Imagine there is a person who is so homophobic that they devote their time and energy to organizing against gay people having the right to their own spaces and events. Every time there is an LGBT event, they go and protest outside the venue and harass the attendees as they come and go. Imagine that after years of this, this person suddenly murders a gay male couple. Would many in the public not immediately jump to conclusions, without waiting for the court proceedings, and decry the murders as a hate crime? Would the media not immediately talk about the possibility that the murder was motivated by the perpetrator’s well-documented hatred of gay people? Would they not use the opportunity to highlight the stories of other gay people subjected to hate and harassment, and to start a conversation on the problem of homophobia in our society?
Or imagine a similar scenario with Jewish people. Some raging anti-semite harasses congregants going and coming from the local synagogue, until one day, he finally kills a family that attended that same synagogue. Would this not prompt some media coverage? Some broader conversation on anti-semitism? Maybe a few weeks of interviews with other Jewish people who had been the recipients of hate? Replace with Black people or Muslim people – any minority group that includes men. In each case, it seems reasonable to imagine some coverage from liberal media, some mention of the possibility of the murders being a hate crime, some heightened awareness of the vulnerability of the targeted community. But in the case of lesbians in the Bay Area, no such thing.
Dana Rivers is a well-known trans-identified male who for years participated in a campaign to shut down Michfest, a female-only music festival that was largely attended by lesbians, and who harassed the women who attended the event. A few months after Michfest was shut down, he murdered a lesbian couple and their son in Oakland. The two women had been regular attendees of Michfest. We can’t say for sure why he committed these murders, and it’s not impossible that the fact that his victims were lesbians and attendees of Michfest was a coincidence. But like…. come on. Think of the coverage if the victims had belonged to an oppressed group that is deemed to matter.
There has been extremely little noise on this case, and nothing from “LGBT” outlets. To add insult to injury, most of the coverage at the time, like this headline of The East Bay Times, stated that a “woman” was charged with the killings. This was not a woman’s crime.
To erase and forget the murders of Patricia Wright, Charlotte Reed and Benny Diambu-Wright, and to brush under the carpet what motivated their killer, are further crimes against this family.
Read about the murders and about Dana Rivers’/David Warfield’s prior participation in “Camp Trans”, an organized protest against the freedom of association of lesbians, here:
Kara Dansky is a radical feminist lawyer who seems to be the only person currently following the case and updating the public. Stay updated here: