We already know that San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan is homophobic. (In case you need a refresher, she thinks we’re “so disgusting!”) Now we know she’s also transphobic. In the same taped session in which Chan made her antigay remarks, she also trashed a former colleague on the city council who is in a transgender marriage.
Leticia Ozuna was a member of the city council until losing re-election in May. Ozuna is married to Sophia Parafina, who transitioned during their 25 year marriage. The couple have two children.
The nasty comments came during a conversation about transgender rights that Chan and her staff were having. Besides the usual “which bathroom do they use” arguments, one of Chan’s aides notes that the state of Texas identifies gender “by the equipment you have at birth.” As an example, the aide cites the case of Ozuna’s spouse.
“That lady was born a man. So that marriage is still valid in the state of Texas,” he says. Yes, “though she’s a lady,” adds another aide. “And has lady parts,” the first aide responds.
Chan is clearly shocked on the audio. “That’s her original husband?” Chan audibly gasps.
“No, that’s a man,” the aide responds.
“So what kind of marriage is that?” Chan says.
“I don’t want to speculate,” another aide responds in an attempt at humor.
The San Antonio Express, which broke the original story about Chan’s homophobic comments, sat on this portion of the tape until Ozuna agreed to its release. Ozuna called for Chan to resign.
“No words can adequately express both the anger and sadness our family feels as we deal with this disclosure. She has unequivocally disrespected all LBGTQ families, including mine,” she said.
Chan quickly went into full grovel. “I apologize profusely to Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna and her family for referencing their lives in our private conversation,” Chan said. “I did not address the withheld minute of the recording earlier because it was never my intention to hurt anyone.”
Ozuna never spoke about her family during her term in office. In an interview with a local television station, Ozuna said that “I do think that there was some anticipation that I would be ashamed of my own personal life, that shame would drive me into silence.”
“This is not meant to be a titillating, salacious conversation,” Ozuna. “We need to talk about what prejudice looks like.”
Seems it looks a lot like Elisa Chan.