gay panic

Will the Matthew Shepard Act Play a Part In Jorge Mercado’s Murder?


Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, the 26-year-old alleged murderer of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado (pictured, right), believed he was cruising for female prostitutes in Caguas, Puerto Rico. And when he found out Mercado was a man? That’s when he killed — and burned, and dismembered, and decapitated — him.

“After being rejected by a few women, [Matos] saw Jorge dressed as a woman and asked him to go with him to the house,” reads a translated police report. “Apparently at the house, the suspect found out that Lopez was a man, after Lopez made sexual advances, and as a result of the rage, Matos did what he did.” Ah, the wonderful “gay panic” defense.


As yet, it’s unclear whether prosecutors will charge Matos (pictured, left) with a hate crime, although the FBI is now involved. Which means we might see the first exercising of October’s Matthew Shepard Act, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes covered by the 1969 Federal Hate Crimes Law. So while federal funds won’t be made available to local law enforcement until next year, victims (and their families) of LGBT-oriented hate crimes can “seek compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive and declaratory relief.”

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  • terrwill

    There is no excuse for the murder, but trannies got to realize guys gonna be just a little bit ticked off when they find a pole rather than a hole………

  • scott ny'er

    If I was in drag, I know I’d be concerned how the dude I picked up would react once he finds out. it is fraud.

    And that definitely doesn’t give anyone the right to attack, much less kill someone.

  • Josh

    The Hate Crimes Bill didn’t prevent the murder. It may effect the punishment – that’s all. Laws don’t make anyone safer.

  • Joe

    Did you really just use “trannies” in a comment on a post about the murder of a person who may very well have identified as a transgender woman? And did you also imply that the victim of this crime should have expected it because they were expressing a nonstandard gender identity?

    What the FLYING FUCK is wrong with you? Everyone was outraged when the detective said this person should have expected to be killed for being gay. Now it turns out the victim may have been trans so you turn around and mirror his statement almost word for word?

    I’m disgusted.

  • naghanenu

    Terriwill…nicely said though a tad insensitive

    I feel bad that this idiot thought killing that poor man will make him feel better about the whole thing. But c’mon for the sake of safety..trannies please be upfront

    I mean really!!!!!!!!!

  • terrwill

    Oh Joe,Joe,Joe, another trans apologist. You know the kind who think it is perfectley all right to decieve a person about whether you have kibbles or bits down there and then be SO SUPRISED about their reaction when they find out the truth. Re-read my post. I clearly stated there is no excuse for murder, I will ammend it to include any kind of violence. Yet you can not expect someone to be upset about finding a hole when they find a pole.

    And how far into the PC dictionary did you have to search to come up with that PC babble: “expressing a nonstandard gender identity”. When you are deliberate in decieving someone into thinking you have one type of sexual organ, rather than the opposite its not your PC babble, it is called an outright lie.

  • Joe

    Terrwill: Reread your own post. You said nothing about whether or not murder was excusable.

    And no, it’s not PC babble. Replace “tranny” with “faggot” and “deceive people about your ‘real’ sex” with “try to push your sexuality on someone else” and you have the exact same fuckwitted ignorance that was used and still is used to justify gay bashings.

    Your argument holds no ground.

  • terrwill

    And PS Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado had no need to change his looks, he was incredibly good looking……….

  • Joe

    Self correction: OK, you did generally say murder was bad. So kudos for having basic morality, I guess?

    But to trivialize gender identity to changing one’s looks to be more attractive? Wow. Yeah, very informed.

  • terrwill

    JOE: Is it your first day with you new eyes?? I think they need adjusting. “There is no excuse for the murder” are the first seven words in my initial post. And please do equate a Gay who is minding his own business and gets bashed with someone who deliberatly decieves someone by lying about their sex to get sex.

  • Joe

    So gay bashings *ARE* ok if a gay guy isn’t minding his own business and comes onto a straight guy? Is that the logic you’re using there? Please, explain to me exactly how it is that trans bashings are understandable but gay bashings are not? Dig your hole a little deeper. It helps everyone see just how backwards the thinking is behind transphobia within the gay community.

