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We the People    Sexual Orientation


Those Defined by Sexual Orientation

Brandon Teena
Brandon Teena (also known as Teena Brandon) was a 21 year old transgendered man who was raped and murdered on January 31, 1993 outside of Humboldt, Nebraska. Although genetically born female, Teena dressed and lived as a man, dated women and tried to fit in to the small town Nebraska life. When John Lotter and Marvin "Tom" Nissen, discovered their new friend was biologically female, they beat and raped him. When the assault was reported to local police, Lotter and Nissen retaliated by going to the farmhouse where Teena was staying with Lisa Lambert and Philip Devine and shot them all, execution style, leaving only Lambert's infant son alive.

In 1999, Brandon Teena's story was made into a film, "Boys Don't Cry" starring Hilary Swank (who was born in Lincoln). Teena's story raised awareness of hate crimes against gay, bi-sexual, and trans-gender people.

John Lotter    Thomas Nissen
John Lotter and Thomas Nissen leave their arraignment hearing in January 1994.
Photos courtesy Lincoln Journal Star.

JoAnn Brandon
JoAnn Brandon holds photos of Teena Brandon as a toddler.
Photo courtesy Lincoln Journal Star.


Lincoln Journal Star, January 4, 1994, p. 6. "Woman remained Brandon's friend; Brandon fit profile of a transsexual."


Humboldt Standard
, January 6, 1994, p. 1. "Three murdered near Humboldt create national attention."




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Last updated 4 January 2013

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