As the title suggests, everything on this blog concerns violence against trans women.
The Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project is a trans feminist project addressing issues of systematic, institutional and interpersonal violence and oppression experienced by trans women (those who were coercively assigned male at birth and identify or are identified as women/female) across multiple identities (e.g., race, class, dis/ability, citizen-status, nationality, sexuality, age, HIV status, and form, status, or age of transition, etc.)
Ida Hammer is a writer and social justice communicator. She organizes the Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project. She presents workshops and trainings on cis privilege and being a trans ally. She's also involved in organizing against sexualized violence. She's a proud dyke-identified trans woman and an organizer of the New York City Dyke March.
i made this comic after a series of frustrating conversations in which dudes told me to ‘learn to take a joke’ instead of getting upset about transphobia in the media. i laugh a lot, but i’m not gonna laugh at anything that dehumanizes me. because its not just a show, its my whole life. these are just some moments from the last ten years. i could go on. but also, yay comics! :D
TWOCC was established almost one year ago after the brutal murder of Islan Nettles, a black trans woman in New York City. Since then we have brought visibility to this case and uplifted the narratives of struggle and resilience from our communities. From our multiple appearances at conferences, to our various talks, and our numerous accountability sessions we have created a new space for trans women of color leadership in the movement.
We are an organizing collective, NOT a registered non-profit. We rely on grassroots fundraising to sustain the work. Trans women of color have historically — and continue to — put our bodies on the line for justice. The amount of unpaid emotional, physical, and psychological labor we do for our movements is astronomical. We are tired of the lip service that our allies give to trans women of color issues. We believe that the role of allies in our movement is to fund us so that we can do the work for ourselves! This is a fundraising campaign lead by allies to support our work. We need YOUR change, to make our own!
Happy Birthday, Marsha! tells the story of legendary best friends, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and the bold everyday decisions they made that helped spark the 1969 Stonewall riots.
When Marsha and Sylvia, self-proclaimed “street queens” – homeless, Black & Latina trans women – ignite the Stonewall Rebellion, they change LGBT politics forever. It’s a hot summer day in June, 1969. Marsha throws a party, but no one shows up. Meanwhile, Sylvia gets stoned and forgets the party after unsuccessfully introducing her lover to her family. Throughout the difficult day, the friends struggle with harassment and alienation before converging at the Stonewall Inn to finally celebrate Marsha’s birth. Unbeknownst to them, the NYPD has plans to raid the bar that night. Happy Birthday, Marsha! is the story of two brave best friends and the everyday decisions they made that changed the course of history.
Why are we making Happy Birthday, Marsha?
We truly believe how we tell the stories of our heroes matters, so we are drawing upon our community to make this film because we have an opportunity to make a movie written, directed and produced by people living Sylvia & Marsha’s legacy through our own work. It’s been 45 years since the Stonewall rebellion yet the leading role that street queens, trans women of color and gender non-conforming people had during the riots hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. By making Happy Birthday, Marsha! we are seeking to change that, but we need your help to make it happen.
In her research on shelters for women, Mirha-Soleil Ross discovered that the refusal of services to a [trans] woman was justified on the grounds of the “safety” and comfort level of the other women residents. Ross argues that this concern over “safety” does not extend to [trans] women: “If I have fear and concerns for anyone’s safety in a shelter, it is for an isolated [trans] woman, not for a [cis woman] who doesn’t have to prove to anyone that she is a woman.”
As Ross so eloquently explains, this rationale absolves shelters of their responsibility in educating themselves and their residents about the diversity of women’s lives:
Even the argument that [trans] women should be excluded for their own safety is not acceptable on a long term basis. Just like any other form of prejudice and discrimination, if some [cis] women are threatening the safety of a [trans] woman because she is [trans], it should be dealt with immediately and efficiently. The [cis] women should be confronted about their own ignorance and violence. I don’t see why [trans] women should be restricted from access to such vital services because of somebody else’s transphobia and hatred.
Like the policies in homeless youth shelters, the [trans woman] in question is singled out as the “cause” of this “problem,” or the reason [cis] women in the shelter will not feel safe. This focuses attention on the [trans woman] and neglects the real issue at hand: the provision of services to those in need.
Some group of researchers just sent me mail on here to invite me to participate in their study about trans peoples’ Marginalization, Mental Health, and Empowerment — offering a “1 in 25 chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.”
I sent them quite the response.
Let me put this out there: I have been…
Recently, trans bro Jack Halberstam wrote an article called You Are Triggering me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger and Trauma. It is rife with crappy Monty Python references and historical inaccuracies. The main thrust of the article is that trigger warnings used by young people…
Here we have the fictional persecution of the cis privileged set against the backdrop of the actual, lived reality of oppression and violence as it is experienced by trans women (of color).
Trans people, especially trans women of color, do not have the institutional power to deny cis people access to resources like housing, jobs, health care, public accommodations, education, social services, or general physical safety and mental wellbeing. Cis people are not at risk of unprovoked harassment, malice, or violence from trans women of color, or other trans people.
Yet these are all issues that many trans women of color and poor trans women generally experience everyday from cis people as a collective, if not individually. Yet we see that many of those with cis privilege are quick to complain when trans people and their allies speak out against this violence and oppression. This only proves that many of those with cis privilege are invested in and committed to defending their stake in the continued systematic enforcement of their privilege over trans women of color by use of violence and oppression.