Rosendale, New York, USA: Angelina Bouros is a brave woman. She put up a rainbow Pride flag outside her home as a symbol of LGBTQ pride and support. In doing so she brought a long standing campaign of harassment against her by neighbours to a boiling point. One neighbour or neighbours, yet to be discovered and named, made it clear that they killed her cat and cut her in half. They then placed the body behind her backyard. Pink News reports that after she erected the flag, she received four hate letters full of abuse and profanities and an admission that they had killed her cat.
In response Bouros painted her house in rainbow colours. She told her community on social media that she was going to do it.
They picked the wrong person as I will never allow a person like that to intimidate me – Angelina Bouros
‘They picked the wrong person to pick on’ — Trans woman Angie Bouros became the victim of hate speech and violence after flying a rainbow flag outside her home.
So what did she do?
She and hundreds of community members painted her whole dang house rainbow🌈 pic.twitter.com/PMhGzgFGHS
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 23, 2020
Bouros had to ‘push back’ and make a stand against bigotry and intolerance. Her cats are her kids. She loves them as much as a person so this hurt.
This is actually a very serious crime because it is technically, as far as I am concerned, aggravated criminal damage or aggravated animal cruelty. It is aggravated by the transphobic element of the crime.
The police should take this very seriously and make a special effort to find the perpetrator(s) because the motivation for the crime – hatred of trans people – undermines social cohesion. It cannot be allowed to go unpunished and the punishment should be quite severe at several years in prison. It is almost the equivalent to a racist attack on an ethnic minority person.
I would expect the criminal law of New York state and/or the federal law to provide for a more severe punishment for transphobically aggravated criminal offences.
Lastly, this is another sad example of the innocent domestic cat being used as a means to transmit mental hurt to their owner. This is commonplace. The perpetrators know that harming a domestic cat will have a significant impact on their human guardian because of the emotional connection. The criminal wants to inflict the maximum damage on the person and choses a cat over the fabric of the home.
Also it is far easier to kill someone’s cat covertly and avoid arrest and charge because cats wander at night and there are no witnesses. The domestic cat is incredibly vulnerable in these situations. Perhaps Bouros should have realised that and taken special precautions.
Note: A ‘trans woman’ is a male-to-female transsexual.