Wouldn’t this have to be clarified a bit? Something along the lines of having it be the last 20 murders of trans women that we know about?
Honey, that sounds kind of like a derail. Fact is trans WoC have it much worse than white trans…
Not to mention that all confirmed deaths are reported. ALL OF THEM. ESPECIALLY murders. They might not be on the evening news, but they are documented SOME PLACE. And the documentation allows us to know that of all transfolk that have died or been killed, MOST of them are people of color.
Unless there are hundreds of thousands of dead, white transfolk whose bodies have never been discovered, then we can safely say that you’re more likely to be the victim of death if you’re transfolk of color. That’s not to say that white transfolk aren’t in any danger, but it IS to point out that white privilege PROTECTS EVEN white transfolk comparatively.
The desire to follow the “scientific,” “legal” letter of the law (rather than the spirit of the law) in regard to this is not simply an attempt to derail; it’s an attempt to lessen the potency of the disparity between what happens between white transfolk and people of color transfolk. It’s an attempt to discredit the reality of trans people of color so that trans whitefolk don’t have to bear the burden of being complicit in a system that privileges even queer Whiteness. It’s the adult way of saying, “I have it bad, too. So you don’t get to say you have it worse.”
In other words, it’s, irrefutably, racism. Plain and simple.
Regardless of what peanut gallery derailments occur in every conversation like this on the internets… I just have a question and some input.
I would LOVE to know who all of these white trans women this contentious blowhard is in contact with that they’re basing this inflamed crap on. Issue is real, but this is crap. Sorry!
I’m not amused by men, trans or otherwise, and queers in general, or anyone, butting in to politics surrounding trans women and dividing us on race lines, and responding to some supposed segregation within trans women’s experiences and lives and getting mad about it based on some casual observation of what trans women do and say online.
I actually give no concern to opinions like this! I don’t care.
Segregation and white-vs-PoC issues just being stuck onto trans women’s lives like a stamp is SO ridiculous. This might TOOOOOTALLY SHOCK YOU but racism happens to play out in a way different for trans women than you might know, just like it plays out differently for everyone.
But since everyone is so eager to hear what a man says it’s REBLOG-REBLOG-REBLOG. If amplifying a PoC sounding off about a bunch of trash makes them less guilty about being a white person for 5 mins, COOL! Why question anything?
Trans women experience a specific type of segregation: TOTAL AND UTTER SEGREGATION FROM ONE ANOTHER ON AN ABSOLUTELY ONE-ON-ONE PERSONAL BASIS. NO COMMUNITY WITH ONE ANOTHER WHATSOEVER outside of online interaction.
So everyone who thinks they have a lot to say about this, have fun being right all the time! I laugh at you. If I wasn’t white, I would probably also cry.
I am the woman who originally pointed out this was a derailment made by a friend of mine. I am a trans woman of color. Fuck you and check your privilege, you racist fuck. It’s racist. We deal with the same fucking kinds of racism that other groups have, just with little extras. You obviously do not get how racism plays out if you think shit like that doesn’t affect trans women. When everyone would rather talk about a white trans woman being kept out of a beauty pageant rather than a black trans woman being arrested for defending herself, there is racism in the trans community. YOu do not get to decide what is actually racist, cracker. I am trans. and a woman. And a person of color. Your racist if you don’t see the racism that is affecting trans women of color and just generally shitty too. We are the ones who mainly get killed. You honestly make me so mad and are great proof that just because someone is trans, that doesn’t mean they can’t still be a total racist. This isn’t about men. I made the point it was a derailment. This is about racist shit like this
It’s been 39 years since Homosexuality was removed as a mental illness from the DSM
Transgender and gender dysphoric people still are.
But we’re all fighting for the same rights, right? Awareness that only benefits the gay marriage causes helps us all, right? No. It doesn’t and it hasn’t.
