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{ LINK: Trans Woman of Color Erasure & Objectification }

dancingonembers:

September 30, 2008

(so, this might seem weird, but in addition to its actual content, this post is laying the groundwork for an analysis of the silence surrounding the recent anti-muslim terror attack in Ohio (see also. h/t to Cheshire Bitten. More of the groundwork will be done in a post to follow.)

How often do you see trans women of color speaking in their own voices? On the blogosphere (that is, user created media), there are quite a few: Holly, Tobi, Little Light, Mia Nikasimo, and Monica Roberts, who in turn highlights the voices of Marisa Richmond and Claudia Charriez, as well as (to a lesser degree of self determination) Isis Tsunami, Bulent Ersoy, Leang Sothea.

In non-blogosphere media (that is, media filtered through an organization), there are any number on the Being T documentary (whose names I don’t know)(h/t Monica), and the deceased Marsha P Johnson (who is rarely shown speaking for herself, almost always reduced to ‘activist and murder victim’) and Sylvia Rivera. Seriously.

In Chicago, one friend of mine is a labor organizer, and acquaintances of mine work at the Broadway Youth Center, and Howard Brown. In Minneapolis I met and briefly worked with women from The African American AIDS Task Force, The Indigenous People’s Task Force, District 202, and All Gender Health.

I make this long, long list not because it’s exhaustive (it’s not, please comment if I forgot you), but in order to make it painfully obvious that there are lots and lots of trans women of color speaking, saying and doing important shit.

And if you’re white and that’s what you think of when you hear “trans woman of color” (etc), I’ll eat my shoes. My hat, too. Hell, if you could name 5 accomplishments by trans women of color I’ll be impressed. But not because they aren’t accomplishing them. Because they’re not being reported.

Media visibility for trans women of color (scanty as it is) goes to 1)objectifying portrayals of sex workers, and 2)murder/hate crime victims. The white trans community seems to have replicated this pattern–while Becoming a Black Man1 and Still Black may have achieved some popularity, and Whipping Girl has spread like wildfire, almost all of what I see reported in transnews and on the blogosphere at large that covers TWOC is focused almost exclusively on their victimhood, and the commentary limited to that & dissection of the fetishization.

Of the top twenty hits googling “trans woman of color”, only two were definitively not about that person being a victim (or survivor) of racist trans misogynistic physical violence, one of which was a comment by Little Light in response to transphobic hate speech included in the 59th Carnival of Feminists; 7 of the first 10 results for “trans women of color” are about transphobic violence (though one does have a positive unrelated story), and the other three are about Isis and Lavergne on reality TV. By contrast, not one of the first 10 for “trans women” focuses on physical violence, and only three out of ten for “trans woman”. Neither “trans man of color” nor “trans men of color” turned up any results obviously violence related (though the “Becoming a Black Man does relate to violence, it’s not in such an objectifying way.).

Say it with me now: trans women of color are not objects. They are not (only) victims. They are not the people you can push the pity party onto when you’re tired of dealing with it yourself and want to be seen acting to change shit. Yes, they are at vastly greater risk of violence than the rest of us trans folks–and just because you bring that up when transphobic/trans misogynistic violence is being talked about does not make you a “good ally“. Their deaths do not define their existence. Yes, many are sex workers because of economic marginalization–and this does not define their lives. They are more than points in a power struggle between multiple groups of white trans activists and cis feminists.

As Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha writes in “The Femme Shark Manifesto”:

FEMMES ARE LEADERS IN TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS/ DEFENDING OUR QUEER AND TRANS OF COLOR COMMUNITIES.

WE USED OUR STILETTOS AS WEAPONS AT STONEWALL

WE WERE THE TRANS[ ]WOMEN WHO FOUGHT BACK AT THE COMPTON CAFETERIA

WE’RE THE GIRLS WHO STARE DOWN ASSHOLES STARING AT OUR LOVERS AND FRIENDS ON THE SUBWAY….

WE REMEMBER OUR DEAD- SAKIA GUNN, GWEN ARAUJO, AND MANY OTHER QUEER AND TRANS POC WHO DIED BECAUSE OF RACIST, HOMO/TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE. NOT AS A POLITICAL STATEMENT BUT AS WOMEN WE LOVED IN REAL LIFE WOMEN WHO COULD’VE BEEN US OR OUR LOVES.(link) (note–this piece is about queer femmes of color, not specifically trans ones. And you should read it.)

More later.

1: A rather (trans) misogynistic article at that–it does include trans women’s voices, but only as a means to further oppress them/erase their voices and further the subtextual point ‘black men have it worse than black women’. See also my performance piece, So Shut Up.

