Thursday, December 25, 2008

If you saw something; say something

Another Memphis Trans* Woman Shot:
Here we go again in Memphis, TN. A transwoman was shot in the face and is in critical condition.

Memphis police say the shooting happened sometime around 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 23, 2008 in the 3100 block of Boxtown Road in south Memphis near T.O. Fuller State Park. Leeneshia Edwards was last seen about an hour earlier at the “C.K.’s Coffee Shop” on Union Avenue in midtown Memphis.

Edwards' cousin reports that Lenneshia was shot in the jaw, side and back and is undergoing multiple surgeries.

So peeps in the Memphis area, if you saw anything that night, do us and the family of Leeneshia Edwards a favor. Call Memphis Crime Stoppers if you have any information about either this case, Ebony Whitaker's or Duanna Johnson's at (901) 528-CASH that gets the po-po's one step closer to resolving these crimes. Remember, the peeps that did this could one day strike your family, so the sooner you get them off the streets and behind bars, the safer Memphis becomes for you as well.

For those of us who live in Memphis and beyond, keep Leeneshia in your prayers this holiday season.

When the 110th Congress opens for business,, as soon as an ENDA bill is filed, we need to demand that it not only include transgender people, but it be passed without delay.
(h/t Monica)


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Important News, Please Read These Links

If you're in the UK, please speak out against these proposed laws to your gov; they'll be very bad for sex workers and won't help prostituted folks. (h/t Ren)
Also, my bad, but I missed International Sex Workers' Rights Day. (in my defense, I was mostly freaking out about court that day)

ETA: from Debi Crow:

Please sign the petition here, organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes to decriminalise sex work and prioritise safety in the UK.

The petition reads:

* The tragic murders of five young women in Ipswich caused an unprecedented outcry. Each of us deserves to be safe regardless of gender, occupation, sexual preference, race, age, nationality, immigration status or lifestyle.

* Prostitution is a survival strategy to deal with poverty, debt, rape, low wages, homelessness, unemployment... Most sex workers are mothers or young people; often they are both. Many have been in care or have had their children taken from them.

* Criminalising consenting sex – targeting sex workers, clients or both – pushes prostitution underground. It deters women from reporting violence & exploitation. Fines & ASBOs force women into isolated, less well lit areas.

* When prostitute women are not safe, no woman is safe. Serial rapists & killers often have a history of attacks on partners & prostitutes. (The conviction rate for reported rape is a shocking 5.7%. Over 200 women are murdered each year.)

* Raids on premises increase street prostitution which is 10 times more dangerous.

* Criminal records prevent sex workers from getting other jobs.

* "Rehabilitation" for drugs or anything else doesn’t work if it is compulsory.

* New Zealand has successfully decriminalised prostitution, improving health & safety.


1. The decriminalisation of prostitution. Sex workers must have the same rights and protection as other workers.

2. An end to Community Rehabilitation Orders, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Anti Social Behaviour Orders which reintroduce prison for street offences through the back door.

3. The enforcement of laws against domestic violence, rape and other violence against women and children must be a priority.

4. An end to the use of anti-trafficking legislation to deport immigrant sex workers. Trafficked women must have the right to stay so they can report violence.

5. Viable economic alternatives to prostitution. Voluntary drug services, affordable housing, benefits, training, pay equity.

Sign here. Hat tip to Helen for the info about the petition, and make sure you check out the other links on her post too, if you haven't already.

Bush is a total fustilarian; I'd love to thank him in person for signing the order for doctors and everyone in the health industry to murder trans* folks, anyone with the ability to get pregnant, anyone with female-assigned reproductive organs, people with disabilities, sex workers, POC, actual or perceived illegal-drug users, and anyone else they see as less than human!

More police brutality, racism, sexism, etc. This time, they beat and attempted to kidnap a little twelve-year old girl because they thought she was a prostitute (obviously, if she had been a prostitute this would have been just peachy). Her and her father were both charged because she fought back (obviously, if someone attempts to kidnap you girls, you should just let them!) and her father tried to stop them as well.
Two years later and the little girl still has nightmares.
Galbeston Chief of Police, Charles Wiley, can be reached by phone at 409-765-3790, or by email at

And these next two are not quite so urgent:

Julia Serano is looking for quotes, anecdotes and insights from trans* women and other mtf-spectrum folks about ways you have been hyper-sexualized.
If you are a trans woman (i.e., someone who was assigned a male sex at birth, but who identifies and/or lives as female), I would be interested in possibly including your experiences in my web article. I am particularly interested in the following types of scenarios:
1) occasions where somebody sexualized you in an especially extreme or explicit manner specifically because they knew you were trans.
2) occasions where somebody assumed that you were motivated to transition to female for primarily sexual reasons (for example, to receive sexual attention from men, to engage in sex work, or to fulfill some kind of sexual fantasy or “perversion”).
3) occasions where medical or psychiatric professionals (particularly those fulfilling a “gatekeeper” role) made especially sexualizing remarks about your appearance, behaviors or motives/desire to transition, or were sexualizing in other ways.
4) occasions where someone sexualized your trans body, identity and/or motives for transitioning in order to dismiss your female identity or to insinuate that you are not a “real” woman.
More info at her journal.

And I should have included this in my last post, but I just remembered the post; Sylvia Rivera was a part of the Young Lords and her group, STAR, marched with them several times.
Btw, donating to SRLP would be a very nice thing to do this holiday season...