Chrishaun ‘CeCe’ McDonald
Chrishaun ‘CeCe’ McDonald, a 23-year old African-American transgender woman, with no criminal record, is presently incarcerated and charged with two counts of second-degree murder. In her article, “Jenna Talackova Can Compete, But the Fight Against Trans Injustice Rages On“ for the Huffington Post, actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox, gives a recent recap of Ms. McDonald’s case:
“In June 5, 2011 CeCe and a group of her friends, all of whom were LGBT youth of color, were walking in South Minneapolis when a group of white adults began screaming racist and transphobic slurs like ‘niggers,’ ‘faggots’ and ‘chicks with dicks’ at the youth. According to reports CeCe stood up for herself and her friends, stating that they would not tolerate hate speech. Then one of the white adult women smashed her glass into CeCe’s face. The broken glass sliced all the way through CeCe’s cheek, lacerating a salivary gland. A fight ensued, resulting in the death of one of the attackers, Dean Schmitz. CeCe was the only person arrested. She was detained by the police for hours before questioning, and then she was placed in solitary confinement.”
Not surprisingly, the white woman who attacked Ms. McDonald wasn’t prosecuted. Ms. McDonald’s case is a clear example of racist and transphobic violence. Presently incarcerated awaiting her trail, this young trans woman could be permanently railroaded into the prison industrial complex. Up until very recently, Ms. McDonald was only receiving support from on-the-ground radical grassroots (not mainstream) feminists and queer people, many of whom are of color.
Some queer people are Black and some Black people are queer and more often than not, like most straight Black women and girls, we stand alone at the intersections of race, gender, gender identity, and sexuality. In the 2011 released Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People In the United States, authors Joey L. Mogul, Andrea J. Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock give readers alarming commentary about the disproportionate rate that LGBTQ people, especially those of color, are incarcerated for “sexual deviance.” Similar to Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Mogul, Ritchie, and Whitlock delve into how crime is socially constructed. They show the historical origins of how race constitutes what is considered a crime, while also examining how notions about how gender plus race plus class plus sexuality all inform who is incarcerated and who is not. This is most important to consider when we look at the (relatively speaking) minimal responses to the New Jersey 4 case, and all those cases involving Black LGBTQ people prior and following up to CeCe McDonald’s case.
In January 2012, Racialicious published Jessica Annabella’s “Why We Should Support CeCe McDonald.” Ms. Annabella’s article really underscores many of the poignant points raised in Queer (In)Justice. She writes,
“…CeCe’s story is a portrait of the United States Criminal Justice System. Her story is what is meant when we are told that transgender people, especially transgender women of color, experience disproportionate rates of police harassment, profiling, and abuse. She is living one of the stories rolled into statistics like: trans people are ten to fifteen times more likely to be incarcerated than cisgender (not transgender) people, or nearly half of African American transgender people have spent time in jail or prison. These statistics are the result of all of the ways that transgender people, especially transgender people of color, are denied access to the resources and opportunities that we need to live healthy lives free of violence, discrimination, and oppression. Transgender people consistently experience high levels of harassment in school, extreme levels of unemployment due to discrimination and lack of education, denial of competent medical care, inability to change identification documents, and disproportionate violence and harassment…”
On the April 15, 2012 edition of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, she featured a 20-minute ‘Being transgender in America’ segment. In speaking about another case in which a transgender person was savagely beaten, Harris- Perry said,
“Simply because you are aware of one kind of inequality doesn’t mean that you empathize with others. It was in that moment that I decided I needed to be a better Cis ally to the work of trans communities.”
During the segment, Harris-Perry and white transgender activist Kate Bornstein briefly discussed Ms. McDonald’s case. Tragically, Harris-Perry was the only one who drew parallel’s between Ms. McDonald and Trayvon Martin. While an important intervention for mainstream cable television, the travesty about the ‘Being transgender in America’ segment is that all of Harris-Perry’s featured guests were white transgender people and their allies. Neither Kate Bornstein nor any of the featured guests offered any substantive critique or analysis on how the intersections of race and gender identity profoundly impact the lives of transgender people of color. Essentially, their all-white presence presented an incorrect perception that most transgender people are white; and they all experience structural violence in the same way. This is not true at all. There are many trans activists of color who could’ve contextualized the specifics of Ms. McDonald’s case from an intersectional framework. Additionally, they could’ve discussed the various ways in which transgender people of color experience all forms of violence both outside and inside of their racial and cultural communities.
