Strictly Moderated: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011 (TW for discussion of violence and transphobia)

Mod Note: Don’t be an asshole. If you wouldn’t say it at a funeral, don’t say it here.

Today is a sombre day for many transfolk and their families and friends, because we remember those people who were killed or driven to suicide because of transphobic prejudice.

Here are the names of but a few of those who died at the hands of bigots:

Gwen Araujo (February 24, 1985 – October 3, 2002) was murdered by four men, two of whom she’d been sexually intimate with prior to the event. She was beaten and strangled when they discovered she was transgender.

Robert Eads (December 18, 1945 – January 17, 1999) died of ovarian cancer, and could have been saved had those doctors (of whom there were more than 20) who refused to treat him, decided to save a life rather than show prejudice.

Six trans women (Idania Roberta Sevilla Raudales, Luisa Alvarado Hernández, Lady Óscar Martínez Salgado, Reana ‘Cheo’ Bustamente, Fergie Alice Ferg and Génesis Briget Makaligton) were brutally murdered in Honduras this year.

Nine trans people were murdered in the United States, among them Tyra Trent of
Baltimore, Maryland and Krissy Bates of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Many more trans people than these mentioned here have died because of transphobia. Still more are subject to physical, sexual and verbal abuse and harassment every day, some with little or no recourse because of poverty and intersecting oppressions. Countless trans people live in fear of discrimination and hate crimes.

I’ll close this post by saying this: Nobody should be mistreated for merely existing and nobody should ever have to live in fear of such mistreatment. I urge everyone to speak out against transphobia, and lend their support to the trans community, so that there might be fewer of us as victims of hate crime next year.

My TDOR artwork

Links to articles used (TW for violence and transphobia on all links):
More about Gwen Araujo.
More about Robert Eads.
The trans people who have died this year.

About sirgabe

I'm an Oblivion modder, with an artistic temperament from hell. I post erratically, rant about stupid things and I love my cat.
This entry was posted in abuse, gender identity, gender movements, intersectionality, issues, noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz, violence. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Strictly Moderated: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011 (TW for discussion of violence and transphobia)

  1. monkey says:

    Okay, I hope this doesn’t sound awful, but the violence doesn’t affect me as much as the example of medical neglect. DOCTORS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT.

  2. Schala says:

    @monkey

    It’s a problem with the insurance system of the US having to list sex, and to match the procedure done to the sex, and if it doesn’t match, it’s treated as “too weird, don’t insure, make them change it”.

    So a trans man couldn’t have ovarian cancer, because they’re legally and physically male – according to insurances, anyways.

    They’d similarly go ‘wtf’ about a legally male trans woman receiving high-dose estrogen. And might need to ‘justify’ anti-androgen through other diagnosis like high blood pressure (spironolactone) or prostate cancer (cyproterone acetate, and not in the US because it’s not a legal drug there – it is legal in Canada).

    Here, the health system doesn’t seem to care one bit. I get my hormones and I’m listed as legally male, no one cares, all 100% covered. I probably could get screening for prostate cancer, I just think the possibility is so remote as to be near-impossible. I could also probably get screening for breast cancer, where the chance is at least in the realm of possibilities. It would be hard to do so in the US, if listed as legally male.

  3. monkey says:

    Also, I can look at my life and realize that I have certainly made homophobic and transphobic comments in the past, and I am personally ashamed of them. These are especially bad because 1) I am both bisexual and consider myself sort of genderqueer, and 2) these were not always in the heat of anger but expressed as “rational.”

    I wish I could take them back. I am not asking for absolution, but to appeal to the notion that people can change.

  4. Jonathan says:

    @ sirgabe: thanks for posting this here.

  5. I’d completley forgotten this was today untill I saw it here, Thanks for promoting this on this blog.

    @Schala, are you in the UK? I do and I’ve never heard of it being a problem here, presumably because there isn’t a health insurance system and so people just get the treatment they need without having to work out if their insurance will cover it.

    It’s awful that that happened, and I’m sure that the shockingly badly designed US medical system takes quite a bit of the burden for that.

  6. Also, not forgetting the many trans folks who have been drivenby hate and lack of understanding to take their own life. We’ll keep fighting for you all xx

  7. makomk says:

    @Schala: I don’t think the medical neglect is just limited to conditions that are trans*-related; apparently there was an incident a few years ago where a trans women was in a car accident and the paramedics just stood around laughing at what a freak she was rather than actually treating her, for example.

  8. valeriekeefe says:

    Based on the mod note, I’m kinda screwed because I’d never compare what Raymond and the Reagan Administration did to the Tuskegee Experiment at a funeral…

    And yes, too often we forget about the suicides that are driven by medical neglect and withholding of treatment. They rack up a higher death toll every year than do the more easily recorded murders.

