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.
Two transgender Jamaicans, Whitney and Tiana Miller, have joined J-FLAG’s We Are Jamaicanscampaign, which seeks to encourage respect and understanding for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. We Are Jamaicans is a participatory video campaign (http://www.youtube.com/user/equalityJA), which was launched on January 17, 2013 by J-FLAG to raise awareness about LGBT identity and community.
We cannot effectively reduce the incidence of violence against women in Jamaica if we continue to ignore socio-cultural factors that make violence against women permissible. Transgender Jamaican women are often not included in our vision for women’s rights in Jamaica despite their vulnerability to violence and discrimination. The voices of transgender women in the We Are Jamaicans campaign is in an effort to bring visibility to their lives and to not limit our definition of ‘woman’ to genitalia. In her video, Whitney stated that Jamaicans “are not accepting of people whose gender identities don’t align with their biological sex,” (http://youtu.be/O9iNYKqttc4). Tiana Miller, whose video can be seen athttp://youtu.be/GCHppSFrDYE said she does not have life easy in Jamaica. “I feel alienated, always being bashed by society, but that doesn’t change who I am,” she said.
J-FLAG is encouraging Jamaicans to recognise that we must embark on implementing a more multifaceted programme to address violence against our women and girls. It is important that we recognize and appreciate the need to create support systems for victims and their families, encourage honest conversations about gender, sex and sexuality, and teach mutual respect for each other. The campaign is funded by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition(CVC) through its Global Fund Vulnerablised Project.
Yesterday I made my debut on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC - the only political show that I watch. During the segment, I discussed redefining equality, unpacking the monolith of our “community”, GLAAD’s “name change” and why we’ll need more than that from our internal and external allies:
“What I need from these people [our LGBT & Straight Allies] is to fight for access to healthcare coverage, for protection when I’m looking to use the restroom, when I’m looking for housing, employment, and education. Also legal and social recognition that trans women are women and trans men are men, and that some trans people choose not to identify with either and self-determination is okay.” -Me, Janet Mock ;-)
Remember that photo project I snarked about a couple of days ago? One of the models wrote to me, asking if that’s what I was talking about, and apologizing for the erasure of trans women. Here’s my response:
“Hey [trans guy],
I mean, it was partially about that, but moreso about the continued…
by Jessica Stern, in the Scholar and Feminist online
STAR: Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries
From “RAPPING WITH A STREET TRANSVESTITE REVOLUTIONARY: An Interview with Marcia [sic] Johnson,” published in Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation (1972)
I remember when STAR was first formed there was a lot of discussion about the special oppression that transvestites experience. Can you say something about that?
We still feel oppressed by other gay brothers. Gay sisters don’t think too bad of transvestites. Gay brothers do. I went to a dance at Gay Activist Alliance just last week, and there was not even one gay brother that came over and said hello. They’d say hello, but they’d get away very quick. The only transvestites they were very friendly with were the ones that looked freaky in drag, like freak drag, with no tits, no nothing. Well, I can’t help but have tits, they’re mine. And those men weren’t too friendly at all. Once in a while, I get an invitation to Daughters of Bilitis, and when I go there, they’re always warm. All the gay sisters come over and say, “Hello, we’re glad to see you,” and they start long conversations. But not the gay brothers. They’re not too friendly at all toward transvestites.
Do you understand why? Do you have an explanation for that?
Of course I can understand why. A lot of gay brothers don’t like women! And transvestites remind you of women. A lot of the gay brothers don’t feel too close to women, they’d rather be near men, that’s how come they’re gay. And when they see a transvestite coming, she reminds them of a woman automatically, and they don’t want to get too close or too friendly with her.
This part of the interview jumped out at me because its discussion of the relationship between cis-lesbians and trans women departs significantly from the way the dynamics of that era get historicized now. Anyhoo, thought it was interesting because it anticipates many of the issues Julia Serano would write about decades later in Whipping Girl.
“We (Lesbian Feminist Liberation) found out there were plans to have a transvestite as part of the entertainment for the 1973 Gay Pride rally in Washington Square following the march and we decided to make a statement critical of transvestites…we decided we were going to stand up on that stage and tell everybody what we thought. We stayed up the whole night before the rally and typed up this little statement. We thought it was very important. You see, we were creating theory at the time.” Jean O’Leary, founder of Lesbian Feminist Liberation, later the first president of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)
“The transgender community was silenced because of a radical lesbian named Jean O’Leary, who felt that the transgender community was offensive to women because we liked to wear makeup and we liked to wear miniskirts. Excuse me! It goes with the business that we’re in at the time! Because people fail to realize that -not trying to get off the story -everybody thinks that we want to be out on them street corners. No we do not. We don’t want to be out there sucking dick and getting fucked in the ass. But that’s the only alternative that we have to survive because the laws do not give us the right to go and get a job the way we feel comfortable. I do not want to go to work looking like a man when I know I am not a man” Sylvia Rivera
“A case could be made that we should have included transvestites rights but I don’t think that gay people wanted to be identified with that. We were trying to get away from that image. And we were trying to get the bill passed. So the transvestites were excluded from the bill and they never got reinstated.” Jean O’Leary
“I thought free loving was the thing, I found it doesn’t pay the rent…During the daytime they all call us fags and freaks. At night I get even. I freak on them. I make them pay for all the insults they gave me. I can have a nice conversation with them, give them words of wisdom. But I’m getting back at them. My way.” Marsha P Johnson
I love that trans women have, in recent years, really banded together online and in print to name our specific issues and advocate for ourselves. However, I’ve noticed a very conspicuous absence of sex workers’ voices among those finding/creating representation. Little analysis is given to sex…
Indigo Girls and other MichFest 2013 Performers:
Boycott MWMF until the organizers fully include trans women
Three projects going on right now that I want everyone to know about:
(in which the author abuses dashes and semicolons)
- January Rising: My friend January is an evil witch living in New York; January Rising is her fundraiser to cover transness-related medical expenses. It’s real simple. Buy…
Lorena Borjas: Why she kicks ass
- She is a Mexican trans activist, and health educator for the transgender community.
- She started the Lorena Borjas Community Fund; which is a volunteer-run project created to institutionalize the support that Lorena has provided for years. The LBCF Fund supports low-income gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and gender non-conforming immigrants avoid the collateral consequences associated with criminal convictions, jail time and court appearances.
- She works with the AIDS Center of Queens County, and with Trans Latinas, a collective of transsexual Latinas that strive to create more tolerance within the Latino community and among the authorities.
Harmony Santana appreciation photo set.
This beauty of half-Dominican and half-Puerto Rican descent is a transgender actress who in 2011 made waves in her breakthrough performance in Gun Hill Road, where she plays a trans teenager trying to live openly as a girl while dealing with a disapproving father. That same year Harmony was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards for her performance. Harmony Santana is definitely one talented and beautiful lady!
Audre Lorde (Photo Credit: Dagmar Schultz)
“…I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the front upon which I must battle these forces of…
(the interview below discusses forced psychiatric institutionalization, gender coercion, self harm and the prison industrial complex)
ISSUE SEVEN **A BULLETIN OF THE HOMOFIRE MOVEMENT** Nov, 14, 1970
CHRIS: GAY PRISONER IN BELLEVUE
(GAY FLAMES: Chris Thompson is a black male transvestite…