Defense Attorney Reveals Culture’s Transphobia

First: At least some justice has been served in the case of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, who was killed in March 2010. So at least there has been some justice for another trans woman who was killed by a tranphobic, violent man. Up to 40 years in prison for Rasheen Everett, who apparently was violent toward his girlfriends who weren’t trans, too.

But it was the defense attorney’s transphobic bullshit that really irked me. During the sentencing hearing, as Everett was facing a sentence of 29 years to life, his defense attorney asked:

“Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?” he reportedly asked, adding, “Who is the victim in this case? Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?”

And then he pointed to Gonzalez-Andujar’s own history, as if, somehow, killing someone who’d had some shit happen in their own life somehow made this violent murder “less bad”. The attorney also referred to Gonzalez-Andujar as “he”.

But Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter, who described Everett as “coldhearted and violent menace to society,” didn’t take too kindly to Scarpa’s argument. “This court believes every human life in sacred,” he said. “It’s not easy living as a transgender, and I commend the family for supporting her.”

Well done, Justice Butchter.

Renisha McBride

So what the fuck is going on in this country? A woman’s car dies so she stops in a suburb (of Detroit) and knocks on a door for help and is shot in the back of the head when she turned to leave.

Her body is found nearby, except nope, it wasn’t, it was found on the front steps of this house.

I’m assuming I don’t have to tell you the suburb was white & the woman was black.

Horrifying, sickening, frustrating, and saddening. I’m tired of these stories, tired of people resolving everything with guns and violence.

& Ugh, her poor family.



Islan, & Harlem, & Me

I went to college in Harlem, slept with men in Harlem, lived a little north of Harlem and a little south of Harlem for most of my 20s. I cut my teeth on womanism, which was the first form of feminism that ever felt like it invited me in.

& I used to ride the subway to and through Harlem and I saw young women like Islan on their way downtown to the Piers or from a date and it was one of the only times in my life I used to pray, the way an agnostic might, to my grandma, to keep that young woman safe. I was a white woman from the suburbs who moved through black and brown communities safely because of my skin privilege & straight privilege & cis privilege. That is not to say I always was safe, & ultimately, I wasn’t, but that’s another story for another day.

& I wasn’t going to say too much about Islan because I am still recovering from the shock and horror and sadness of the deaths of Cemia and Evon, but then I read this short, raw piece by Grace Annam at Alas & thought better of my silence.

& The non-trans people of this planet need to step the fuck up. We can’t keep letting this happen.

There’s a lot more to say. There’s a lot more anger & heartache & sorrow & fury where this post came from, & sometimes I want an emotional callous to keep from feeling all of it every time I see a beautiful face like Islan’s & hear it was blotted out of existence by someone’s fists, except I don’t want that callous either, because what kind of asshole would I be then?

No More Gay/Trans Panic Defense?

I hope so. It’s a ridiculous idea. The American Bar Association has voted on it, with these stipulations:

The resolution passed by the ABA House of Delegates says that legislation should:

(a)    [Require] courts in any criminal trial or proceeding, upon the request of a party, to instruct the jury not to let bias, sympathy, prejudice, or public opinion influence its decision about the victims, witnesses, or defendants based upon sexual orientation or gender identity; and

(b)   [Specify] that neither a non-violent sexual advance, nor the discovery of a person’s sex or gender identity, constitutes legally adequate provocation to mitigate the crime of murder to manslaughter, or to mitigate the severity of any non-capital crime.

RIP Dwayne Jones

(I don’t know what his femme name was, or if he even had one, or even if he used female pronouns. His friend Khloe, in this article, refers to Jones as “him” so I’m going with that.)

This is another heartbreaking account of homophobia and transphobia, and another reminder to boycott Jamaica until they get their act together.

Dwayne was the center of attraction shortly after arriving in a taxi at 2 a.m. with his two 23-year-old housemates, Khloe and Keke. Dwayne’s expert dance moves, long legs and high cheekbones quickly made him the one that the guys were trying to get next to.

. . . Minutes later, according to Khloe and Keke, the girl’s male friends gathered around Dwayne in the dimly-lit street asking: “Are you a woman or a man?” One man waved a lighter’s flame near Dwayne’s sneakers, asking whether a girl could have such big feet.

Then, his friends said, another man grabbed a lantern from an outdoor bar and walked over to Dwayne, shining the bright light over him from head to toe. “It’s a man,” he concluded, while the others hissed “batty boy” and other anti-gay epithets.

Khloe says she tried to steer him away from the crowd, whispering in Dwayne’s ear: “Walk with me, walk with me.” But Dwayne pulled away, loudly insisting to partygoers that he was a girl. When someone behind him snapped his bra strap, the teen panicked and raced down the street.

But he couldn’t run fast enough to escape the mob.

Here’s the original report of the murder.

& To hell with anyone who isn’t speaking up about what they saw and who they saw. The same to Jones’ family who wouldn’t even claim the child’s body.


Evon Young’s Killers

Trigger warning: this death was horrific and brutal and cold blooded, in my opinion. The description is journalistic and, as a result, very upsetting.

Evon Young’s killers are pleading guilty to various charges which is a good thing that will help his family and the other communities he was a part of find closure in his death.

I don’t really understand any of it. I have been reading reports of these up close and personal, brutal, immolating murders for a decade now, and no part of it ever makes any sense to me. Who are these people and why do we even consider them human, still? I really don’t know. But I’m always newly horrified at how coldly, how brutally, these things can happen.

There are days when you cry, and days when you spit nails, but none of it makes any sense of this kind of crime. I don’t think I’m ever going to understand.

But I will say: this is why the world needs to get past their fear of trans people. It’s why all of us need to stop thinking of trans people’s birth genders as their “real” gender. It’s why denying trans women as women – whether that’s coming from a fundamentalist Christian or a radical feminist – isn’t ever just theoretical or political. These are the lives that are lost when we deny the truth of trans people’s experiences and reports of their own genders.

I am losing any tolerance I once had of any kind of transphobic “theories” of gender that deny a person’s humanity and their gender and Evon Young is why.

Patrick Stewart Wins Again

This is a pretty amazing statement on domestic violence, post traumatic stress disorder, and respect for parents.

At 2:40 & 6:20 he’s especially astonishing.

Help Qween Amor

Qween Amor was assaulted in Union Square on May 7th, 2013. The suspect is now in custody. Immediately after this video was taken, her suitcase (pictured, red) was stolen. It contained her amplifier, laptop, and all other possessions.

S/he needs help to purchase a new amplifier/boombox, so that she can continue performing & sending her message of love. Contributions can be made via paypal to: