Trans-centric

Posted by – July 20, 2009

One of the things I’ve always liked about Vanessa Edwards Foster is that she doesn’t lose sight of the goal: actual equality. I agree with her that our standards are low when it comes to justice for the trans people, and their families and friends, who are murdered. I agree that “manslaughter” is not murder, and that shooting at someone who is basically a sitting duck in a car can’t possibly have been an accidental killing.

But what I don’t agree with is the vitriol directed at the LGB leadership of the organizations that called the ruling on Teisha Green’s murder a victory.

Our standards are low because we are too used to seeing no justice at all when it comes to people who intentionally hurt and kill trans people for being trans. There are too many cases that break your heart. There are too many families who have had to hear the most hateful bullshit about their trans loved one. There are too many cases that are simply not solved, nor investigated.

But that the jury came back to rule her death a hate crime is a good thing.

What bothers me about the politics between the LGB & T is that there are plenty of other gay bashings and hate crimes experienced by the LGB that the trans community pays little attention to, such as Sean Kennedy’s. If you want an example of an absolute failure when it came to our legal system, that’s it. It’s horrific. Every time I see that young man’s beautiful face, and think about his parents’ loss, I wonder where exactly the trans community has been in raising awareness of that horrible injustice. No, he wasn’t gender variant. He was a young adult who was out and proud about being gay. But he’s dead just the same as Teisha Green is, & for the same reason: someone hated him for what he was.

Do we know Michael Scott Goucher? Richard Hernandez? Satendar Singh? Ryan Keith Skipper? Jeremy Waggoner? Daniel Yakovleff? These are the names of gay men who have been murdered for being gay in the last couple of years. I didn’t know most of their names.

Community goes both ways. We all have more than enough mourning to do.

5 Comments on Trans-centric

  1. Caoimhe says:

    Wait, what? The problems between LGB and T people are because … trans people aren’t spending enough of our time and energy on dead cis gay men?

    Do you even look at what you’re typing here, cis lady?

  2. jadecath says:

    Yeah, “manslaughter” is an incomprehensible way to describe her murder; I’m angry about that verdict and I disagree with calling it a “victory”. But directing the anger at other queer people, at *activist* queer people who *work* against the evil… I can’t figure out a rational reason for that. All I can come up is that maybe we have so little hope of being heard by the larger society that we vilify the only people we think might listen to us, the only ones who we think might care about our anger. But that’s both unjust and defeatist.

  3. shemale says:

    Okay:
    – Nine of the people listed there were trans women of color (yes, Lawrence King was a trans girl, no matter how hard the media and cis GLB people have tried to erase that)
    – Three other people are MAAB transgender (of one sort or another) people of color; taken together with the trans women of color, this accounts for ~26.7% of the people listed–a hugely disproportionately large number when reflected the actual share of the LGBT population as a whole that demographic represents
    – One other person is a trans man
    – Of the remaining queer people, many were impacted by intersecting oppressions–many were people of color, homeless, and/or disabled–which in many cases played a clear role, alongside their being queer, in the minds of their murderers
    – White cis gay people (many of whose referenced murders occurred as far back as the eighties and early nineties), both men and women, are being, intentionally or not, grossly overrepresented as murder victims on that list, which is a huge problem by itself–it invisiblizes and minimizes the reality of the threat of violence faced by trans women of color.

    So, please.
    Any context is a fucked up place for a cis woman to tell trans people that they aren’t paying enough attention to the murders of cis queer people, but given the fact that you’re doing so while referencing that particular list is just outrageous.

  4. Sophia K says:

    Additionally, the only gender/sexual minority murder victim who seemed to matter in the years prior to trans rallying over Gwen Araujo and wider knowledge of Brandon Teena following Boys Don’t Cry was… Matthew Shepard. And our lives STILL are never as valuable as his was.

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