Our Sisters are Dying. What Are We Going to Do About it? January 15, 2018 – Posted in: Collective Well-Being – Tags: Collective Well-Being
In 2017 over 28 transgender people were murdered in the US, according to the Human Rights Campaign Report. A disproportionate number of these were transgender women of colour. The report argues that their unique intersection of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities, barriers that make them especially vulnerable.
In 2016 there were 23 deaths. How do we turn the rising tide?
A lot of progress has been made to integrate and normalise homosexuality and the gay community into the mainstream culture. The transgender community however continues to be marginalised, not only in mainstream culture but within gay culture as well. Some would disagree, however I argue that gay men gleefully enjoy drag acts on stage and are more than happy to take selfies with the star after the show, but will then shun transgender individuals as friends and part of their day to day socialisations. There is transphobia thriving in the gay community.
Transgender women meet the sexual needs of particular men who are generally unwilling to own up to their sexual desires in public.
And of course when it comes to homophobic violence, gay people have gained confidence in defending themselves and their rights. Cowardly homophobic violence perpetrators thus focus on the most vulnerable in our community, transgender women.
How do we begin to counteract what is happening? The key is demarginalising transgender people and fully embracing them into our daily lives, not as 2-dimensional lovers, but as friends and loved ones. Let us watch out for them. The truth is the western gay community today owes a great debt to the transgender women who were the actual instigators of the Stonewall Movement. They decided to make a stand against police brutality. Today, let us start watching out for each other.
It may be cliché but it is true, “Until we are all free, none of us are free.”
Image: The Queen II – Felippe Souza