Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Chicago TransLife Center Trans Respect Billboard Campaign Launched

Photo: Chicago's TransLife Center is placing billboards throughout the city promoting the idea that just because you see a trans woman of color does not mean she's a sex worker.I believe we have been given another opportunity to attack and destroy another meme deployed against us that feeds into the unjust treatment being aimed at us.

It's the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme.

TransGriot, April 15, 2014, 'Attacking The All Trans Women Are Sex Workers' Meme  

Nice to see someone was paying attention to that post.

One of the things that is a microaggressive (and sometimes macroaggressive) irritant in the life of a trans woman of color is some idiot assuming that we are all turning tricks. 

It's an assumption that plays into triggering much of the anti-trans animus aimed at us and I suspect can be one of the precursors that leads to the anti-trans violence aimed at us.

That tired meme has also led to po-po's behaving badly when it comes to encountering us as the Kenneth Furr case in DC was an egregious example of, along with the Monica Jones 'Walking While Black Trans' case  in Phoenix.    That meme was why stop and frisk police stops were aimed at non-white transwomen simply minding their own damned business.  

So it was nice to hear about a billboard campaign TransLife Chicago launched July 2 with the simple but powerful message "She’s just walking, not working. Respect Transgender Women.”

It was needed especially in the wake of the Chicago Sun Times republishing the foul June article attacking the femininity of Laverne Cox they later apologized for.   There are also several transfeminine murder cases in the Windy City that have yet to be solved, much less see the perpetrators of them be arrested.   

TransLife Center Care Coordinator Channyn Parker said in a Windy City Times interview concerning the billboard launch, “Transgender people constantly live under the cloud of an assumption that us taking a simple walk down the street means that we’re actually out doing solicitation or prostitution.”

She said: “[It] couldn’t be further from the truth. I sincerely hope this message gets down at the base level that trans people are human.”

Ten of these billboards are being deployed on Chicago's South and West sides and like Channyn, I hope they convey the message to the rest of cis society what transwomen already know.  Transwomen are human.

We're also just trying to live our daily lives without added drama or BS.

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