* * *

bolding is mine, because that is what I did in my hysterical post last night. - C

(via tranzient-deactivated20110219-d)

{ In Memory of David Kato }

yourhue:

“Across the entire country, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Ugandans mourn the loss of David, a dear friend, colleague, teacher, family member and human rights defender,” said Frank Mugisha, the chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda.

(Source: The Huffington Post, via lucypaw)

{ LINK: Egypt is burning and most western pundits have no idea why | Mondoweiss }

androphilia:

By Parvez Sharma

January 28, 2011

Cairo is burning. So is Egypt. Twitter is exploding. Everyone seems to have an opinion—many who do have never even been to Egypt but feel a strong sense of solidarity with the most remarkable revolution in a generation, perhaps. A revolution which importantly is not really caused by Twitter or by Facebook—as much as the self congratulatory social networking types in the West would like to believe.  

Full disclosure: Sleepless but still sitting in relative comfort in my Manhattan apartment I am one of those relentless tweeters. However my obsession stems from a long love and association with Egypt and the presence of way too many friends who have jumped into the chaos not really knowing what consequences their actions might have for themselves or their friends and families. 

I must also be clear. At this point, on this the longest Egyptian night in a generation, perhaps longer—most Western self professed Islam/Middle East and other assorted pundits have no clue about the harsh reality of Egyptian life. Many have probably never taken a walk down Mashriet Nasser, the largest slum in Cairo. This is why the do not realize that this “revolution” is not about social networking and its success. The majority of the 80 million people of Egypt live in abject poverty. They do not even have cell-phones let alone smartphones like the iPhone or the Droid. They go to kiosks to make calls. A pretty substantial number of them have NEVER used the internet and do not have email accounts: the complicated mechanisms of self-promotion and information gathering and sharing on social networks is not a part of their lives—they have never had the money or the resources to get access to this other world which often lives in the relatively more affluent neighborhoods like Zamalek or Garden City or Mohandaseen—all within some walking distance of where the dissent started in Tahrir Square. 

The majority of the protesters in Cairo, in Suez, in Alexandria, in Luxor, in Mahla, in Manoura and all over this ancient land which is the very heart of what it means to be Arab—are not “twittering” or “facebooking” or “emailing”  or even watching the landmark live coverage that Al-Jazeera is providing. They are out on the streets—and yes, without phone access—risking their lives and giving vent to three decades and perhaps more, of anger. 

They are fighting for very basic human rights. They are fighting for affordable food. They are fighting for dignity. They are fighting for accountability. They are fighting to somehow improve the non-existent financial opportunities in their lives. 

They are not interested in Mohamed AlBaradei’s Nobel prize or his rather recent and opportunist political ambitions. Most of them have not really seen him and have no idea of what he has been up to for the last three decades as they have suffered. They are angry that he decided to show up just last night and started posturing immediately as the potential savior and the best person to lead them into their uncertain future. Many here in the West would be surprised to know that a lot of these simple folk would actually prefer the “Muslim Brotherhood” taking over. Atleast they recognize the “Islam Light” the Brotherhood has honed to perfection after a pretty radical and conservative beginning with an idealogue like Banna. 

My friend Fouad Hani though has had access to all of the above including a very nice smartphone. That has not deterred him from stepping out every night and after about six hours of trying I get him on the phone. 

As always here are his primary bullet points unfiltered in his voice from a brief phone conversation (and yes, he has been dodging very real bullets today) 

  • My beloved city is on fire. My country is on fire. But each one of us on the streets is also on fire
  • I am exhausted. Mobinil is down. So is Vodaphone. I have no idea what is happening beyond what I have seen myself. Facebook and Twitter seem like a joke right now
  • I live in Mohandaseen and decided not to go the big Mostafa Mahmood mosque near my house, because I know that “they” would be there.I went to pray at a smaller mosque. It was beautiful to pray. I had tears
  • But as soon as we stepped out they pelted us with tear gas and with tear gas canisters. We threw them back. But my hand got burnt
  • They tried to separate all of us as we walked towards Tahrir square
  • Police were throwing rocks at us
  • There are bruises and bumps all over my body
  • I saw two bodies on the ground in Tahrir. Like an animal I just kept on walking past them
  • We threw Molotov cocktails at the police
  • Is there a curfew Parvez? Really? I had no idea—it certainly did not look like a curfew when I was just walking home
  • Has Obama said anything? I don’t expect much from him anyway, this Mubarak is his “puppy”
  • Mubarak should go and share a room with that asshole Ben Ali in his Jiddah hotel! We were chanting that in Tahrir.
  • This is a joke. Btw can Obama find a working fucking phone in this country? I guess Mubarak’s phone is working rt?
  • Pray for us.
  •  
Fouad is one of the smartest young Egyptians I know. He has a ready wit. And I have always had a crush on him. He doesn’t know. Maybe he will after this? (if he can get online again).