  • AlanInUtah

    Down girls. Everyone has their view and opinions. Quit trying to sway them on a comments section. It won’t do any good. Either way, anyone who sells their bodies is putting themselves at risk for personal harm or even death, regardless if they are trying to disguise themselves as someone else they are not or being upfront. The point, don’t put yourself in this situation. It just might keep you alive.

  • Joe

    Alan, while I might not be able to get through Terrwill’s ignorance and bigotry, calling him on it may at least make somebody else think twice. And if there’s *any* proper forum for challenging such bigotry it would be a site with Queer in the title, no?

    And, just to throw it out there (and skipping over the moral arguments about it), some people have no choice but sex work. Particularly runaway/”throwaway” LGBT teens.

  • terrwill


  • Same Crap

    Nice to see that some gays are not above the “blame the victim” mentality that pops up whenever women get raped or murdered, too.

    “I’m not saying the rape/murder is justified, but if only only the woman had not gotten shit-faced/wore the mini skirt/walked by herself at 3 AM, etc., the rape/murder could have been prevented.”

    Sigh. Some things never change.

  • Joe


    I did mention a gay guy coming onto a straight guy, though, as that’s the most direct parallel to what you said, and the most common justification for gay bashings. Thus is born the “gay panic” defense. You know, the one mentioned in the article? The one that will likely be used in court by the murderer in this case?

    But please, continue to yell. It makes your viewpoint look extremely well-informed and persuasive.

  • terrwill

    JOE: I don’t know what your connection is to the trannie community. However I do know that they usually like you never respond to reason and budge from their thinking that a trannie is never to blame when they are assaulted or even murdered by their trying to decieve someone by lying about exactaly what type of genetitalia they have. The trannie community ALWAYS tries to twist the argument to wedge their problems into the greater Gay community. Arguing with you is like a two year old, you just can’t reason with them. So one more time and then I am done with you: If you lie about what type of sexual organs you have and that leads to a bad outcome, it is your fault because the altecation could have been 100% avoided if you did not chose to take the low road of lies and deception. End of story, keep on posting your twisted logic Joey boy/girl? I am done………

  • Republican

    Same Crap,

    I hear what you’re saying and I agree 100%.

    I do, however, think that one can reduce one’s exposure to dangerous situations. For example, take walking alone at night. I don’t think it’s blaming the victim to point out why that’s not a good idea. We use date rape stories to encourage people to be careful who they get drinks from, so why not use nighttime rape stories to encourage people to be safe when walking at night? Rapes, of course, do occur elsewhere and at other times day, but it’s a smart step to take a friend with you when walking at that time of day (this goes for men, too), not just because of rape, but for all sorts of crimes.

  • Joe

    Again. Take everything Terr just typed. Remove “tranny”, insert “faggot”. Replace “lie about sexual organs” with “push their sexuality on someone else”. And suddenly you have, litereally, the exact argument that is and has been used to justify the beatings and murder of gay men.

    People, you need to understand that the conflation in mainstream society between gender and sexuality plays a huge part in BOTH homophobia and transphobia. Trying to justify the one only perpetuates the other.

  • Republican


    You really don’t like trans people, do you?

  • terrwill

    I said I wouldn’t reply to Joey girl/boy but I will to you REPUBLICAN: Unfortunately I no longer pull the “in favor” lever for the trans community because of shit like this. If this was the first, on second, or third, or maybe even fourth case of a trans person misrepresenting their penis and or vagina I might give them a pass. However it seems to be an ongoing issue that they seem to think that a person who there is a good possibility of being straight is not going to be freaked out by the revelation that instead of a nice juicy vagina for them to slup there is an errect member staring at them. Unfortunately I must side with the suprised party, and said I don’t condone violence against anyone for this. In a perfect world the suprised party would think it was just a Punk’d episode and Ashton Kutcher would pop out. Its not a perfect world and people have a tendency to freak the fuck out about something like that, and unfortuately sometimes they tend to react violently. And guess what?? The whole damm episode can be prevented by NOT PRETENDING YOU HAVE OPPOSITE JUNK!!. And Joe like other trannnies keep on trying to equate this with Gay bashing. It is not the same thing! And this deceptive behaviour can lead to innocent persons being bashed by feeding on the homophobia of these subhuman scum who think it is ok to beat some innocent Gay person senseless. I can not for the life of me see why there is even a discussion as to the trannie behaviour is not wrong and should be defended……………..