Most recently, on April 20, 2012, the Advocate.com published Diane Anderson-Minshall’sessay, “Fighting For Her Life: Transgender Woman Charged With Murder.” Anderson-Minshall, shares some of the astounding statistics from the recently released nationwide survey of transgender and gender non-conforming people, which was conducted by The National Center for Transgender Equality and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Anderson-Minshall writes:
“…What they found is shocking but bears weight on the case against CeCe McDonald: 38% of African-American respondents experienced police harassment, 15% reported being physically assaulted by the police, and 7% reported being sexually assaulted by the police; 38% of African American MTF (male-to-female) respondents reported being sexually assaulted by either another inmate or a staff member in jail/prison; 41% of African-American respondents reported being imprisoned because of their race and gender identity alone; a whopping 47% reported having been in jail or prison for any reason…”
Unfortunately and yet not surprisingly, there hasn’t been any expressed outrage on the part of Non-LGBTQ Black Civil Rights organizations and public intellectuals about Ms. McDonald’s case. Her case is most definitely another example of racism and transphobia in the criminal (in)justice system. Additionally the expressed outrage on the part of mainstream white LGBTQ organizations has been minimal, if at all. In spite of this, there has been a multi-racial racial groundswell of local, state, and national grassroots organizing in support of Ms. McDonald’s case. In addition to the media coverage I cited, there are many bloggers who are focused on covering her case. The Support CeCe McDonald webpage posted a press release announcing that on April 17, 2012:
“…supporters of Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald delivered a petition with over 12,000 signatures and a letter signed by 35 local, state, and national organizations directly to Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman’s office this afternoon, demanding that he drop the two second-degree murder charges levied against McDonald…”
Coincidentally (or not), Attorney Freeman’s office recently declined to prosecute the white killer of Darrell Evanovich, an African-American man shot dead after an alleged robbery. Supporters of CeCe McDonald are asking people to contact Attorney Freeman’s office directly to encourage him to drop the charge against Ms. Mcdonald, especially since he set a precedent of refusing to prosecute the killer of Darrell Evanovich. The change.org-sponsored petition demanding Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman to drop the charges against Ms. McDonald is still receiving signatures.
The Support CeCe McDonald webpage has some of the most comprehensive up-to-date information about her case, including tangible ways individuals and organizations can support her. Ms. McDonald has a pretrial rescheduled for April 27, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. Her actual trial is scheduled for April 30, 2012. It is vital that we stay focused on CeCe McDonald receiving justice.
There are clearly stark differences between CeCe McDonald and Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin, a straight Black teenage boy was murdered; and CeCe McDonald, a young adult Black trans woman, was brutally attacked, and, in response to defending herself, is fighting for a life outside of the prison industrial complex. The common denominator between both Martin and McDonald, however, is the vicious impact of white supremacist and state sanctioned violence on the lives of Black bodies. I believe it is critical that our national Non-LGBTQ Black Civil Rights organizations and public intellectuals speak and act with the profound understanding that justice should not be fought solely on behalf of Black straight boys and men; but it should be fought for all members in our non-monolithic communities.
[Clink on the link for the full article and links to other pieces in the four part series]
I’m getting tired of racist white queers.
Your oppressed status doesn’t give you liberty to support white supremacy nor does it count as a valid excuse, nor can you use your own oppression to claim you know what it’s like, because you don’t.
And to those who say it doesn’t matter because they don’t care?
That’s cool. You’re white. Your opinion is irrelevant.
Granted, you’ll jump up if it’s one of us being affected, but, hey, that’s what counts, right?
If you stand to eliminate your own oppression but then turn around and disregard your own racism, you’re a hypocrite, and you need to sit down, shut the fuck up, and learn. And if you won’t learn, just don’t stop with the shutting the fuck up.
The documents released by HRC show that NOM’s “strategic goal…is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”
More Thoughts On Trans Dating
The idea that trans women are being “deceptive” if we fail to disclose our transness to potential partners is probably the single most dangerous single piece of bigotry against us. Because the unspoken corollary is that anyone we interact with is morally entitled to use violence against us if we don’t disclose fast enough to suit their prejudice.
When it comes to dating, trans people are the one exception to the rule that people are responsible for their own preferences. Society does not require people with medical conditions to hand over their medical records on the first date. It does not accuse women of fraud for putting on makeup or wearing padded bras or having cosmetic surgery. It does not demand that prejudices in general be preemptively catered to.
Unless you’re a trans woman.