Trans black bodies under attacks and transmisogyny

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takeitslowly
Trans black bodies under attacks and transmisogyny

Freed Activist CeCe McDonald and Actress Laverne Cox spoke out last year that ""Black Trans Bodies Are Under Attack"

After serving 19 months in prison, the African-American transgender activist CeCe McDonald is free. She was arrested after using deadly force to protect herself from a group of people who attacked her on the streets of Minneapolis. Her case helped turn a national spotlight on the violence and discrimination faced by transgender women of colo

According to U.S statistics,  the murder rate for gay and trangender people in the U.S was at an all-time high. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs documented 30 hate-related murders of LGBT people in 2011; 40 percent of the victims were transgender women of color.

Feminist writer Veronica Flores wrote on Feministing that certaiin "bodies are dangerous,.and that even though the world wants to kill you, so many of us are out here fighting for your life.

Your bodies are how the revolution begins."

Laverne Cox recently decided to pose nude after much consideration on Allure magazine, a woman's beauty magazine.

Cox, a transgender actor and activist, admitted she wasn’t so sure about disrobing for the camera.

“Going through life, you try to cover and hide, but it doesn’t really work,” she said to Allure. “I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again.”

Not suprisingly, Laverne Cox, a black trqansgender woman actress,  has received criticisms from certain feminists for posing nude on Allure magazine.

On her blog, Meghan Murphy wrote an April 22 post titled “Laverne Cox’s objectified body ‘empowers’ no one.” 

She wrote, " if we alter our bodies through surgery and hormones? It seems clear that ‘radical self-acceptance’ is not at all what Cox is experiencing or conveying to her audience.”

She went on to say that bodies like Cox are sculpted in order to  look like some cartoonish version of “woman,” as defined by the porn

Here are actual fact about trans women. (from everyday feminism) 

Trans women are often pathologized and sexualized, portrayed as someone manipulatively hiding their transgender identity to trick a man into engaging with them sexually or romantically.

They play countless television roles as sex workers.

They are shown as unattractive; they are the butt of jokes, their desire to be feminine mocked, their motives for transitioning questioned.

Our media portrays trans women in archetypes – as the weak victim of a crime, or as the evil villain; as the mentally unstable character, or as the manipulative one.

And while it is difficult to find complex and honest portrayals of trans women characters on television, it is even more rare to find an authentic and respectful portrayal of a trans wom of Color (though we have see a few recently, like the great Laverne Cox in Orange is the New Black).an

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, trans people experience disproportionately high rates of poverty and homelessness caused by discrimination in jobs and housing, but they also experience greater incarceration rates, largely due to gender profiling by the police.

Gender is policed, quite literally by police officers who target, arrest, and often harass trans women for looking “different” and therefore, “disorderly.”  Trans women of Color, in particular, tend to be perceived by police through racialized and gender stereotypes framing them as highly sexual and as criminal.

Trans women are consistently targeted and arrested for being involved in sex work, even if they have no association with this work.

In New York, where having a condom on you can be used as evidence of involvement in sex work, trans women are being profiled, searched, and arrested for being a trans woman at the wrong place at the wrong time.

There’s also direct violence at the hands of police: A 2012 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that transgender people across the U.S. experience three times more police violence than cisgender people.

And nearly half of trans people who reported hate crimes to the police experienced mistreatment from them while asking for help.

Trans women experience abuse after being arrested as well, when they are most often forced to reside in men’s prison facilities, experiencing extremely high rates of sexual and physical violence – a study by the Department of Justice found that 1 in 3 are sexual assaulted in prison. In response, many prisons place trans women in solitary confinement for extended periods of time “for their own protection.” (Meanwhile, solitary confinement is considered a form of torture.)

When it comes to the media:

Trans women are given an extremely two-dimensional portrayal in the news, where they are most often reported on in association of a hate crime. In these reports, their gender is consistently portrayed as confusing and illegitimate, appearing in countless headlines like this one: “Man Dressed as Woman Found Dead.

 

 

h

 

 

Issues Pages: 
takeitslowly

Please disregard the first post, I forgot to leave it blank. Thanks.

 

Freed Activist CeCe McDonald and Actress Laverne Cox spoke out last year that ""Black Trans Bodies Are Under Attack"

After serving 19 months in prison, the African-American transgender activist CeCe McDonald is free. She was arrested after using deadly force to protect herself from a group of people who attacked her on the streets of Minneapolis. Her case helped turn a national spotlight on the violence and discrimination faced by transgender women of colo

According to U.S statistics,  the murder rate for gay and trangender people in the U.S was at an all-time high. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs documented 30 hate-related murders of LGBT people in 2011; 40 percent of the victims were transgender women of color.

Feminist writer Veronica Flores wrote on Feministing that certaiin "bodies are dangerous,.and that even though the world wants to kill you, so many of us are out here fighting for your life.

Your bodies are how the revolution begins."

 

A month ago, Laverne Cox recently decided to pose nude after much consideration on Allure magazine, a woman's beauty magazine.

Cox, a transgender actor and activist, admitted she wasn’t so sure about disrobing for the camera.

“Going through life, you try to cover and hide, but it doesn’t really work,” she said to Allure. "I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again," she tells the magazine. "But I'm a black transgender woman. I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent."

Not suprisingly, Laverne Cox, a black transgender woman actress,  has received criticisms from certain feminists for posing nude on Allure magazine.

On her blog, Meghan Murphy wrote an April 22 post titled “Laverne Cox’s objectified body ‘empowers’ no one.” 