  9. noahbrand says:

    @monkey: I’m right there with you, buddy. I wince when I think back on some of the things I’ve said because I didn’t fully understand the issues, and what the heck, it’s just a harmless joke, right? Still, as my mom used to say, it’s not about where you are, it’s about what direction you’re moving. If guys like us can learn from our mistakes and try to do better, maybe that means society can one day get to a place where these horrible deaths no longer occur.

  10. valeriekeefe says:

    If it’s any consolation to both of you I read stuff I’ve written three years ago and wince… I’m really glad I read Whipping Girl

  11. Darque says:

    I hope that one day, as a society, we can all get to a place where we’re more tolerant of people’s differences. It’s a tragedy of the highest order when someone takes their life because they’ve been made to feel worthless or hopeless.

  12. ozymandias42 says:

    Valerie: It’s a rough analogy meant to keep people from derailing the thread to being about, like, trans people in bathrooms or some shit.

  13. valeriekeefe says:

    *smiles* I figured, Ozy. But yeah, one of the things I regret about writing for Huffington Post is the amount of just deliberately hurtful shit I get to read in the comments section now.

  14. SpudTater says:

    A friend of mine was recently assaulted on public transport because he was wearing a skirt. And this is in a city with a reputation for young, liberal eccentricity. It’s sad that just being yourself entails such a risk, and I salute the courage of people who live this with risk every day.

  15. monkey says:

    Valerie: I’ve got a lot of stuff I’m not proud of. It’s not so much jokes and stuff I said/wrote in anger but stuff that I thought was logical at the time. Some of it has ended up online.

    Part of it is worry that I’m just covering my ass, but trust me, it is also a sincere desire to change.

    As a different take on the subject: I have met a few transgender people in both real life and online, and each one has been an incredible person.

  16. trinity91 says:

    FWIW I think part of being an activist is taking that shame we all have from the horrible things we used to say about other people, and turning it into passion to help make everyone’s life better. That being said there are candles burning in my house tonight for the victims of trans violence. May they rest in peace. There’s also the candle of hope burning right along side it, tonight it burns in hope that not one more person will die for that reason.

  17. The_L says:

    I skipped directly to the comments, because I know I’m not going to be able to look at that list without crying.

    I look forward to a time when this day is no longer needed, when people stop judging each other by ridiculous sex- and gender-related standards and just treat each other with common decency. There is never a good reason to attack a stranger, and being intersex or transgender should not be the equivalent of painting crosshairs on your back.

  18. The_L says:

    @Schala: The anti-breast-cancer bias is particularly puzzling to me. Cismen may not have protuberant breasts like women do, but they are every bit as capable of getting cancer in their mammary glands as women or transmen. It’s not like ciswomen not having to worry about prostate cancer. A ciswoman doesn’t have a prostate, but all humans have mammary tissue, even if it isn’t functional.

  19. Velah says:

    *le sigh* We’re all humans….gender, race, weight, religion…why does any of it have to matter? We’re all here on this planet, trying to live our lives. Sending out love to everyone, no matter who you are and what you have going on in your knickers. ❤

  20. Schala says:

    It’s not like ciswomen not having to worry about prostate cancer. A ciswoman doesn’t have a prostate, but all humans have mammary tissue, even if it isn’t functional.

    Well, isn’t cowper’s gland the name of the exact same organ in cis women? Is it possible to get cowper gland’s cancer, even if unlikely (prostate cancer is mainly caused and aggravated by testosterone)?

  21. makomk says:

    Schala: Wikipedia suggests that Skene’s gland in cis women has in fact been renamed the prostate and that yes, they can actually officially get prostate cancer now. Not sure how accurate this is though.

  22. Schala says:

    Not sure how accurate this is though.

    Sounds rather accurate to me.

    My boyfriend seems to be convinced that women have muscles that don’t exist in men, to give birth. He also seems to be convinced that prostate is so utterly different that it cannot possibly be the same organ women have.

    He also generally thinks that “not liking skirts” is a natural inherent male thing (like biological). So yeah.

    He’s really progressive in accepting me (as a trans woman, not “a guy with something more”, but not too much on gender variance and anatomy).

  23. Via Brownfemipower:

    Shelley Hilliard, age 19, homicide by burning alive, Detroit, November 10, 2011
    http://www.freep.com/article/20111110/NEWS01/111110053/Detroit-teen-identified-burned-homicide-victim

    This hasn’t had much coverage and I just wanted to make sure people knew. BFP is the only person mentioning Shelley, have not seen any other news coverage.

    Something about how sweet her photo was, really got to me.

  24. valeriekeefe says:

    The story’s had coverage on Huffington Post as well, fortunately at that point the people who want to throw invective stick to a trans article that doesn’t feature a murder victim.

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