Friday, June 20, 2008

Actual good news

Apparently, it's time for congress to have it's first ever meeting on trans* issues!
"The hearing, "An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace," is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 10:30 am in room 2175 of Rayburn House Office Building. Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) called the hearing as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor."

And earlier, the American Medical Association (AMA) said that trans*folk should get our medical needs covered under insurance.

Hopefully some real change results from this...


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


In the same vein as my last post...
Apparently it is fine to beat trans*folk when they refuse to be considered less than human. Yep, if that uppity tranny won't bow it's head and kiss your police boots when you call it faggot and heshe you can just beat it and spray mace in it's face. The worst that'll happen is you'll lose your job (only if you were already on probation though).
Just ask Ms. Johnson, she can tell you all about it. Oh yeah, after she was beaten and maced she was handcuffed and left in pain on the floor as a nurse completely ignores her. Funtimes ya'll.

While she was arrested on charges of prostitution, who knows if that's true, and that still doesn't make it all right.
No one deserves to be treated like that.
Moreover, trans*women can be arrested for prostitution for walking down the street or going to a party. Hellfires, they can be arrested or threatened with arrest for prostitution because they went 2 miles over the speed limit. I've talked about police brutality before, but it's still happening and it's still not known about.

"Women of color, and particularly transgender women of color, are often perceived by police through racialized and gendered stereotypes framing us as highly sexualized and sexually available. Law enforcement officers’ internalization and perpetuation of these stereotypes, combined with the high degree of discretion afforded by vague “quality of life” regulations, results in police profiling women of color, and particularly transgender women of color, as sex workers,and selective targeting of women of color for harassment, detention, and arrest." (from INCITE!)

"A Native American transgender woman reported that two Los Angeles police officers handcuffed her and took her to an alleyway. One officer reportedly hit her across the face, saying "you f---ing whore, you f---ing faggot," then threw her down on the back of the patrol car, ripped off her miniskirt and her underwear and raped her, holding her down and grabbing her hair. The second officer is also alleged to have raped her. According to the woman, they threw her on the ground and said, "That's what you deserve," and left her there." (from Amnesty International)

"One officer got in my face with the most vile insults I could imagine, his buddy stood nearby, night stick in hand ready to strike... The one officer, the leader was so vicious and abusive even his one ally seemed distressed at the mindless aggression and hate he spewed forth. I thought I was going to be killed right in front of welfare. With every push, or stab of his billy club, I thought I would die." (from Amnesty International)

There is a gorram reason why many trans*folk and brown folk and current/former prostitutes and/or prostituted folks don't trust police.
And don't fucking say that 99.999% of police are good cops and it's a just a few bad apples. That may be true if you're white, not obviously poor, not obviously LGBT, etc., but for the rest of the population...
Oh yeah, don't say a word if your relatives are cops; I know about the card you guys get (my friend's dad was a cop) that protects you from most minor offenses. Hell, when we were stupid and trespassed (and were caught) that card was the only reason they didn't call our parents or charge us with anything.

And folks can call or write to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office at 201 Poplar Avenue, Third Floor, Memphis, Tennessee 38103, (phone)901.545.5900. Or Police Director Larry A. Godwin Memphis Police Services 201 Poplar Ave, 12th Floor Memphis, TN 38103 Or Mayor Dr. Willie W. Herenton City Hall 125 N. Main St. Room 700 Memphis, TN 38103 (901)576.6007.

PS: I want to thank WMCTV for using the correct pronouns and not putting Ms. Johnson's old name in the article; I really appreciate that--unfortunately, too few people give us trans*folk that much respect.

Theres been an update, apparently the officer who beat Ms. Johnson has filed an assault charge against her. Yes, the person who beat her with handcuffs, who was swung at once or twice when she defended herself, has filed charges against her.
James Swain, one of the 'officers', was fired (he was already on probation--I wonder what for) and the other, Bridges McRae, is on desk duty pending an investigation. Yeah, this sounds like they're taking this reeal seriously.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Something Rotten in the State of SC

Wanna know how much a gay man's life is worth?
Ask Sean Kennedy, oh wait, you can't because he was murdered.
But you can ask his murderer Stephen Moller--who, after killing him, left a message on one of Sean's friends voicemail bragging and laughing.
Wanna know why Moller killed Sean?
Because Sean's hand accidentally brushed Moller's face. That's right, he accidentally touched him when he reached past.

It's worth about ten months in jail.
"5 year suspended sentence to 3 years with 3 years probation after he gets out of jail. He will spend approx. 10 months in jail. After which he is then entitled to parole.If granted he will be on probation for 3 years. He was also sentenced to 30 days community service and ordered to take anger management classes. In addition he was ordered to have alcohol and drug counseling."

From Sean's Mom, Elke, statement after the sentencing:
"In fact, I believe that Sean's case has been mishandled from the beginning.
Getting the investigation started - we had to initiate the securing of evidence -sheriffs deputies did not take it serious.
Our Solicitors got a lot of pressure about the case, received weekly phone calls from our SC senators from Washington and from congress man Inglis himself.
Do any of you know of another local case that our Senators and congressman would be that interested in? I don't!"
Given that after this pressure from congress folks the solicitors offered a plea bargain I highly doubt that the senators were calling for tea and dumplings. No, far more likely they were hoping to avoid another Matthew Shepard 'incident'.
You know, despite Sean's mother's pleading, they didn't even try to get the recording of the voicemail played in court?
I think She needs to get some new lawyers and appeal this horrendous ruling.