She wrote, " if we alter our bodies through surgery and hormones? It seems clear that ‘radical self-acceptance’ is not at all what Cox is experiencing or conveying to her audience.”

She went on to say that bodies like Cox  are sculpted in order to  look like some cartoonish version of “woman,” as defined by the porn industry and pop culture.

Here are actual fact about trans women.

Over 75 per cent of trans people in Ontario have seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives, according to the community-based research project Trans Pulse. For those trans people who had completed a medical transition — beginning with hormones and often leading to surgery — the study showed the number considering suicide was cut in half.

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-road-to-inclusion-t...

 

Here's more facts from everyday feminism:

Trans women are often pathologized and sexualized, portrayed as someone manipulatively hiding their transgender identity to trick a man into engaging with them sexually or romantically.

They play countless television roles as sex workers.

They are shown as unattractive; they are the butt of jokes, their desire to be feminine mocked, their motives for transitioning questioned.

Our media portrays trans women in archetypes – as the weak victim of a crime, or as the evil villain; as the mentally unstable character, or as the manipulative one.

And while it is difficult to find complex and honest portrayals of trans women characters on television, it is even more rare to find an authentic and respectful portrayal of a trans wom of Color (though we have see a few recently, like the great Laverne Cox in Orange is the New Black).an

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, trans people experience disproportionately high rates of poverty and homelessness caused by discrimination in jobs and housing, but they also experience greater incarceration rates, largely due to gender profiling by the police.

Gender is policed, quite literally by police officers who target, arrest, and often harass trans women for looking “different” and therefore, “disorderly.”  Trans women of Color, in particular, tend to be perceived by police through racialized and gender stereotypes framing them as highly sexual and as criminal.

Trans women are consistently targeted and arrested for being involved in sex work, even if they have no association with this work.

In New York, where having a condom on you can be used as evidence of involvement in sex work, trans women are being profiled, searched, and arrested for being a trans woman at the wrong place at the wrong time.

There’s also direct violence at the hands of police: A 2012 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that transgender people across the U.S. experience three times more police violence than cisgender people.

And nearly half of trans people who reported hate crimes to the police experienced mistreatment from them while asking for help.

Trans women experience abuse after being arrested as well, when they are most often forced to reside in men’s prison facilities, experiencing extremely high rates of sexual and physical violence – a study by the Department of Justice found that 1 in 3 are sexual assaulted in prison. In response, many prisons place trans women in solitary confinement for extended periods of time “for their own protection.” (Meanwhile, solitary confinement is considered a form of torture.)

When it comes to the media:

Trans women are given an extremely two-dimensional portrayal in the news, where they are most often reported on in association of a hate crime. In these reports, their gender is consistently portrayed as confusing and illegitimate, appearing in countless headlines like this one: “Man Dressed as Woman Found Dead.

 

 

I think its important to reflect on how we talk about and write about trans women that is respectful of the lived experience of trans women and trans men alike. I look forward to responses. Since I do not notice any or much support for trans people on rabble.ca, I would like to start a discussion.

MegB

In case you missed it, rabble's statement.

takeitslowly

Thanks Megb.

 

I appreciate rabble's statement that Murphy's piece needs to be edited because I believe her words are transphobic, and body shaming women of color and trans women.

I hope rabble.ca will take more efforts in encouraging diverse voices on babble.ca. I feel alone and ignored in saying that trans people have every right to take homrones and have surgery because it stops us from killing ourselves. It should be common knowledge and no one , especially someone who is not trans, should be criticising us for "atlering our body" to look like "cartoonish version of women" or someone from porn.

It is sad that there are so few voices speaking out for trans women and black women on babble. Thats my feeling and I am expressing it.

 

Black/Trans Lives Matter.

 

Thank you.

takeitslowly

Even a Stuffed Bear Gets More Respect than Trans People

 

In the just-released trailer for the sequel, Ted asks to use John's laptop and is horrified by the amount of pornography he discovers on it. Though a bit embarrassed, John calmly defends his collection, until Ted describes a genre of porn in John's collection:

Ted: Chicks with dicks?!

John: (crying) Oh my God. Oh my God. I need help. I have a disease!

Ted: There are no chicks with dicks, Johnny, only guys with tits

 

Though only three lines long, the exchange is mammoth in the amount of transmisogyny it conveys. Because John enjoys pornography involving trans women, he is mentally ill, it suggests, reinforcing all the stigmas against being attracted to or loving trans women

 

http://bitchmagazine.org/post/even-a-stuffed-bear-gets-more-respect-than-trans-people

takeitslowly

Having taken courses at Smith as a Five College Consortium student, I am already familiar with how such transmisogyny can be felt on a women’s college campus. It is painful to have few or no trans women, especially non-white ones, in a community with me. It is painful to have no trans female professors or other role models to look up to. It is painful to be undesirable, and disposable when desired. It is painful to watch men be accepted by cis women as peers, while trans women are rejected. It is painful to wonder why no one seems to sit next to you in class. It is painful to feel like you are the only one who experiences all of this, and to blame yourself for it. Colleges already have a mental health crisis that administrators are not properly addressing. Combined with a lack of access to respectful health care, discrimination, and fear of mistreatment, it’s no wonder the rates of mental illness and attempted suicide are very high in trans women. It should be clear how any educational environment that does not address the social climate for trans women cannot truly offer us a fair opportunity for success.

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/01/05/transmisogyny-womens-colleg...

takeitslowly

Multilayered systemic oppressions are stacked up against trans women from low-income and/or communities of color so the sex trade becomes a road well traveled, helping trans women alleviate financial woes while also making many of us feel desired as women (through an objectifying male gaze), women who are taught that we are undesirable and illegitimate.

