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A new Latina transgender organization is embracing its mission to serve as a haven for community members seeking to escape violence, in spite of a death threat received last week. We warn you that some of the language is violent.
The Spanish-language death threat was left on the voice mail of the newly-opened Casa Ruby, the first and only Latina transgender agency serving the D.C. area. Translated roughly, the message says, "You deserve divine punishment and death, but before death you should suffer. You are damned from birth to death."
Ruby Corado is the founder of the agency, and she was the one who initially retrieved the message. "I am very upset," says Corado. "This is something that I didn't expect so soon."
Corado called D.C. police and said she received a return call from Chief Cathy Lanier. Police are investigating the threat and officers from the gay task force are dropping by the center on a regular basis.
Corado explains why she doesn't take these threats lightly:" I have been to dozens of funerals throughout this city and I have also been hundreds of times to the hospitals to aid people who have been victims of a violent crime or death for being who they are."
In spite of the threat, Casa Ruby has continued to serve as a safe haven for the Latino transgendered community of Washington DC. This week Casa Ruby has been hosting Latino delegations to the 2012 International AIDS Conference.
And today, El Zol, a Spanish language radio station, is broadcasting live from Casa Ruby. They are urging their listeners to come in for free HIV testing. The waiting room is packed with people of all sexual orientations.