Oxnard, California is a town like many towns across the United States. Oxnard has its share of institutional racism and gender hate, but no one would have expected one junior high student to murder another in cold blood. Growing up transgender, biracial, and in an abusive home, Leticia King had many challenges in life. At age 15, Leticia was struggling to find herself. She was identifying as a female and asking her classmates to stop calling her Larry and begin calling her Leticia.
Leticia was adopted as a toddler boy. As she reached adolescence, child abuse in her adopted home resulted in placement in a shelter for abused and neglected children. In the shelter, she found a supportive and accepting environment. At school, she was teased, ostracized, and bullied. But Leticia was strong and self-empowered. She refused to hide who she was from her classmates. Some of her peers didn’t like that.
One of these peers was 14-year-old Brandon McInerney. Brandon was raised in a home where abuse, illegal drugs, and weapons were commonplace.
Join us at the quiet end for A Murder in Junior High. When interactions between Leticia and Brandon resulted in a shocking murder, parents, teachers, and community leaders all shared in responsibility. Opinions and debates on the crime made one thing clear: gender identification and the behavior of teen-aged males are topics long overdue for society-wide discussions.