There’s no denying that sex work is dangerous work. Engaging in the sex trades increases a person’s risk for criminalization, acquiring HIV or other STIs, sexual abuse and violence. It can also, for myself at least, complicate and conflate your image of self, of love, of sex, of value, not to mention the stigma that is internalized about the work you do, work that often leads others to define you and your character.

My hope is that being open about my experience as a teenage sex worker helps further conversations about how we can better serve folk engaged in sex work as a means of survival, and particularly vital to my community, how we can develop programs that create more appealing and viable options for young trans women, so sex work isn’t their only option for support and survival. We need programs that help trans girls and women find affirming, affordable healthcare and housing options, that shepherd them towards completing their education and that instills in them a sense of possibility.

http://janetmock.com/2014/01/30/janet-mock-sex-work-experiences/


takeitslowly

“We know last year, 12 trans women of color were brutally murdered in a six-month time span. This year, in two months, eight trans women of color were brutally murdered,” said Hunter. “Six trans youth under the age of 21 took agency over their lives and decided that it was not worth living. We must continue to create pathways and pipelines for our young people to be able to thrive in their truth and live their lives unapologetically.”

https://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/05/18/activists-march-against-trans...

takeitslowly

What is transmisogyny?

 

..the concept of trans-misogyny—that is, the way cissexism and misogyny intersect in the lives of trans women and others on the trans female/feminine spectrum. Trans-misogyny explains why the lion’s share of societal consternation, demonization and sexualization of transgender people is concentrated on trans female/feminine individuals. Cissexism also intersects with other forms of marginalization—for instance, victims of transphobic violence are overwhelmingly trans people who are poor, who are of color and/or on the trans female/feminine spectrum.

http://msmagazine.com/blog/2012/04/18/trans-feminism-theres-no-conundrum...


takeitslowly

A woman is dead after being stabbed in the back and neck by a man during a fight inside an abandoned North Philadelphia home, officials, family and friends tell NBC10.

"She had a heart of gold," Chanel's friend Kione Seymore said remembering her Monday evening. "She hardly ever frowned. She always had a smile on her face. Her laughter was infectious."

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said an argument between Chanel and her 31-year-old alleged attacker sparked the deadly incident inside a middle bedroom on the third floor of the house.

 

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Man-Dies-After-Stabbing-Inside...

 

Originally, NBC called the woman a "man", notice the web linke above for reference. THey had to change it after many people complained, I am guessing.

takeitslowly

Four transgender women have been murdered within weeks of each other in Pakistan.

Three transgender women were shot dead in a drive-by on the night of  8 May.

The two motorcycle riders opened fire on a group transgender women who were standing on the corner of a busy street in Rawalpindi.

- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/three-trans-women-shot-dead-pakistan1...

takeitslowly

"I stayed clear of them," says Forbes. "But when I left the mall, they were  waiting for me in the parking lot," catcalling her from inside two cars, until  they suddenly realized Forbes was trans, and turned furious. "You made me look  at you! I should kill you!" one man shouted amid the slurs, claiming to have a  gun.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/transwomen-and-danger-more-tales-from-the-front-lines-20140730

takeitslowly

In every space, my presence seems justification enough for a constant barrage of questions about issues on campus, endless interrogation on trans politics, a request for the full syllabus of transgender 101 at any given moment. The mere act of existing as trans at Stanford is exhausting.

 

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2015/05/19/confessions-of-a-trans-woman/

takeitslowly

While the entire nation waits to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will make marriage equality the law of the land, transgender Americans are bracing for a backlash that’s already begun in bathrooms from Florida to Nevada.

http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2015/05/01/marriage-table-trans-community-new-target

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thanks for this thread, takeitslowly.

Quote:

I ask what it’s like to have every element of her being analyzed because of what she represents. Everything from her hair to her career to…. “To my basic humanity and gender?” she interjects.

“Yeah,” I say. “Your right to exist. Your lipstick. Everything.”

“That’s how patriarchy works,” she says. “We are all constantly scrutinized based on aesthetics and appearance and judged on that stuff. I think that’s part of being a woman.

Laverne Cox Spills On Self-Acceptance, Finding Love & Battling The Patriachy

 

takeitslowly

Thanks for the link, Maysie.

 

Its really heart breaking to hear her struggle with finding love because i can relate to her very well. It hits close to home.

takeitslowly

I have to add that..

Thats why its so important for trans women of color such as myself to develope a sense of self worth when so many people tell us directly or indirectly that we are not good enough.

 

takeitslowly

On Caitlyn Jenner by Janet Mock

http://janetmock.com/2015/06/03/caitlyn-jenner-vanity-fair-transgender/

PRIVILEGE
What enables Jenner to penetrate media the way she has is privilege. People often get uncomfortable hearing or seeing this term, likely because we’ve internalized that to experience privilege makes us at fault for all the atrocities of the world. When I frame privilege in my work, I often point out that we all experience access and exile as we navigate systems that privilege certain parts of our identity and experiences. For example, I am an English-speaking, able-bodied, black and Native Hawaiian trans woman who had access to a graduate-school education, who had access to medically-necessary treatments enabling me to transition as a teen, who more often than not blends in as a cisgender (non-trans) woman which allows me less scrutiny than someone who doesn’t fit cisnormative standards of appearance. At the same time, growing up with a single mother who struggled in communities of color ravaged by poverty and drugs, I struggled to get access to the healthcare and resources I needed as a teenager.

