There is no question for Ziona’s family. Her death was the result of a hate crime.
Sade Thomas, Ziona’s cousin said, “I just want to know why. Why did you take such beautiful, amazing soul like that and he was never the type of person to hate you or do anything to you?”
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report that there have been 22 reported homicides of trans and gender nonconforming people in 2015. 19 of those victims were people of color.
If a man can murder a woman in cold blood simply because he was embarrassed that his masculinity was challenged, it’s his masculinity that needs to be addressed not Ziona’s personal choices. LeBlond’s masculinity was not only fragile, it was fatal.