As has happened with every one of my phone conversations with my friends in Cairo, I get disconnected. Silence again.

One more friend, for me to pray for.

Mubarak meanwhile stays in hiding somewhere possibly in his presidential palace in Heliopolis. The army is rolling through Egypt’s battered and smoky streets. Al Jazeera continues to televise this “revolution” like no other network has ever done before. Perhaps the pro-Israel lobbies in the US will start to respect this amazing network and allow it to broadcast freely in this nation?

Last night I said—Will it be the scent of Jasmine or the smell of blood in Egypt today?

I now have my answer. We all do.

(via hexgoddess)

{ Writing About Murdered Trans Women: A Handy Dandy Guide for Cis Reporters }

charlie-danger:

- First of all, transgender people are extremely rare, so don’t worry about getting the facts wrong or causing offense- chances are most trans folks are too busy being punchlines or the victims of brutal, systematic violence to pick up a newspaper.

- Since trans people are so very, very uncommon, include a brief explanation of transgender issues at the beginning of your article. Use phrases like “woman trapped in a man’s body” or “they believe themselves to be the opposite sex”.

- Relentlessly misgender the victim.

- Use “transsexual” and “transgender” as nouns instead of adjectives.

- Was the victim a beloved friend, daughter, sister, mother, partner or colleague? Who cares! You certainly don’t, and neither do your readers. Instead, describe any surgery or hormone replacement therapy she’s had.

- Did her neighbors or coworkers know she was transgender? If not: tell them! Record their reactions.

Never refer a transgender woman by her real name. Always use the name she was assigned at birth, even if she did not identify with that name or had it legally changed.

- If possible, describe in great detail what she was wearing at the time of her death. Remember: nothing is too lurid or obscure! You’re a journalist, goddamnit, and this information is titillating important!

- Insinuate that she may have lied to or deceived her killer about her “real” gender.

- If you are unsure of something, DON’T LOOK IT UP. Research can only hurt your article. Rely entirely on your knowledge of transgender issues as seen on television.

- Don’t forget: headlines should be fun! Take this opportunity to showcase your sense of humor, or perhaps a skillful bit of alliteration.  Puns are especially appropriate.

most media = made of fail

(Source: birdr)

{ SERIOUSLY. STOP. }

stfuislamophobes:

STOP MAKING JOKES OF MUSLIM WOMEN BEING TORTURED

IT’S INSENSITIVE AND TRIGGERY AND DO I HAVE TO KEEP MENTIONING THAT IT HURTS PEOPLE

STOP!

(Source: stfuislamobigotry)

cocoa-puss-universe:

President of the American Medical Association 1876President of the American Gynaecological Association 1876The Slave Women shown in the above picture represent:Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy.These three women became the foundation of Sims experimentsand the foundation for Women Health. Anarcha was operated onover 30 times, by Sims. He believed slaves had a high tolerancefor pain and required no relief from the operations.Sims Experimented on 11 (eleven) slaves at one time. Black Slavesrepresented an unlimited supply of people to operate on. In your Minds is the Power to Build a Memorial for Anarch,Besty, Lucy and All of the other Black Slave Women mutilatedand killed by J. Marion Sims and others like him.

cocoa-puss-universe:

President of the American Medical Association 1876
President of the American Gynaecological Association 1876
The Slave Women shown in the above picture represent:
Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy.

These three women became the foundation of Sims experiments
and the foundation for Women Health. Anarcha was operated on
over 30 times, by Sims. He believed slaves had a high tolerance
for pain and required no relief from the operations.

Sims Experimented on 11 (eleven) slaves at one time. Black Slaves
represented an unlimited supply of people to operate on. 

In your Minds is the Power to Build a Memorial for Anarch,
Besty, Lucy and All of the other Black Slave Women mutilated
and killed by J. Marion Sims and others like him.


(via heartinakiln)

and knottywench adds even more history:
knottywench:

cocoa-puss-universe:

President of the American Medical Association 1876President of the American Gynaecological Association 1876The Slave Women shown in the above picture represent:Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy.These three women became the foundation of Sims experimentsand the foundation for Women Health. Anarcha was operated onover 30 times, by Sims. He believed slaves had a high tolerancefor pain and required no relief from the operations.Sims Experimented on 11 (eleven) slaves at one time. Black Slavesrepresented an unlimited supply of people to operate on. In your Minds is the Power to Build a Memorial for Anarch,Besty, Lucy and All of the other Black Slave Women mutilatedand killed by J. Marion Sims and others like him.