According to information shared publicly thus far, Jenner’s experience is that of a 65-year-old white trans woman who for most of her life was perceived as a white male Olympic gold medalist and the patriarch of one of the most savvy reality TV families who never fail to penetrate the American consciousness. Because of the intersection of celebrity and Hollywood, the fascination with trans women’s bodies and “makeovers,” and wealth and whiteness, Jenner has been seen and heard on a level that no trans woman or trans person ever has before. Yet largely due to the pressure of embodying the myth of the American male ideal and the ridicule facing trans people, Jenner’s initial decision to medically transition in the 1980s was halted. She spent the next three decades living up to the image thrust upon her, a heartbreaking decision that still granted her access to wealth, visibility and influence that has allowed her access to 20/20, Vanity Fair and the upcoming ESPY Awards, making her the most recognizable trans woman in America.

Privilege gives one access. It doesn’t make her a bad person. It doesn’t make her undeserving. It doesn’t underwrite her talent, savvy and accomplishments. Privilege enables her access to more conversations, more opportunities, more spaces which can appear as if she’s eclipsed leaders of a movement that has been active for decades, fueled by a community that is ravaged by economic instability, lack of access to knowledgable affordable healthcare, overpoliciing and incarceration, stigmatized, criminalized survival economies like sex work, high HIV infection rates, the ability to live safely and freely as their true selves, and disproportionate violence against trans women of color.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yes. I don't think Caitlin Jenner's experience will ever bear a lot of resemblance to most women's, trans or otherwise.

takeitslowly

True, but like it or not, she is now the poster girl for trans women. She shouldn't be , like you said, because she comes from a very unique background.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Poster girl is the right word. About as realistic, too.

Slumberjack

If Jenner's story nudges in the direction of a normalization of the trans experience in society, where perhaps many others, due to multiple and systemic barriers are consigned to their scarcely acknowledged life and death struggle toward a more generalized acceptance, then has she not rendered a service in that cause?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Do you think it normalizes? Or does it set up more unrealistic expectations? Srsly, how many 65 yr old women are doing boudoir glamour shoots for glossy magazines?

lagatta

Even with cosmetic surgery, that would take a hell of a lot of airbrushing (now done by computer) at the age of 65, no matter how fit she kept. I know very fit people about her age, and while they look fine, they don't have smooth unlined faces, nor should they.

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
Do you think it normalizes? Or does it set up more unrealistic expectations? Srsly, how many 65 yr old women are doing boudoir glamour shoots for glossy magazines?

I don't think any shape or appearance is a legitimate target for disparagement.  That argument doesn’t make sense to me either way, whether it’s the ‘commodity’ doing it by exclusion, or by saying certain body types are being over-representing at the expense of others.  It produces a similar effect through the binary positions taken up imo, where the psychological battle is being waged over people’s bodies, with effects and results being formed accordingly.  A friend has been traumatized by the disparaging and accusatory remarks of the male members of her family since childhood  She hides her objectified form in shame to this day, like it’s some sort of weapon that shouldn’t be carried about in the open.  It should be concealed is what she was taught.  Aside from what the commodity selects and objectifies, and since all shapes and sizes of humanity are prevalent around the world and thus can be and are overwhelmingly normal in their own right, quite apart from anyone else's preference or that of the comodity (being simply a fact of life in many respects), it seems to me that opportunities for transitioned/transitioning persons to at least partake in the general, commodified culture alongside all of the other commodified existences does constitute a normalization of sorts, such that it is.  The alternative, which is more the status quo than not, is for trans bodies of all proportions, and the experiences they contain, to remain hidden and suppressed in accordance with past and current practice.  Not a good general example or atmosphere to cultivate imo.  Not many older women get glossy photo shoots in the mainstream rags, but there are examples.  Helen Mirren comes to mind.  Jane Fonda is another.  Cher.  I don't really keep track but I'm sure there are others.  What people seem to be saying is that because the commodity is what it is, and typically engages in what it does, which involves preferring and objectifying certain body types, then trans-women who have their own unique and suppressed voices, experiences, bodies, and rationale, that is explicit to their oppressed, non-normalized and thus often dangerous and psychologically damaging circumstances, needn't apply for their own place.  They should wait until the objectified society psychologically affecting everyone gets its act together where it concerns ideal body types.  I agree that the ideals being put out there in general are in dire need of adjustment, but to my mind the transitioned experience is the wrong battleground, and unfortunately people don’t seem to be getting that.

In another way, it's like saying...I don't like the cut of the dress that my daughter intends on wearing to the prom, and so in the interest of supporting a non-objectifying culture, I am telling her that I am forbidding her attendance at the prom.

6079_Smith_W

Considering that some are taking it and running with it (including some who have been critical of her),

http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/05/myvanityfaircover-trans-women-are-creating...

I'd say it is a good thing, regardless of what image Jenner was presenting, how her experience compares with other trans people, or how supportive she has been for that community.

Let's not forget this is Vanity Fair. What should one expect but airbrushed glamour?

 

6079_Smith_W

Quote:

So, to recap: Transwomen are either models of cisnormative beauty, or they’re dead. Trans youth are either models of cisnormative beauty, or they’re dead. Transmen are either models of cisnormative beauty, or they simply don’t exist. This is the landscape for trans media representation in 2015.

https://thetranscendentaltourist.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/5-things-cis-p...

 

takeitslowly

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/was_alabama_teen_mercedes_will.html

 

Pierce's roommate, Jeanie Miller, said the last time she saw Williamson was when she left their camper on May 30, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald, that also reported that Miller's son said she got into someone's car that day. Miller also said that Vallum, who often spent time around Theodore, was aware of Williamson's transgender status, the Sun Herald reported.

