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So this happened:

Alexis Alison Lancaster, 39, was approached at an RTA Red Line station and verbally harassed with antigay slurs as she excited the train on November 19. [T]he suspects… beat and kicked the victim, allegedly stealing her cell phone and leaving her bruised and unconscious.

Then Lancaster did some of her own police work, but alas:

Lancaster says she was able to track down her cell phone with the use of its GPS, but that police were not interested in following up.

And as a result of this hate crime:

Following television news coverage of the attack, Lancaster was evicted from the apartment she lived in for 13 years. The apartment is owned by the Catholic church.

Smooth move, Clevand Catholic leaders.

H/t ES

Oh yes they did

A trans woman says that when she was arrested for a minor subway violation, NYPD officers belittled her, called her names, asked about her genitals — and kept her chained to a fence for 28 hours. Now she’s suing. And it turns out she’s far from alone.

…She also says officers not only refused to call her “she,” they instead referred to her as “He-She”, “Faggot,” and “Lady GaGa,” and asked her “So you like to suck dick? Or what?” Meanwhile, people arrested for the same minor crime (misdemeanor “theft of services”) she was were calmly processed and allowed to leave.

At least the woman who experienced this treatment, Temmie Breslauer, is standing up, speaking out, and of course suing.

The Anti-Violence Project gets a shout out in the article.

H/t ES

The NY Daily News, a newspaper of ill-repute, recently published an article entitled Gilgo Beach victim was a man wearing women’s clothing, possibly working as prostitute: authorities, written by Matthew Lysiak and Rich Schapiro. Yes, they did. Let’s dissect.

Police released sketches Tuesday of two victims found at a suspected serial killer’s beachside dumping ground – one of them a gap-toothed man who was dressed as a woman and likely turning tricks.

They know this person identified as a man? Amazing detective work. They don’t even know who zie was, so how can they possibly be aware of hir gender identity in 2000, the year they believe zie was killed? Also, “likely turning tricks”??

Gilgo Beach Victim Sketches

Even the police sketch appears to misgender this person.

The composite sketches were made public along with pictures of jewelry worn by two of the victims – the first new details Long Island cops have put forward in months in the puzzling, creepy cases. The bizarre discovery of the cross-dressing Asian man found near Gilgo Beach led cops to theorize he may have been a prostitute – like five of the other 10 victims.

BIZARRE?? Have the writers, Lysiak and Schapiro, never heard of transgendered people before? Are they unaware of the centuries-long history of people dressing differently than the gender assigned them at birth? I wonder if they know gender is socially-constructed. Um, probably not. Is the “bizarreness” factor heightened by the victim’s race, in the minds of these writers? Do they know that calling minorities — whether racial, sexual or otherwise — “bizarre” is incredibly offensive?

Also, I appreciate the automatic yet subtle association of “cross-dressing” (i.e. gender non-conformity) with sex work.

He was estimated to be between the ages of 17-23 and stood about 5-feet-6, authorities said. He had poor dental health, missing both top and bottom molars and one of his top front teeth.

Nice assumptive use of “he”. You know what “poor dental health” often indicates? Poverty. Just saying. No mention of that being a common thread in these murders, though I have a strange suspicion the victims shared a common economic class in addition to a common gender presentation. Huh. Nothing to see here. Moving along…

Investigators believe he was killed between five and 10 years ago.

Yeah, so could we please treat this murder victim with a modicum of respect? Instead of writing a very public article mocking and insulting hir, much, I’m thinking, as the killer(s) probably did?

Trans Day of Remembrance Collage

Collage from Monica at TransGriot

Here are words from two blogs on my blogroll in honor of this day:

Monica at TransGriot:

The Transgender Day of Remembrance exists so that we don’t get so consumed living our own lives, dealing with our own drama and fighting our own battles to live our lives that our fallen brothers and sisters fade from our consciousness. It’s a vehicle to help us remind the world that the people we mourn on this day were somebody’s son, daughter, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, or friend.

But what does the Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to me personally?

A Transgender Day of Remembrance is the time that this proud, African descended transwoman pauses from dealing with the hustle, bustle and drama of living my life to do as Dr. King so eloquently put it, some ‘hard, solid thinking’ about the transpeople whose lives were cut short due to anti-transgender violence.

She also sez:

Never forget the people who died.

That’s what the TDOR is all about. To make sure we never forget the people we have lost to anti transgender violence.

And Queen Emily at Questioning Transphobia writes:

[W]hat I want to acknowledge is that there’s a paradox, that no trans person can truly witness for the murdered–especially those we’ve never met. And yet, with due caution, I think we should. Not to further our own goals, not to get legislation passed that protects only the already-privileged or to wallow in self-pity, but to honour the memories of every single trans person murdered this year, and to acknowledge the violence that our community lives with as a whole. To acknowledge that even in death, transphobia and cissexism mean that the murdered are not properly remembered, not even by the correct names and pronouns–and those people should be remembered as the right sex. That is our task for today (surviving ourselves, as well as prevention of more of the same is our task for the rest of the year).

She also links to a list of names.

Rob Long, at the Wall Street Journal, is concerned that the world may no longer be able to protect itself from terrorist transvestites.

His hilarious fear stems from a UN report notable for its nuance and sensitivity towards people who find themselves marginalized due to their gender expression.