  • edgyguy1426

    Someone reading this thread might think to equate trans with prostitute. Perhaps if they were more accepted in the workforce, they wouldn’t have to resort to prostitution for their cash.
    Related: Perhaps the assailant was fabricating his defense because it would make him more sympathetic to a jury. I don’t think anyone who resorts to murder is above lying about the motive.

  • JR

    I have to agree with Joe… Sounds like Terrwill should have a cheap prom dress stapled on and then throw him into a max security prison to see how long he will make it. UR rude and stupid Terrwill… so zip it please. Your idiocy systematically blames the victim for his fate and dooms anyone who may experience such a encounter by justifying such a senseless over-the-top reation and hatred by blaming the victim for their appearance and behavior. If you don’t like what you see, then tell them to dress the fuck up and go somewhere else! You don’t murder them then desecrate the corpse! Even better yet, why doesn’t everyone just stop hooking up with random people and get to know the person they r fucking or going to fuck first! It’s not worth loosing your head over…. but in this case, Terrwill has demonstrated that he doesn’t use his head at all!!!!

    He was only 19!!! He was just a fucking kid!!! This is just too gruesome and sick for words & I hope that this person gets what he deserves… and ironically, I’m sure a lot of prison rape will be in store for this maggot.

  • albert

    I don’t believe this guy’s story, or I’m waiting for more evidence…It just seems blatantly made up.

  • terrwill

    JR: Another ignorant bitch constantly refusing to place the blame squarlely where it needs to be placed. Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado would still be alive today if he did not attempt to decieve the killer. I don’t care if he is 19 or 90 he knew exactaly what he was doing and guess what?? What he did is wrong. I never defended the killer, he deserves any and everything he has comming to him. And the fact that he is attractive and young will mean that he will certainly experience a whole lot of anal sex in the comming months and for years to follow. And JR must stand for “junior” because you certainly have an adloscent mentality behaviour like this harms all of the Gay community. Because whether you are a trannie or not they have wedged their cause into the Gay community and they are lumped in with us. And again this kind of shit goes on all the time, they lie to get someone in the sack and can not understand why the person freaks out. Its a horrible event that was 100% preventable. Stop being so fucking politically correct and admit this shit which the trannie community practices on a regular basis is harmful to the entire Gay community………

  • Joe

    Oh, and just to remind everyone, the lion’s share of the momentum behind the modern gay rights movement belongs to folks in the transgender spectrum. If you’re unaware of the role they have played for LGBT rights read _Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution_

  • Joey

    terrwill: you are WRONG. get over it already.

  • terrwill

    JOE: You are an ASS now you get over it………

  • Juana


    He KNEW he was a man. Do you believe that bullshit confesion? The murderer made attempts to a female prostitute and a MALE prostitute, they declined and then apparently Jorge Steven accepted. The police found two condoms with all the evidence that this piece of shit was trying to get rid off and he flushed down the toilet. So do you really believe his bullshit story? This guy is the typical closet gay “macho man”, know his only concern is that people don’t think his gay…Give me a break! The guy is lying and he knew all the time Jorge Steven was a male plan and simple.

  • Juana

    My aplogies…Should read “now his only concern…” and “plain” instead of “plan”…Typos.

