Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why The Unacceptable Levels Of Anti-Trans Violence Aimed At Us?

Gay News, Washington Blade, Bree Wallace, transgenderDanielle King touched upon the frustration and anger we all feel about Bree Wallace, another Black transwoman being viciously attacked last Friday morning in the Washington DC area and us being beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired about it.  

I'm also praying along with the DC trans community and her sisters around the world for Bree's swift recovery from her injuries.

Someone asked in the comments on my Facebook page why we African-American transwomen (along with our trans Latina sisters) are facing unacceptable levels of anti-trans violence, and I submit it's multiple factors playing into this.

*The anti-trans hate speech regurgitated by TERF's, conservative religious groups and Fox Noise.
*The meme injected into American society since slavery that a Black life isn't worth that much or as important as a white one and a trans l
ife is even less important.
*The lack of visibility and respect for trans people of color inside and outside our community.   
*The outright media disrespect for Black trans women as exemplified by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's journalistic hate crime aimed at Cemia Acoff.
*Black trans women getting killed or having anti-trans violence aimed at them and the perps either never getting arrested for it or when they do, getting little or no jail time for it or getting acquitted.

If you don't think that DC cop Kenneth Furr getting off for discharging his service revolver at three transwomen didn't play into this or the fact that I as of yet can't hit Bing or Google and find any information about Gary Niles Montgomery's trial for killing Deoni Jones, you are sadly naive.

There's a perception that it's open season on Black transwomen in DC and beyond, and too many people and our legacy orgs have been cricket chirping silent about it.  Time for that sorry dynamic to change ASAP. 

Bottom line is that the POTUS and FLOTUS need to know about it.  The Congressional Black Caucus.   The NAACP.  The Urban League.  Our national, state and local politicians.  Every organization in Black America and our people need to be aware that Black trans women are catching hell besides TPOCC and the National Black Justice Coalition.

Why?  Because Black trans issues are Black community and Black LGBT issues.  What affects us also affects the entire African-American community and vice versa. 

And yes, Black SGL community,  let me repeat what I just said in that last sentence in terms of Black trans community issues being Black LGBT issues because some of your Black trans sisters also intersect and interact with the LGB and same gender loving end of the community.

Black LGB community, you will also need to do your part as well of being standup allies for us just as we are for you instead of elements of you trying to suck up to the Gay, Inc power structure that hates you just as much as they hate us. 

And my beautiful Black transsisters, yes I understand your concerns, but visibility is what will ultimately stop this wave of anti-trans violence directed at us, not hiding in the closet and cowering in fear.  That's what the haters want so they can deny we exist.  

It's nation time, Black trans women.  It's us being out, proud and open about our lives that will eventually stem the  tide of anti-trans violence along with us interacting with all the communities we intersect and interact with.  

We Black trans women have to come to grips with the fact we are walking targets for anti-female violence and sexual assault.  We must be hyper vigilant about our surroundings and the situations we potentially end up in.   One small lapse in that vigilance can result in us being seriously injured or having our names read at the next Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial ceremony.   

We have had three African-American trans women killed this year and all were under age 30. There is a pattern of anti-trans violence and disrespect in DC that Earline Budd alluded to that has existed since the mid 90's. That's gotta end.

What also has to end is
nobody caring about a Black trans woman unless they need her in a photo to prove their organization is diverse or they want to use us as bargaining chips to pass GL rights only legislation.

I can write about what happens to African-American trans women every day, but if you aren't sharing my TransGriot posts or talking about it, the news doesn't get disseminated. To borrow a slogan from the ACT-UP era, Silence=Death     

Your votes also put those national, state and local politicians in office.  Let them and the folks in these organizations know this is an unacceptable situation and ask them what concrete steps will they be taking to help stem the tide of anti-trans violence aimed at African-American trans women.   If they try to spin their way out of it, don't accept that.

I want you 40 and under African-descended transwomen to not only enjoy your lives, but know what it's like to get to my age so you can be mentors to the next generation of trans women.

It's why I want to do my part to ensure the unacceptable levels of anti-trans violence aimed at African-American trans women in DC and elsewhere in this country ends as expeditiously as possible.

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