Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance


November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance, and
it’s an opportunity for all of us to stand up to
end violence against all women.
Female identified people throughout the feminist movement have been pushing for
equality, and have been breaking down the stereotypes of being women in our
culture.

No longer are we forced to wear skirts, or cover our faces. This is
blurring our gender binary system, by letting female identified women come
together and wear what they want, when they want it. Transgendered people are a
natural ally in this movement, because we too are blurring the gender binary.
Some of us that are
transgendered are very clearly male
identified or female identified regardless of what we were assigned at birth.
But others are less clear from a social standpoint and have a very strong sense
of self that exists somewhere in between. This blurring of the gender binary is
a wonderful thing, because it lets all of us be who we are and be treated with
respect for our identities.

 

Yet, transgendered people regularly
suffer violence, and even death for simply being who we are. We are still
classified as having a mental health disorder, even
though leading transgendered scholars have proven that it doesn’t
help us at all. Many of us have a very hard time after transition staying in
our chosen profession, and we end up doing all sorts of socially unacceptable
jobs, including sex work, which further puts us at a social disadvantage.
When police are
regularly documented beating us up
, when nobody ever looks for our
killer, when society doesn’t
let us go to the
bathroom in peace
, we know it’s time for change.

Yet there is change, we’ve actually
caught, gone to trial and successfully
convicted someone for the murder of a
transgendered person
, which is rare. Federal laws are being talked about, however
misguided
they may actually be, and yet the number of deaths is
rising, not falling. Some counts have the
average number of murders of
transgendered people at 19 per month!
Or put another way, 1 in 12 of us in America will be murdered. But
we as
transgendered
people are the only ones counting,
in pretty much every country
across the world. I’m a transgendered sex worker, and I want to not get killed
for who I am or what I do. As our death count rises, I beg that you consider
your prejudices around gender, and let us live in peace. I’m literally begging
for my life.

 

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  • crowepps

    People seem to have a real compulsion to separate everything they deal with into two groups and many seem to be absolutely livid when they are presented with the problem of outliers. Their inability to deal with ambiguity, their need to publicly comment on and harass and attack other people because they perceive them as different is primate behavior at its most primitive.

     

    There needs to be a real commitment made to all people having the right to use the public space without fear, but it seems to me that we are actually going backwards in that respect rather than forwards and in my opinion it’s due to the hate propaganda that the media has rediscovered to be a great moneymaker.

  • cmarie

    tara, I hope you have a support system which will help you escape the abuse that is prostitution. Here is a website you may find helpful: http://www.iamtransgendered.com this site includes a list of other websites you may find helpful including http://www.finaid.org/otheraid/gay.phtml which offers scholarships and financial aid to transgendered students also http://www.transgenderlegal.com (this is actually in Houston but I’m sure they can direct you to local legal aid if you want)and here is http://www.annelawrence.com (transexual womens resources). I hope all the links work. It’s all linked to from the original site. I’m sure any of these organizations would be happy to help you begin the journey to escape the dangerous world of prostitution and find new, safe employment where you won’t face danger every day. Good luck to you.

  • tara-sawyer

    @cmarie:  First, thank you for the comment! You are SOO correct that we need an amazing support system, and my support network is my fellow sex workers activists/advocates and our allies!  You make it sound like all sex work is abuse, and I’m sure you don’t mean that!  Sex Work can be such a beautiful form of work!  Certainly, as like all other jobs, there can be abuses, but this doesn’t mean that all types of a job is abuse.  While society does have a large amount of stigma and discrimination against being a sex worker, we also have stigma for so many other jobs!

     

    I personally have not experienced violence in my sex work, but regularly have received violence for being transgender!

     

    @crowepps: Thank you for the comment, and while I’m not an academic, and would have not the slightest clue to facts or figures or anything of the sort, it does seem to sort of be true doesn’t it? I personally have been verbally abused on a very regular (almost daily) basis for the way I choose to express my gender.  Not to mention the physical abuse!