  • cr8nguy

    too much confusion here. it should be simple…violence against someone—even if they deceive you—is inexcusable.

    but i don’t think terwill means that it’s Mercado’s fault he was beaten….simply that he, or she, could have inflamed the situation by being deceptive.

    his point about deception is important and no one should freak on him for making it. it is inexcusable for anyone to lead on someone like that (i knoow, mercado didn’t necessarily do this, but for those who do do this). no one wants to hit on someone and then find out they were being mislead in such a fundamental way. and it DOES happen. a str8 friend of mind had it happen several years ago—-he didn’t react violently, but he was pissed. and the “tranny” or whatever word you prefer didn’t seem to think it should have mattered!!

    that’s bullshit. i’m gay, and when a girl flirts with me, it’s my responsibility to tell her….not lead her on. likewise, if i hit on a guy and he’s not gay, he damn well should tell me. it’s embarrassing to think you are hitting it off with someoen and then realize you were reading the situation totally wrong (we’ve all been there, no??).

    it’s the same with a tranny. if you are MTF and a guy is hitting on you, you damn well better make sure he knows. cause it is fucked up to wait till you are getting naked.

    having said that, reacting violently to that type of deception is not justifiable. jsut to reiterate.

  • Joe

    The sad fact is that revealing oneself as transgender to strangers is just as dangerous. Somebody who’s so fueled by fear & hatred will kill a trans person whether they find out in the bedroom or in the bar or just suspect someone walking down the street.

    If anything, it does not protect them, but makes them more vulnerable. I personally don’t have any answers as to when the proper time for disclosure is (and I think that’s a decision which is VERY specific to all individuals involved in any particular situation), but to generalize it as some kind of con, I think, is to greatly misunderstand the power structure in these situations.

    Also, to reiterate, using “tranny” is pretty much equivalent to using “faggot”. So unless you’re trans, you should really try to avoid it. Otherwise, you really have no place asking people to stop using any other derogatory terms against LGB folks.

    (Oh, and as an aside, the “Joey” who posted comment #27 isn’t me)

  • cr8nguy

    if not “tranny” which word is ok? i don’t like “tranny”…but i honestly don’t know what to say instead. hence the qutoes.

    as for the power structure, and the con idea….i don’t mean that it is always a con….but it is still deceptive to not make sure both people in the sexually charged situation are on the same page. it seems like it would be safer to say so up front … the hostility potential has to be less at that point than at a latter point when someone is expecting a female but finds a trans male.

    note though, that i’m not saying it’s right for it to be this way….but trans individuals are ultimately responsible for their own safety, just like the rest of us. as a gay man, there are places i know not to go to becuase their environments have a far greater potential for trouble than others.

    fair? no. stupid, yes. but that doesn’t make it less real. trans folks have to guage their safety. but no matter what, it can’t be beneficial to their safety if they don’t make it clear to a would-be romantic/sexual fling that the reality is what it is.

    what else can we say? we all have to take care to be safe. and that is certainly more difficult for trans people than others. but not being up front in a sexually charged situation will always increase the potential for a negative and possibly violent reaction.

  • Joe

    “Transgender person/people” and “trans person/people”, “trans woman” (for a MTF spectrum person), “trans man” (for a FTM spectrum person), etc. are all workable alternatives to “tranny”. It’s also respectful to refer to a person as their preferred gender (ie, a person who was assigned the male gender at birth but identified as female is a trans woman, not a trans man).

    And I think I get where you’re coming from. It’s a dangerous system of bigotry that needs to be navigated even as it’s being dismantled. And unfortunately there really is no easy or safe way to do that, as of yet.

  • cr8nguy

    thanks for the help. you get exactly where i am coming from. i just wish i knew how we could help our trans brothers and sisters be safer. all lgbt people seem to be a risk…but the Ts are at greater risk.

    thanks for the civil “discussion”. be safe.

  • Keith Kimmel

    This story just gets more and more sad. So it was a hate crime.

    That poor kid.

  • Kropotkin

    if not “tranny” which word is ok? i don’t like “tranny”…but i honestly don’t know what to say instead. hence the qutoes.”

    You can just say “trans”, it’s not that hard.

    And we shouldn’t speculate on ze’s identity right now, maybe Marcado identified as a gay dragqueen/crossdresser or a trans woman. The news reports haven’t really said so already.

    And Terrwill, do us all a favor and play in the street or something.

  • terrwill

    · Kropotkin: Would you and your fellow(?) trannies do the rest of the community a favor and stop doing things which deliberatley place you in danger (eg: lying about what you exactaly are), and hence leads to outcomes like which happened to Jorge?……………..

