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Apr 22, 2014

The latest on transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne Paris

Caleb Orozco

Over the weekend, a transgendered woman who came into the public spotlight two weeks ago was the subject of a heated, emotional debate on Facebook. A post reported that Vanessa Champagne Paris had been murdered while in Placencia at the start of the Easter Holidays. That post sparked an immediate frenzy of comments, more than three hundred of them. But it appears that reports of her death were greatly exaggerated, and this evening UNIBAM’s Executive Director Caleb Orozco confirmed that Vanessa is alive and well.


Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, UNIBAM

“For the record, I can confirm that she is alive and that she is returning to Belize City. I can confirm that. I can confirm that she is still struggling with finding basic shelter, employment, getting back her documentation kind of thing. Part of the problem with Facebook right now is that once you put it out there, you don’t clarify whether it is confirmed or unconfirmed reports, it tends to create havoc on people’s mindset because on the other side, it is proof that somebody is spinning or lying and on the other side, it is genuine fear from the community and allies that violence is occurring. So what do you do when you receive stories like that? So I much express my appreciation for those—both allies and non-allies—who condemn violence against LGBT individuals. But at the same time, there is a genuine fear that the LGBT community feels that is there that has not been addressed. And so our challenge right now is one, recognizing the process of formalizing reports and ensuring that whatever reports we get is confirmed; two, we are careful to document through codes and timelines incidences that occur; and three, we recognize that any issue that is put out there will be challenged by those who are not our allies to delegitimize our concerns and to discredit the basic concerns that we have as a community that discrimination violence do occur. And so these are the dynamics behind what has been going on with Vanessa’s report of being attacked.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “The latest on transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne Paris”

  1. Over It says:

    1. Not a “she” that suggest there is XX chromosomes and accompanying body parts.
    2. If you want to be taken seriously don’t name yourself after an alcoholic drink.
    3. The person speaking on your behalf should at least not have his hair looking unkempt. (I knew him over ten yrs and all of a sudden he changes his accent…come on!)

    Then we will take it seriously

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