At this stage of the investigation into Williamson's death, Robinson said that his main "concern is that this isn't being talked about enough" at the local and national levels.

"I'm just concerned about the fact that there's not as much attention being paid to the murder of this teenager as there should be, and the fact that the transgender community is victimized at a higher rate than any other member of the LGBT community," he said. "I can't imagine what it must have been like to live in Theodore, Alabama, as a 17-year-old transgender girl."

Pondering

Slumberjack wrote:

If Jenner's story nudges in the direction of a normalization of the trans experience in society, where perhaps many others, due to multiple and systemic barriers are consigned to their scarcely acknowledged life and death struggle toward a more generalized acceptance, then has she not rendered a service in that cause?

I think it does the opposite. It sets up unrealistic standards that can't possibily be attained for those transitioning later in life. Jenner doesn't actually look like she does in her picture. All she has promoted is the same unattainable falsified appearance that is sold to all women. I don't think it is any more positive for trans women than it is for any other women.

This woman is an inspiration. I've been reading her for years though not since 2008. She's great.

http://www.dailyxtra.com/canada/news-and-ideas/news/trans-trailblazer-51566

This story too:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/06/17/google-business-gender-transitio...

Maysie Maysie's picture

Dragging the thread back on topic.

The critique that cis folks make regarding trans folks doing harm to feminism because they "conform to gender stereotypes" is bullshit.

There are TONS of cis women out there who create and maintain the majority of the sexist beauty standard (Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, all supermodels, and more).

The attack on trans women just because of how they look (and for other reasons) is transmisogyny. Also, there are many trans women who do NOT conform to gender stereotypes. In fact, they are the majority, for example Julia Serano. But the mainstream media doesn't care about them. Can we imagine why? Hint: Judging women for what they look like is NOT feminist.

Come on babblers, where's that critical thinking you all pride yourselves on? The cover of Vanity Fair? Seriously? When did that ever hold any value in a progressive context? 

Black trans bodies are under real attack, as well as other racialized trans folks, particulary trans women.

State of Emergency for Transgender Women of Color

Trans Women of Color Face an Epidemic of Violence and Murder

Take a look at this video. Just in time for Pride.

Living Color: Love is Revolutionary When You're Black & Transgender

Slumberjack

Maysie wrote:
Come on babblers, where's that critical thinking you all pride yourselves on? The cover of Vanity Fair? Seriously? When did that ever hold any value in a progressive context? 

If Jenner had instead appeared on a Fox News program and stripped down to her skivvies to say 'here I am, deal with it' to the host and viewers, in certain respects I believe there would be enough reason to applaud that as a form of activism.  It isn't the medium that is key here, or even the display, but the message, or the shift in what is deemed presentable in the context of mainstream discourse.  The critical thinking part comes in when people recognize emancapatory shifts in their own right, no matter where they take place.  In the space of a few weeks both black and white transgendered bodies have acquired access to mainstream publications where nothing like that had been done previously.  Instead of greeting these events with the negation of a measurement stick to see which racialized demographics are getting the most attention from the popular magazines, imo they are more logically treated as distinct situations in their own right.  The problem of the sexualization of female bodies more generally has to be acknowledged of course.  I believe the non-critical thought process would say, “well, we already have quite enough of that going on with people who were born with a female body, and so we’re not going to add to the problem of sexualization by having transgendered bodies on display.”  Instead we’ll exclude them with our criticism just like mainstream culture has done for so long, except we’ll justify that exclusion as being part of the wider struggle against the sexualization of the female form.  In that vein it becomes necessary to continue relegating transgendered people in society to their accustomed obscurity, for their own good and for the good of some higher purpose.  Thanks but no thanks for coming out in other words.

6079_Smith_W

It's fine to talk about Vanity Fair because it is definitely part of the public reaction, and in fact some people are reclaiming it.

Not to assume, but what I  take from Maysie's comment is how valid it is to use that cover, and Jenner's actions as a foil against trans people generally. In that, I agree it is neither fair nor accurate.

 

Slumberjack

We could just as well ask if, when Rob Ford presided over Toronto, if at that time the streets were a fit enough place to host Pride parades, in consideration of the fact that in no way could he be considered progressive.  And anyway, the G20 proved that Toronto streets are really owned by private interests whenever they want, but who can't be said to be very progressive either.  So this thing about the medium of expression being the problem is of secondary importance to what is actually going on.

Slumberjack

Pondering wrote:
It sets up unrealistic standards that can't possibily be attained for those transitioning later in life.

Then why can they not transition as they are, or with whatever enhancements that make them feel more comfortable with being who they are?  If such enhancements are in accord with what the commodity wants, that is a wider issue certainly, but this is not the point at which that particular drawbridge should be raised, as I’m trying to argue.  I find the notion of 'unrealistic' standards to be problematic, in that, doesn't every human being come by the form they develop into very naturally.  Potentially, hundreds of millions of women around the world could more or less fit quite readily with the definition of what the objectified, commodified culture wants to display without doing anything in particular to themselves.  Who is anyone to say that someone else's form is unrealistic just because the commodity has taken a fancy to similar forms, when such forms are quite real and natural everywhere on their own, prior to any manipulation by the commodity for the purpose of objectification.  They exist in their own right as they are, just like anyone else, and have throughout history.  It is not an unrealistic standard, but only one form among other types of human forms.  It may only be unrealistic from the point of view of someone who is not of a particular form, but who is attempting to obtain another form for whatever reason, and not being able to obtain it.  Your line of reasoning suggests that hundreds of millions of women today aren't real?  They're caricatures?

