News Victoria Cruz, left, and Ruby Chavez lead a chant on behalf of anti-violence

Published on April 25th, 2012 | by Wild Gender

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Justice Department Honors Queer Woman For Her Heroism

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder honored Victoria Cruz, a trans woman from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and 11 others as part of the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington D.C.

According to a statement released by Attn. General Holder, Ms. Cruz, a senior domestic violence counselor with the New York City Anti-Violence Project, “empowers her clients to stand up and speak for themselves.”

Victoria Cruz

“I am passionate about the work that I do,” said Ms. Cruz in an interview with the NY Daily News. “People are coming out at a younger age. And putting themselves at risk. This award is making the invincible, visible.”

Ms. Cruz, a resident of East Flatbush, who has been “out” since grad school, is a 66-year-old Latina known as “Vicki,” who herself has weathered homophobia and transphobic violence.

In 1997, she made headlines while working at the Cobble Hill Nursing Home part of a welfare-to-work program when she accused a group of female nurses of groping her while screaming “anti-man” and “battyman,” gay bashing slurs used in West Indian communities. A criminal court judge found two nurses guilty of harassment and acquitted two others.

“I always knew that I was different,” Cruz said in the interview of growing up in the 1950s. “When I was in middle school they would call me ‘queer.’ ‘Gay’ at the time meant a jovial person.”

Attn. Holder acknowledged the recipients of the 2012 Justice Department picks as using “their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change.”

Victoria Cruz, left, and Ruby Chavez lead a chant on behalf of NY anti-violence project

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About the Author

Wild Gender

is an online magazine and creative hub born out of gratitude for the gift of full expression. We are dedicated to creative practices that celebrate gender fluidity, identity and expression. Wild Gender prioritizes visual art, creative writing, and journalistic work by trans/gender-variant individuals who have never before been published in a public venue. Run entirely by volunteers,we are always in search of writers, thinkers, and creators hoping to participate in our growing community.



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