Saturday, August 2, 2008

Triggers: Angie, may you rest in peace with those who respect you

One of the phrases that google sends my way the most is "too fucking easy". It links to a post where I linked to someone's essay on how easy it is to kill a trans*person. My post is about both Sanesha Stewart and Cameron McWilliams; she was murdered for being trans* and sie was a possibly trans* child who killed hirself.

Since then, and I have been lax about reporting, Ebony Whitaker and Angie Zapata have both been brutally murdered for the great crime against humanity--being trans*.
Angie's killer, Allen Ray Andrade, is going to use the "trans panic" defense; aka, it tricked me and so I had to kill it.

Trans*people, especially trans*women of color who might be prostitutes, are not worthy of life. And when they touch you, the murderer, or worse--someone finds out they actually touched you, you have to destroy them.
You, murderer, can't just kill, not, you have to destroy them as much as possible.
Then, after they are dead and gone, you, all, have to dehumanize them and disrespect their very being.
You, the media, just have to use their old name; and if they changed it, you still call their real name an 'allius' or a 'nickname'.
You, the courts and police, just have to ignore the evidence and never bother searching for the killer. If you deign to look, you let him off with barely a slap. And everyone, and I mean just about everyone, ignores it; business as usual; no one of any real importance, no person, was killed or anything.

Fuck that noise.

Angie was 18. Eight-teen.
Why the fuck is someone so young in the morgue? Why is she in the ground, when she had just barely begun to live her life (not lifestyle).
She's barely more than a child...

And fuck everyone that says she should have known, shouldn't have been meeting folks off the internet, shouldn't have "deceived" him, shouldn't have led him on, shouldn't have worn that short skirt.
As I said in a LJ comm, the reason why we are told we have to disclose is cissexism. Obviously, one part if that is that if we don't disclose we could be attacked if they find out. We are "supposed" to disclose in a safe place where they can't murder us.

But the reason why we are attacked is because we "lied".
We duped.
We fooled.
We messed with your assumptions.
We are assumed to be cis* (and not intersexed).
I blame the entire concept of "we have to disclose" on cissexism.
The main reason we have to disclose is that the other person(s) assume that we are cissexual (as well as not intersexed).
Because they assumed we were a cissexual person, they assumed they knew what our genitals basically look like (and what they used to look like).
When they find out their assumption is wrong, it is suddenly our fault they assumed something incorrect.
Therefore, cis* privilege and cis*-centered thought says that we were lying/deceiving/fooling an innocent person and that we need to disclose to be "honest" with someone. (can you see my sneer at the word honest?)
It would be unthinkable to accuse a cis*guy of deceiving someone when they assumed he was
circumcised when he was actually not.
It's perfectly alright to have a preference for certain genital configurations. But it is your own fault if you forget to ask and find out your assumption was wrong.
And your hurt feelings are never an excuse to hurt someone else; a polite "no thanks, I'm more into xyz" would suffice.
In the perfect world no one would have to disclose; no one would assume you were cis*; everyone would, when negotiating sex and/or relationships, bring up their genital configuration as a matter of course.

I keep trying to put into words what Angie's death means.
What knowing another sister is gone forever feels like.
How I'm sure her friends and family already feel her loss.
I can't.
I'm no great poet.

But Angie, Ebony, Sanesha, Gwen, Brandon, Tyra, Robert, and all the people whose names we never knew, but nonetheless mourn, will be remembered.


queen emily said...


It is too fucking easy.

Battybattybats said...

Well said!

Ettina said...

I think the 'trans panic' defense is insulting to decent men. A decent man who discovered a woman he was interested in was trans might loose interest in her, might be startled, but wouldn't attack her. Only violent, entitled men would do that.
It reminds me of the so-called 'defense' used by 3 men who gang-raped a 12 year old girl that apparently she'd been 'sexually aggressive' (meaning she sat on the one guy's lap, kissed him and said she loved him *after* they got her incredibly drunk). She had been sexually abused, and many girls who've been through that flirt and 'come on' to people inappropriately, but a decent man does not have sex with a 12 year old even if she comes on to him. And a decent man does not kill someone who isn't threatening his life or that of a loved one.
PS: Why is it always men who use excuses like this?

Battybattybats said...

ettina, I agree with almost all of what you said but have to pull you up on one point.

"PS: Why is it always men who use excuses like this?"

I'd suggest it's because most rapes by women don't get reported as often. So we do not get to hear what feeble excuses most women rapists would use.

While it is very true that men are much more often the perpetrators of violent and sexual crimes the dissmissal of those women that do helps enforce sexist views of both men and women.

I have two decent cis-men friends who I know well who were raped by women, one involved alcohol and the other substantial violence! I've met others. I know of one teenage victim who comitted suicide after police laughed and told him he should have enjoyed it when he tried to report it.

When it comes to violent transgender hate-crime though I don't know of any perpetrated by women though we shouldn't rule out the possibility.