Maysie Maysie's picture

There are tons of critiques of Jenner from a pro-trans perspective with class and race analysis as well in terms of her privileges. These critiques manage to not be transphobic, and are also able to look at her lack of connection to any trans communities, her Republican membership, her tremendous class privlege, etc.

I didn't mean don't talk about Vanity Fair, sheesh. I meant VF is low-hanging fruit for progressives. The norm here at babble is lots of silence on their everyday nonsense (because why bother and I agree with that) until, ta da! a trans woman appears on it. That's the transmisogyny part I meant. 

Of course VF does airbrushing and whatever else. Yes of course most 65 year old women will not get on the cover. Shall we discuss Cosmo's lack of feminist content now? Laughing

Shall we return to the issue of black trans women?

How the White House ‘heckler’ exposed a rift in the gay-rights community

Quote:

Initially, the crowd seemed confused and perhaps a bit shocked. Dozens of phones had been raised in the air to photograph Obama. The moment Gutiérrez started speaking, the phones came down. “Shame on you,” Obama said while he pointed at Gutiérrez, who said she was an undocumented trans woman. “You’re in my house.”

....

Then someone in the crowd booed. A second later it sounded like everyone in the room was booing, drowning Gutiérrez out.

“This is not for you. This is for all of us,” someone yelled.

...

Gutiérrez was following in the footsteps of LGBT activists in years pasts who have interrupted presidents over a number of issues that hit close to home for the gay community: from gay marriage and “don’t ask, don’t tell” to access to medical care.

But this room full of LGBT leaders on Wednesday booed Gutiérrez.

...

But the booing illustrates the disconnect between the established gay-rights movement in the United States, which is largely centered around marriage equality, and those who are fighting issues that affect working-class LGBT people of color.

35 Congress members tell Obama administration to end LGBT immigration detention

Quote:

The fight to get the U.S. to stop detaining transgender immigrants in men’s immigration detention centers has reached the Capitol building in D.C.

This week 35 members of the House of Representatives—all Democrats—sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson urging him to end the detention of LGBT undocumented immigrants.

The issue gained attention this week when Jennicet Gutierrez, a transgender undocumented immigrant, interrupted Obama at a White House pride event and also called for an end to the practice Files

“These individuals are extremely vulnerable to abuse, including sexual assault, while in custody, in particular, transgender women housed in men’s detention facilities,” read the open letter addressed to Secretary Johnson.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

This Is Why Everyone Cheering Gay Marriage Should Stand With the White House “Heckler” Now

Quote:

This past Wednesday, my trans latina sister, Jennicet Gutierrez, made national headlines when she interrupted President Barack Obama during the White House Pride reception. As a trans latina myself, seeing the way that the mostly white, gay community responded to her was the most painful and outrageous aspect of the event. Trans women of color like Jennicet have been on the front lines of the struggle for queer and trans liberation since the birth of our movement.

While many in our community post about how Caitlyn Jenner is so courageous for transitioning, they are somehow blinded to seeing the real heroes before them. Real courage is being the lone voice in a room full of fake allies and still speaking up. Real courage is putting your immigration status and life on the line to fight for your immigrant trans sisters. Real courage is crashing a party at the White House to demand liberation for your people.

...

This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. But for those of us who seek liberation, I believe that we must destroy the notion that marriage will save us. Gay marriage, marriage equality—whatever you want to call it—is a distraction from what is killing us. We can no longer wait for the white gay establishment to recognize us, and instead do whatever it takes to take back our movement. We must leave behind respectability politics 

Slumberjack

When you have ‘difference’ existing in a state of precariousness, ie: socially, financially, historically, etc, understandably this can be seen to contrast with difference as it exists in relatively stable environments and circumstances, particularly in situations where both ‘difference’ and ‘identity’ are under-emphasized, such as with today’s globalized Capitalism and the requirement for various backgrounds to work together toward enhanced profitability.  One is different, which leads one to acquire an identity.  In a historical sense the concept of difference being prior to identity is confirmed, where identity as a label or categorization is acquired or affixed once ‘difference’ has been socially determined.

In "Desert Islands and Other Texts,' Deleuze argued that an honest confrontation with reality, that takes us beyond the tradition of saying X is different than Y because X enjoys more social stability than Y, would instead be on a better footing to consider the issue by apprehending ‘difference in itself,’  due to the problem of assuming that all of the X’s and all of the Y’s exist separately in a state of estranged uniformity from one another, within their respective axis.'  There are no internal variations of x's or y's, or X's and Y's, or different letters for that matter in varying fonts and formats.  One axis is offered up as an example of internal, social bliss.  Money can purchase happiness and stability is what we're being expected to assume.

In other words, people should avoid impediments that have been put in place by the various political categories of identity, which inevitably spring from political deliberations subsequent to the emergence of 'difference in itself.'  Such categorizations have obviously given rise to many of the seemingly intractable conflicts that have been set in motion wherever we care to look.

For people who were born in male bodies, but who subsequently determine that they are of another gender, there still exists relative levels of precariousness no matter the relative financial/social circumstances.  It obviously goes without saying that everything is not fine and well in the arena of transgendered experiences-in-themselves, once identified, irrespective of the disparity in social access and bank accounts.  One becomes a target of regressive tendencies no matter what type of car one drives.  What this points to in Jenner’s situation is that it does amount to a disservice to emphasize social identity at the expense of ‘difference-in-itself.’

Pondering

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
It sets up unrealistic standards that can't possibily be attained for those transitioning later in life.

