Teena, Brandon

Brandon Teena was born in 1972 and assigned female at birth. He self-identified as male in his late teens. At age 22, his trans identity was forcibly revealed by two acquaintances, John Lotter and Marvin “Tom” Nissen. They raped him and days later murdered him in a transphobic homicide on December 31, 1993. Teena (used throughout this entry as his surname) has become a symbolic figure for trans activists within the LGBTQIA+ community, highlighting the extreme violence that can be experienced by trans people on disclosure of their gender identity.

Brandon Teena’s birth name was Teena Renae Brandon. His Catholic mother, JoAnn Brandon, raised Teena and his sister Tammy in a trailer park in Lincoln, Nebraska. Teena’s short life was marked by tragedy and sexual violence. ...

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