A 20-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter yesterday in connection to the fatal beating of a 17-month-old boy. Pedro Jones was babysitting his girlfriend’s child at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Sunday, and killed him “by striking him several times throughout his body with his closed fists and grabbing him by the neck,” according to court documents. When asked why, Jones said, “I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl.”
I want to say up front, we can’t possibly know whether the infant would have grown up to be trans, so I don’t think speculation or discussion along those lines will be productive. What is important is that Pedro Jones saw the possibility of a toddler who was assigned male at birth possibly growing up to be a cis gay man or a trans woman as sufficient reason to beat him violently enough to kill him. That he perceived a 17-month old child as violating expected gender role behavior and that this perceived behavior needed to be punished and eradicated.