Then why can they not transition as they are, or with whatever enhancements that make them feel more comfortable with being who they are?  If such enhancements are in accord with what the commodity wants, that is a wider issue certainly, but this is not the point at which that particular drawbridge should be raised, as I’m trying to argue.  I find the notion of 'unrealistic' standards to be problematic, in that, doesn't every human being come by the form they develop into very naturally.  Potentially, hundreds of millions of women around the world could more or less fit quite readily with the definition of what the objectified, commodified culture wants to display without doing anything in particular to themselves.  Who is anyone to say that someone else's form is unrealistic just because the commodity has taken a fancy to similar forms, when such forms are quite real and natural everywhere on their own, prior to any manipulation by the commodity for the purpose of objectification.  They exist in their own right as they are, just like anyone else, and have throughout history.  It is not an unrealistic standard, but only one form among other types of human forms.  It may only be unrealistic from the point of view of someone who is not of a particular form, but who is attempting to obtain another form for whatever reason, and not being able to obtain it.  Your line of reasoning suggests that hundreds of millions of women today aren't real?  They're caricatures?

No, it's an unrealistic standard. That is the whole argument against photoshop and plastic surgery for women. Unless Jenner had a skin transplant that is not what Caitlyn Jenner looks like and it is not what any transgender woman will look like even after surgery if they transition at 65. Jenner didn't just transition from man to woman, he magically dropped 20 years.

Slumberjack

So what? Millions of people attempt all sorts of transformations relating to the aging process, which are advertised to men and women alike. There are balding and aging potions, hair colour treatments, anti-wrinkle creams, etc. Cosmetic surgical procedures are pretty much gender neutral these days, being offered to one and all, old and young alike. Entire industries are dedicated to changing us from what we are. These are societal issues to grapple with from the perspective of what we’re given to desire, rather than something we need to be taking up with individuals. Society itself should be taken to task for what it prefers to emphasize and exclude. As I said, magazine depictions of what a body should look like are aside from the fact that millions of people turn out like that on their own without having to work at it as much as others. They are not, in themselves, flukes of nature. In themselves they are not unrealistic representations of humanity. Their images, or whatever popular culture does with similar representations, only becomes unrealistic from the point of view of someone who wants to become that, but who cannot, irrespective of what they do with their bodies. The desired form itself is entirely realistic for millions of others, with or without procedures. Even with surgery or what not, others can only work within the art of the possible. Of course, on the flip side of desire there exists envy, accompanied by resentment and frustration as it often is.

Maysie Maysie's picture

5 Ways White Transgender People Have Privilege Over Transgender People of Color

Quote:

1. Racialized Violence

 While this should be an obvious privilege of whiteness, I want to make it clear: as a Black body, I am always at a greater risk of violence. Trans people often use statistics to illustrate the violence done to trans bodies, but when the statistics are broken down, trans people of color, specifically trans women of color, are the ones subjected to violence at the most disproportionate rates.

...

5. More Benefits from Mainstream Movement

 

The centering of whiteness within trans community and trans visibility often leads to the exclusion of the people in the margins. Visibility is almost always filtered through the lens of respectability. The goal of respectability is to be considered “normal”. When we try to be “normal” we erase the most vulnerable people, including trans people of color, because the desire is to be as close to the perceived norm—which tends to be white, able-bodied and financially stable—as possible. And the trans movement pushes for integration through legislative gains that will benefit the most privileged people, or those within the narrative of normal. This can be seen as the mainstream trans movement pushes for anti-discrimination laws and gender neutral bathrooms but remains silent on housing discrimination and incarceration despite homelessness and incarceration impacting trans women of color at a disproportionate rate.

Pondering

takeitslowly wrote:

 "It's very sad that the idea of a man loving a trans person has to be considered a scandal when all people are equal. ... Am I not an American with the right to love and live as I choose with whoever I choose? If a celebrated man loves a transgender woman or possibly did — that's news? It shouldn't be news, it should be normal for anyone and everyone to be allowed to love who they choose." The shame about desiring women need to end. I will take being alone forever than be someone's shameful secret. http://www.msnbc.com/so-popular-/watch/what-tyga-s-nude-photo-scandal-re...

That was great. I listened to the whole thing. Impressive women.

takeitslowly

 "It's very sad that the idea of a man loving a trans person has to be considered a scandal when all people are equal. ... Am I not an American with the right to love and live as I choose with whoever I choose? If a celebrated man loves a transgender woman or possibly did — that's news? It shouldn't be news, it should be normal for anyone and everyone to be allowed to love who they choose."

 

 

The shame about desiring women need to end. I will take being alone forever than be someone's shameful secret.

 

http://www.msnbc.com/so-popular-/watch/what-tyga-s-nude-photo-scandal-re...

takeitslowly

Women of color are the predominant group of trans people facing fatal violence every year worldwide. This year's particularly deadly start — with the U.S. averaging one trans woman reported murdered in each of the first seven weeks of 2015 http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2015/07/31/florida-man-charged-murde...

Pondering

takeitslowly wrote:
Women of color are the predominant group of trans people facing fatal violence every year worldwide. This year's particularly deadly start — with the U.S. averaging one trans woman reported murdered in each of the first seven weeks of 2015
">http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2015/07/31/florida-man-charged-murde...

I keep returning to this post because I just don't know what to say. So senseless and so sad. 

takeitslowly

https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2015/08/10/victim-number-12-detroit-trans-woman-found-murdered

 

“He was observed leaving a vehicle when someone inside fired a shot, fatally wounding the victim,” said Officer Nicole Kirkwood, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department. Monroe died at a local hospital.

