Teena Brandon was raped and eventually murdered after some of her "friends" discovered that she had been passing herself off as Brandon Teena, a man.  Teena had been molested as a child by someone close to her and Teena's mother claimed that her daughter was simply disguising herself as a man and dated women as a defense mechanism against another male attacker.  It is very clear, though, for those who know details of the story, that Teena's feelings that she was more comfortable as a man were much more deeply rooted.  She had attractions to other women, but was not a lesbian.  Whenever she tried to live as who she was, she was derided and ridiculed.  Teena moved Lincoln to another small town in Nebraska and decided, or felt forced, to keep her true gender a secret.  She hung out with the guys and even had a girlfriend, but when the proper order of things was shattered for the people around her, she paid for it with her life.  Even after her death, the betrayals continue.  Her girlfriend at the time plays down any relationship and denies continuing the relationship even after she realized Teena's true gender.  Teena's mother insists that she talked to her daughter shortly before her death and that Teena was most certainly "a girl."  She was also upset with Hillary Swank's acceptance speech at the Oscar's when Swank spoke of Teena as "Brandon Teena."  The people closest to her continue to deny who she really was.  Teena Brandon was by no means a perfect person and she did make mistakes, but some have come to, astonishingly so, vilify her.  We choose to look at her as someone in an impossibly rigid and unforgiving environment who did the best she could, courageously, to be herself.   We use the name Teena Brandon because she never really had the chance to be Brandon Teena.




       TO TEENA WITH LOVE,           THE DEATH 2UR



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