This doesn't sound like 'just another drunken brawl':
"On May 16, 2007, at about 3:45 am, Sean was leaving a local bar in Greenville when a car pulled up beside him, a young man got out of the car, came around the car approached my son and called him faggot and then punched him so hard that it broke his face bones, he fell back and hit the asphalt. This resulted in his brain to be separated from his brain stem and ricochet in his head.
Sean never had a chance.
Sean’s killer got back into the car and left my son dying there.
A little later he left a message on one of the girl’s phone, who knew Sean saying: “You tell your faggot friend that when he wakes up he owes me $500 for my broken hand”."

This sounds more like, while Moller may not have intended to kill him, he did intend to hurt Sean for being gay. To hurt him because Sean accidentally touched Moller; to punish him because he made Moller uncomfortable.

"We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people. -Sean Kennedy"

Here's a list of various official Greenville phone numbers.
What would happen if enough people called the City Attorney Office (864.467.4420), City Council Office (864.467.4431), the non-emergency police line (864.271.5333), the non-emergency sheriff's line (864.271.5210), or the Mayor's Office (864.467.4425)?


Monday, June 16, 2008

Moar Links

The history of trans* and/or gender variant folks working for and with gay rights groups.
I really like the Queer Nation quote, "We are Queer Nation. We are here to promote unity between all people--some of whom are like us, most of whom are not. We do not necessarily expect to understand the differences between our cultures, our desires, our beliefs, but we do seek to increase respect and acceptance for all our differences so that we may move into the twenty-first century with joy and dignity."

Brownfemipower's thoughts on Obama's Flint speech (which is on my TV right now).
More on how horribly immigrants are treated (how sexual assault and coercion not a feminist issue I ask).

Monica Robert's (of Transgriot) Fathers Day post; a very nice poem about trans*women relating to their fathers.

Discussing racism, sexism, etc. in our childhood movies in the IBTP forums. Right now I'm pulling together some thoughts on Ferngully, specifically on the Batty Rap song I downloaded awhile ago. Yeah, the song the bat who was driven insane by western medicine sings; the bat named Batty.

More of Kim's thoughts on the word "retard"; specifically when feminists use and defend their use of the word. I am not the most knowledgeable on disability activism, but I'm working on it. I think I've gotten rid of ableist words like lame, retard, fucktard, etc. from my written vocabulary...but I still say them though I try not to.

Medical rape.
Now, I don't much like Debs and I think she's a cissexist. But no one deserves to be treated like this--by either the medical community and by this so-called doctor Crippen.
To quote Belledame, "I am writing this because some shit is beyond the pale, and needs writing about. And because rampant misogyny, ableism and--yes! I agree with the author! rape apologists suck ass. As for my feminist creds, or the supposed harm I am doing to feminism by saying "hey, you know what? This guy is a sexist, hateful wankstain, and he's being a gratuitous, GIANT asshole to someone who didn't ask for it to boot"?"
Debs is being bullied by a much larger blogger and few are supporting her, this isn't right. She temporarily closed down her blog because of the abusive comments Crippen and his cronies were sending her btw. Oh yeah, the real Dr. Crippen? Famous for murdering his wife.
And Trinity, who has also been subjected to abusive and violating procedures and 'doctors', has her own contribution to make.

Apparently, mainstream white feminist organizations are silent on the racist and sexist treatment of Michelle Obama.

I'm not sure entirely of what I think, but this is an interesting discussion on when drag is similar to blackface. I think I agree with the OP, sometimes drag is similar to blackface (and sometimes, like with "Shirley Q Liqueur", they're one in the same), but drag itself is not minstrelsy.

On a less serious note, I've also been reading a lot of movieverse Transformers fanfics where Sam becomes some sort of human/autobot hybrid because of his contact with the allspark. Yeah, I'm a geek.


But What Does it Mean?

I have a few posts in the works, no idea how long they'll take though--I'm rather unfocused right now.
One on monsters and the monstrous, another on Sylvia Rivera, on my childhood, as well as a few links/posts I might discuss.

For now, in a transgender forum someone asked what we mean when we say "we feel like [our gender]", how do we know we're that gender. (And sie asked for book recommendations)

Me: I've always felt like I should have male-assigned equipment instead of female, so I started out just wanting to change that. I didn't know if I was a man or a boi or genderqueer.
As I began changing my wardrobe to more male-assigned clothes, getting shorter haircuts, etc. I was gendered male more and more often and it felt right. Eventually, after a while I just felt male no matter that I still haven't started to medically transition. Eventually I just started to identify as a man; and it felt right.
Being gendered and seen as male just feels good and comfortable; being gendered female never did.

And along with Whipping Girl, I recommend The Riddle of Gender and The History of How Sex Changed.

Here's my answer, what's yours?