Kirkwood tells The Advocate detectives are now investigating the murder, which occurred at 5:05 a.m. Saturday on Woodward Avenue, west of Dakota, on Detroit’s west side, a “red light district” that local activists and news media say is known as an area for sex work by trans women. That same area is where police investigated three hate crimes against trans women one year ago, including a murder, according to Detroit’s WXYZ TV.

A friend, Julisa Abad, told another TV station, WJBK, that this was not Monroe’s first brush with violence, and in fact she had been attacked before: “She’s been shot two or three times. But this time she didn’t make it.”

LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan issued a statement in announcing Monroe’s murder:

“Our hearts are heavy with grief that we have lost another vibrant member of our community too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Amber’s family and friends whom she clearly loved deeply. "We have no idea yet whether this attack was fueled by transphobia, but we do know that Amber’s murder is the 12th murder of a transgender woman in the United States this year, and the 10th murder of a transgender woman of color. Transgender women, and especially transgender women of color, are disproportionately affected by violence. "Her life was just beginning; I know that this loss will leave so many people with a hole in their lives and with more questions than answers. Let’s come together to celebrate her life, and work for real change so that our transgender sisters can be free from persecution. I know we can do better. We have to do better.”

 

 

takeitslowly

An African-American transgender woman murdered in Dallas is the 13th trans woman reported killed in the United States in 2015. The badly decomposed body of Shade Schuler, 22, was found in a vacant field two weeks ago, but police were only able to identify her remains this week. Schuler was shot to death July 29, and her killing raises the toll of reported trans murders past the total for all of 2014. "Our hearts are saddened by the loss of Shade Schuler, a Dallas transgender woman whose life was taken too soon," Cece Cox, CEO of the Dallas’ LGBT community center, said in a statement to the website Lone Star Q. "Our sincere condolences go out to her family and friends. For transgender women, safety is a real and warranted concern... We encourage the Dallas Police Department to investigate and seek out the killer." There have been 13 trans women killed this year, at least 10 of whom were trans women of color. http://www.advocate.com/crime/2015/08/13/victim-number-13-transgender-wo...

takeitslowly

http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2015/11/20/cisgender-lesbians-tdor-message-trans-women 

Ty Underwood. Kandis Capri. Jessie Hernandez. Elisha Walker. Amber Monroe. Tamara Dominguez. Penny Proud. London Chanel. Yazmin Vash Payne.

These names may be unfamiliar to you. They are the names of some of the transgender people we honor this Transgender Day of Remembrance. They are just a few of the transgender and gender non-conforming people who were shot, stabbed, beaten, or killed in some other manner as a result of anti-transgender hate and violence in 2015.

They were from large and small places all across this country. Places like Tyler, Texas; Phoenix; Denver; Smithfield, N.C.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; New Orleans; Philadelphia; and Los Angeles.

They were students, workers, unemployed, mothers, daughters, partners, friends, and so much more.

And even though I never met them, they were my sisters.

An overwhelming majority of the transgender and gender-nonconforming people we lost to violence this year were women, and nearly all were transgender women of color. As a black cisgender (my gender identity matches the one I was assigned at birth) lesbian, I find these murders cut to my core. I feel compelled to stand up and speak their names just as loudly as I have invoked Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and all of the other black lives we've lost, some whose names we know so well and others we've never heard before. 

 

Paladin1

takeitslowly wrote:

http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2015/11/20/cisgender-lesbians-tdor-message-trans-women 

Ty Underwood. Kandis Capri. Jessie Hernandez. Elisha Walker. Amber Monroe. Tamara Dominguez. Penny Proud. London Chanel. Yazmin Vash Payne.

These names may be unfamiliar to you. They are the names of some of the transgender people we honor this Transgender Day of Remembrance. They are just a few of the transgender and gender non-conforming people who were shot, stabbed, beaten, or killed in some other manner as a result of anti-transgender hate and violence in 2015.

They were from large and small places all across this country. Places like Tyler, Texas; Phoenix; Denver; Smithfield, N.C.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; New Orleans; Philadelphia; and Los Angeles.

They were students, workers, unemployed, mothers, daughters, partners, friends, and so much more.

And even though I never met them, they were my sisters.

An overwhelming majority of the transgender and gender-nonconforming people we lost to violence this year were women, and nearly all were transgender women of color. As a black cisgender (my gender identity matches the one I was assigned at birth) lesbian, I find these murders cut to my core. I feel compelled to stand up and speak their names just as loudly as I have invoked Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and all of the other black lives we've lost, some whose names we know so well and others we've never heard before. 

 

 

Are transgendered Canadians faced with the same types of attacks as Americans? If so is it the same frequency?

takeitslowly

Good question. I dont know.  There is no federal laws or protections for trasngender people. Even though I 'pass" as a female for many years, the fact is, I am still scared of being found out because you never know how people will react, especially in workplaces and , now as a person looking for a rental, i am very stressed out about deciding if i should hide or let my identity be known to potential landlords or roomates.  The stresses get to many of us and its toxic. I know an aboriginal trans woman who was 31 aned she committed suicide just a month and a half ago.

Unionist

takeitslowly wrote:

There is no federal laws or protections for trasngender people.

Housing is provincial jurisdiction, and employment is almost always provincial too (except for some transportation, banks, broadcasting, and employees of the federal government).

In Northwest Territories, Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta, discrimination based on gender identity in employment, lodging, and the provision of services to the public, is (as far as I know) explicitly banned by law.

So, we have a ways to go - some provinces and territories, and the federal Human Rights Act.

takeitslowly

good to know but it doesnt really matter what the laws are , as long as it we live in a  social reality where people can hold prejudices and make judgements.

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