Martin Scheinin, UN Special Rapporteur, wrote a report for the UN General Assembly titled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism”.

In it, he makes ‘controversial’ statements like:

Gender is not synonymous with women but rather encompasses the social constructions that underlie how women’s and men’s roles, functions and responsibilities, including in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, are defined and understood. This report will therefore identify the gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures both on women and men, as well as the rights of persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. As a social construct, gender is also informed by, and intersects with, various other means by which roles, functions and responsibilities are perceived and practiced, such as race, ethnicity, culture, religion and class. Consequently, gender is not static; it is changeable over time and across contexts. Understanding gender as a social and shifting construct rather than as a biological and fixed category is important because it helps to identify the complex and inter-related gender-based human rights violations caused by counterterrorism measures; to understand the underlying causes of these violations; and to design strategies for countering terrorism that are truly non-discriminatory and inclusive of all actors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Angie ZapataFrom the Colorado Anti-Violence Program:

Trial dates have been set for the murder of Angie Zapata. The eight day trial begins on April 14, 2008 and takes place in Courtroom 11 of the Weld County Courts at 901 9th Ave in Greeley. We would like to provide as much community support to her family and friends as possible by packing the courthouse during those days. If you are interested in coordinating rides to Greeley from the Denver-Metro area, please contact Kelly Costello at 303-839-5204 or kelly@coavp.org.

About Angie Zapata.

H/t Questioning Transphobia.

Curious people have a lot of questions, and below you will find lots of answers! I decided to compile some of the awesomest basic resources (101s) out there on the internet about -isms and social justice so that you can find most of what you need in one easy post. So here are some resources about important topics like feminism 101, anti-racism 101, ableism 101, and so much much more! It’s my own 101 101.

    WOMANISM/FEMINISM

What is Womanism? Posted by Trula Breckenridge

Definition of the word “Womanism” from A Feminist Theory Dictionary

Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog

Shakesville’s Feminism 101 page

    RACE & ANTI-RACISM

Talking About Race

Resist Racism’s Racism 101

Alas, a blog, on How Not to Be Insane When Accused of Racism

    CLASSISM

Classism.org

    ABLEISM

Ableism, Accessibility and Inclusion by Heather De Mian

Some info about Ableism by Greg Wolbring

    FAT ACCEPTANCE

Size Acceptance 101 on Case Gordita

But Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy? on Shapely Prose

Size Acceptance 101 on Shamless

    GENDER, HETERONORMITIVITY, TRANSPHOBIA, HOMOPHOBIA

A resource from Questioning Transphobia: How to Check Your Cis Privilege

Trans 101 on T-Vox

Trans and Genderqueer 101 at Gendercrash.com

The Bilerico Project’s Homosexuality 101

Heteronormitivity 101

    INTERSECTIONALITY & GENERAL

Intersectionality 101 on Illvox

How to Fuck Up by Teh Portly Dyke

Please add all those I missed (there must surely be many) in the comments!

I l-o-v-e it when people agree with me! Hearts out to A Truly Elegant Mess, a blog that recently posted the amazing bit Who wakes up and says, “I wish I could be oppressed too”?.

My favorite part:

As far as this idea of “politically correct” (scare quotes intended) as code for “uptight” or “restrictive,” I don’t see why it is so important to some people to be allowed to use words that create an othering effect of specific groups. One thing that must be put out there right now: complaining about being forced to be “PC” is, in essence, complaining that you can’t be a racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic douchenozzle without there being consequences.

Agreed. I have this train of thought often. I hear people gripe about the expectation to be “PC”, implying that somehow their freedom of expression is cramped, or that it gets in the way of honestly expressing themselves. Well, here’s the thing. Being PC is about respecting all people equally. Specifically, it is about not using terms that traditionally oppressed or marginalized groups find offensive. Using such terms is typically (though not always) something that a privileged group does, with the intended or unintended effect of reinforcing oppressive social structures.

You don’t have to be PC – you don’t have to treat anyone with respect either. But there are, and should be, consequences if you decide to treat certain groups with disrespect by using insulting terms towards them. If your honest feelings towards a group of (traditionally oppressed) people is one of inferiority, feel free to be honest. Like all moments of honesty, if the truth is painful, people will react. So complaining about being PC is like Dori from the above post says: it’s complaining that you can’t be a bigot without some degree of public censure. Allow me to join you in a big Boo Hoo.

Perhaps you’ve always been accustomed to using certain terms amongst your peer group that you realize get a bad reaction when used outside of that group. For example, certain words you use to describe blacks while in your all-white circle of friends don’t fly when the group is racially-mixed. I would suggest to think this one over. If POC find the terms offensive, why use them at all? Especially when out of earshot of people of color? The fact that we would use certain terms when in an all-white (or all-male or etc) group but not in a mixed group demonstrates that we know the difference between offensive and inoffensive remarks, but we still resort to insulting terms when we think it’s safe.

I have this suggestion. Why not use only terms that you would be unashamed to use in any social situation, regardless of the make-up of the group? Particularly for those of us who belong to social groups that have a lot of privilege, why not respect those who don’t? Why actively participate in white supremacy, male dominance, heteronormativity, etc? This is a relatively easy form of rebellion against social inequalities… give it a go!

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