These experiments resulted in the development of the American model of the speculum.
Know the history of our reproductive health!

and knottywench adds even more history:

knottywench:

cocoa-puss-universe:

President of the American Medical Association 1876
President of the American Gynaecological Association 1876
The Slave Women shown in the above picture represent:
Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy.

These three women became the foundation of Sims experiments
and the foundation for Women Health. Anarcha was operated on
over 30 times, by Sims. He believed slaves had a high tolerance
for pain and required no relief from the operations.

Sims Experimented on 11 (eleven) slaves at one time. Black Slaves
represented an unlimited supply of people to operate on. 

In your Minds is the Power to Build a Memorial for Anarch,
Besty, Lucy and All of the other Black Slave Women mutilated
and killed by J. Marion Sims and others like him.


These experiments resulted in the development of the American model of the speculum.

Know the history of our reproductive health!

(via gorgbus)

{ LINK: Uganda: Police arrest over gay activist Kato killing }

fyeahafrica:

Ugandan police have arrested a man over last week’s murder of David Kato, a gay activist who sued a local newspaper which outed him as homosexual.

Police say Enock Nsubuga, the second person arrested in connection with the killing, is their main suspect.

They deny that Mr Kato was killed because of his sexuality and that initial inquiries point to robbery.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, and can be punished by 14-year prison sentences.

An MP recently tried to increase the penalties to include the death sentence in some cases.

Uganda’s Rolling Stone newspaper then published the photographs of several people it said were gay, including Mr Kato, with the headline “Hang them”.

Mr Kato worked for the Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) group, which said he started receiving death threats after his name, photograph and address were published by the newspaper last year.

His colleagues say he was beaten to death at his home.

The BBC’s Joshua Mmali in Kampala says Mr Nsubuga was arrested in Mukono, a town east of the capital where Mr Kato had lived.

The suspect has yet to be brought before a magistrate, our reporter says.

There has been a recent spate of “iron-bar killings” in Mukono in which people have been assaulted with pieces of metal.

Our reporter says the death of Mr Kato has attracted a great deal of international attention.

The UN refugee agency head Antonio Guterres said people facing persecution for their sexual orientation in Uganda should be given refugee status in other countries.

A year after it was proposed, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is yet to be formally debated by the Ugandan parliament.

(Source: )

fuckyeahnigeria:

Jos, Nigeria has been in constant turmoil in the last couple of months and despite pleading the youth still carry on with senseless acts of violence. 
At least 11 people were killed in Jos yesterday amid fresh tensions linked to a political meeting and an attack on buses carrying some passengers, a military commander said.
“We have counted about 11 now in different locations,” Brigadier General Hassan Umaru, who commands a military task force in the region told AFP when asked about the number of death.
“This is a period of anguish over what happened last night,” he added, referring to the attack on the buses.
Various clashes erupted in the city of Jos, he said. Violence was linked to an opposition political meeting in the city, as well as anger over the attack on two buses carrying passengers Friday night outside Jos, said Umaru.
According to a statement issued by the Ulama/Elders Council of Plateau State and signed by its secretary, Barrister Lawal Ishaq, some Muslim Youths were attacked on their way from a wedding of their friend in Mangu Local Government Area of the state.
This alleged attack sparked off a fresh violence in Jos on Saturday as the Muslim youth came out for reprisal attacks leading to the death of not fewer that 10 people and torching of some vehicles.
The state commissioner of police, Mr. Abdulraham Akano, confirmed the skirmishes.

fuckyeahnigeria:

Jos, Nigeria has been in constant turmoil in the last couple of months and despite pleading the youth still carry on with senseless acts of violence.

At least 11 people were killed in Jos yesterday amid fresh tensions linked to a political meeting and an attack on buses carrying some passengers, a military commander said.

“We have counted about 11 now in different locations,” Brigadier General Hassan Umaru, who commands a military task force in the region told AFP when asked about the number of death.

“This is a period of anguish over what happened last night,” he added, referring to the attack on the buses.

Various clashes erupted in the city of Jos, he said. Violence was linked to an opposition political meeting in the city, as well as anger over the attack on two buses carrying passengers Friday night outside Jos, said Umaru.

According to a statement issued by the Ulama/Elders Council of Plateau State and signed by its secretary, Barrister Lawal Ishaq, some Muslim Youths were attacked on their way from a wedding of their friend in Mangu Local Government Area of the state.

This alleged attack sparked off a fresh violence in Jos on Saturday as the Muslim youth came out for reprisal attacks leading to the death of not fewer that 10 people and torching of some vehicles.

The state commissioner of police, Mr. Abdulraham Akano, confirmed the skirmishes.

(via )