  • Halfback


    This wasn’t the first time the murderer had been in the area where he picked up Jorge, this told by other women and transgender who “work” in that area, they were also the ones who helped the police to solve this crime. These areas in PR are very well known by pretty much everyone so I’m sure he knew what he was getting into. This guy had already been in jail for abusing the mother of his kids, neighbours have told local news that he liked to intimidate them, this guy has a past of violence and drugs….

    I understand what you are trying to say but I think you are wrong. NO ONE has the right to do this to any person or any animal under NO circumstances. There are photos in the internet of how Jorge’s body was left, I wish I had not seen them because I think I’m scared for life. I don’t agree with what Jorge might be doing that night but as someone less than perfect my heart cries that he had to go trought something like this. I think Joe is right when he tries to make you understand that the same way you are judging transgenders is the way many straight people would talk about and justify their deslike of gay men or women. We weren’t there so we don’t know what happened but I think your opinion is based just in prejudice you might have. Let there be peace with everyone suffering with this tragedy. RIP Jorge

  • MACK

    I really wish that everyone here would realize one thing. And this really goes out to Terrwill and Joe. Both of you guys actually have very good points. That guy who killed him should fry for it. Joe, transgendered should be able to go wherever they want and the opposite sex it they prefer, however, they should ALWAYS be upfront about it when becoming sexually involved. Not because they deserve to die, but for their own safety. Terrwill, just because there are ignorant transgendered people, doesn’t mean they all are. I have wonderful transgendered friends and they are very cautious and aware of hate crimes and the retarded term “gay panic”. The bottom line to all of this nonsense is that we should all love for the sake of loving and live a good life for the sake of living a good life. There was absolutely no reason to kill Jorge. It would have been more justifiable if that guy had just punched him and left. But at the end of the day, violence is violence and violence is ALWAYS wrong. The last thing I want to add is that they were both looking for trouble, because they were both doing something illegal and were well aware. If they hadn’t found each other, they both could have easily been arrested if caught with someone else. When you look for trouble, you will find it one way or the other. Still, Jorge deserves his life back and a chance to carry on. Unfotunately, he paid an ugly price and his killer will pay his as well.

  • K

    Trans people shouldn’t have to be upfront about anything. Is it a requirement that homosexuals disclose their sexual identity everytime they meet someone. Fuck this homonormative bullshit.

  • scott ny'er

    No. 31 · cr8nguy

    you’re post makes sense but I don’t think Terriwell really thinks that. After reading Terriwell’s many posts I do think he’s blaming the victim vs saying the victim inflamed the situation.

    let’s repeat what you wrote:
    violence against someone—even if they deceive you—is inexcusable

  • Halfback

    Today the police in PR said they are looking into the possibility that the murderer might be linked to two other killings not solved yet. One is the mother of one of his kids, she was raped and stabbed 52 times last June, she was 23. The second was a 74 year old lady brutally stabed multiple times in her kitchen, same neighbourhood as the previous victim, this took place last month. This guy has been in jail for domestic violence were he said he has been raped and therefore his hate for gays, neighbours have told the press he liked to intimidate them.

  • Rene

    Terriwell is flat out wrong. Anyone who is surprised at finding a pole when they were looking for a hole…should really go back to school and learn a little more about male/female anatomy (women do not have adams apples).

  • Amy

    Just… wow.

    Okay, I stopped reading about halfway up, during Joe’s and Terrwill’s argument.

    Let me just ask this: since WHEN does lying about your genitalia/gender/whatever justify MURDERING them?

    Since when is murder JUSTIFIABLE at ALL?! Cold blooded, without conscience, murder?!!!

    It’s NOT! No matter how “mad” or “scared for his life” that ass who killed Jorge got because the person he allegedly “found out was a man underneath it all” wasn’t what he wanted, that doesn’t mean he can go and kill him. Confrontation or not, there is no excuse for murdering another person.

    And let me just define the difference between Murder and Killing in NORMAL social standards:

    Murder: the taking of someone else’s life with no compassion or remorse, or second thoughts not having to do with one’s own future or “ass on the line.”

    Kill: can be described in a number of ways, but is or isn’t the taking of someone’s life to save your OWN life (FOR A LEGITIMATE REASON), or taking their life for the hell of it.


  • Amy

    Yeah. What Scott said.

    And by a legitimate reason, I mean a reason like… if someone just killed your family and you had do something because they were coming at you to torture then kill you and your new-born son.

  • jonathan stone

    o.k. so my bf is trans gender does that make him a liar about his sexual identity just cause its his choice to be that way ? also none of us have any room to talk when we say that only trans gender people approach other guys. i am not trans gender but i am gay and i cant even begin to count the amount of straight guys that have either approached me or hit on me and i wasn’t even looking for its not fair to say that only prostitutes are in danger. and if this world woke up and stopped cutting off peoples money supply and/or stopped refusing to hire people just cause they’re not their definition of normal which by the way there is no such thing as normal maybe we wouldn’t have as many prostitutes ? just a thought. to Joe i do however applaud your efforts at defending the whole gay community we need more people like you keep up the good work :)and Terri you need to stop assuming that everyone that defends the trans gender people are trans gender themselves. that’s just shallow and wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself you are only further promoting the homophobia idea in our world isn’t it time we start fighting it instead of putting others down ? and please don’t answer no to this but have you ever done something you knew was wrong and/or illegal but still did it anyway ? i have as i am sure everyone else that has posted on this discussion has so putting the blame on one kind of person is not fair and should be considered a hate crime in itself. please feel free to reply id enjoy whatever feedback someone has. and just know i am not attacking anyone here just defending whats right :)

  • KleenexBoy

    I am appalled at some of the arguments here. Unbelievable. Heartless, cruel, nasty. No wonder so many people hate us. We seem to strive to live up to our stereotypes every day.

  • gudbuytjane

    Life as a trans woman means never being shocked when your ‘allies’ and ‘fellow queers’ use the same language to erase you as your killers.

    Trans people do not deceive; Cis people have ciscentric views of the world and blame trans people when that isn’t the case.

  • Adrian

    Is this a joke? No, really, is this some kind of elaborate April Fool’s In November Celebration?

    First of all, Queerty, this wasn’t a “gay bashing.” This was a TRANS bashing. Jorge Mercado was not murdered because of sexual orientation, but because of gender identity.

    And to the commenters:
    If you say “The murder wasn’t justified, but…” you ARE blaming the victim, and you ARE defending the murderer. Period.

  • Lina

    This incident should have been a rallying cry for queer and trans people to come together and realize that our bullshit politics amongst one another aside, the rest of the world lumps us together. This murder, potential serial killer, and all around sicko didn’t fucking care whether or not the poor kid was trans-identified or queer-identified… a murder like this is about venting rage at the powerless, and whether the kid was queer or trans Mercado had little power.

    And do you know why this shit keeps happening? Do you know why we have no power, as an LGBT COMMUNITY? It’s because the politics of self-division have been so successful. It’s because our lobbying organizations prove themselves impotent, our movement is roiled by socio-economic divisions, and because we allow ourselves to buy into flawed narratives that assume that simply by being who we are, trannies or faggots to use the above nomenclature, we deserve this shit.

    We deserve respect, equality and safety and we should be fighting others to prove it, not ourselves.

  • KleenexBoy

    PLEASE, EVERYONE, WRITE PUERTO RICO’S ATTORNEY GENERAL, Antonio Sagardia, at [email protected], phone 787-721-2900, and let your voices be heard.

    The FBI needs to take over the investigation. This HAS to become the FIRST hate-crime tried under President Obama’s new law. Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., it is our backyard, and many, many gays, live there. It has always been a welcoming place for us, and we need to show the government that we want to keep it that way. Governor Luis Fortuno is a young, brilliant guy, and he needs to hear our voices. This was a KID who was killed.

    I WANT TO SEE FROM MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS HERE the same passion used to debate Adam Lambert or the Marine in porn guy or Chaz Bono. PLEASE.
    Otherwise, WE ARE THE ONLY ONES TO BLAME. NOT heteros, not authorities, us. For being complacent.

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