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.
when they obviously don’t mean people who are actually both women and trans.
This is one of those things that I find so infuriating, even though I’ve come to expect it as the rule.
When people say they provide space and/or services to people who are “women and trans” and they don’t include trans women, what they really mean is people who are either women or trans.
This is a perfect example of failing to account for the intersectionality of multiple identities and forms of oppression. While people often claim to serve both women and trans people, it’s at the intersection where people are both women and trans where those services most often fall flat.
At least when people say “womyn-born-womyn” they are being honest and upfront about their intentions to discriminate against trans women.
Signal Boosting this. Check out the original post at trans grrl riot
i find myself becoming nauseous. again. i’m tired and nauseous with those in my local women’s and transgender communities who gloss over, disregard, and/or intentionally exclude trans women and transfeminine issues. and for pathetic reasons at that.
i really like the chicago women’s health center (CWHC). i like the staff. i like the atmosphere. i like what they do. and yeah – i’m actually a client. but, really, i’m not a client for their Trans Greater Access Project (TGAP), and i’ll tell you why.
chicago women’s does not provide medical services, besides counseling, to trans women / transfeminine folks. i want to spell this out c-l-e-a-r-l-y so no one get’s frustrated that i’ve misinformed anyone.
TGAP provides the following things according to their website:
- Masculinizing hormone replacement therapy
- Trans gynecology
…and then the ones that they’ve had in place that can be like “well yeah this includes trans people”
- Counseling and Therapy
- Artificial Insemination (AI)
they do not provide feminizing hormone replacement therapy. they intend to start a pilot program for this “soon.” they’ve done the masculinizing hormone replacement therapy for one year now. AI and trans gynecology for transmasculine folks have existed longer at CWHC – so we can see that transfeminine exclusion isn’t entirely new.
but going to hormone replacement therapy, which is very important to many transgender people. why would they make such a decision to include transmasculine before transfeminine folks? the answer given to me from TGAP was, “they didn’t see a need for it [feminizing hormone replacement therapy] in the community.” really? like. really?
the specifics are: apparently (i have not confirmed this) transmasculine folks stopped being able to get hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for those without insurance before transfeminine folks at another local chicago clinic, howard brown. chicago women’s decided to step in and say there is a need for uninsured transmasculine folks who desire HRT. apparently there was a group of transgender (female / feminine and male / masculine) folks who got together with CWHC to assess the needs of the trans community.
chicago women’s, i call bullshit. there’s ALWAYS a need for HRT accessibility, and y’all know that. if this was an honest error of trying to assess needs then i call complicity in forgetting the deep wedge between cis women and trans women and the ugly legacy of transphobic “feminism.” how would you expect transfeminine people at-large to agree with serving transmasculine people and simply nodding at our exclusion (however temporary) at a women’s health center.
let’s just call it what it is, shall we? TGAP is female-assigned at birth health. trans health in the context of feminist health has meant transmasculine health.
so why am i getting in a tussle about this right now? because i’m so dreadfully torn between supporting transmasculine friends and the services that i DO enjoy at chicago women’s.
there’s a benefit coming up at the burlington (one of my fave bars when i used to live in logan square) for TGAP and, you’d never guess, all of the hosts for this fundraiser are masculine-identified! i’m expecting a low low low turnout from transfeminine people.
not only is it seriously tearing at my nerves that this fundraiser exists, but these organizers that i like and respect are brushing asidetransfeminine folks just like CWHC softly covers up their exclusion of trans women from their trans services. the event has even been billed by one of the organizers as “a program promoting trans-affirming health care for everyone on the transgender spectrum.” THAT’S MESSED.
the burden of changing this b.s. is on women’s health centers, including the CWHC.
so far they haven’t taken any action besides my private call outs. maybe this will help.
I was coaxed into writing one more article about the term “tranny.” This time, it’s more of an emotional appeal than an argumentative one. Check it out.
“I want to be clear I have no investment in policing anyone’s language, if for no other reason than that’s a full time job and I’ve got better things to be doing. I’m not going to start any boycotts. I’m not going to nag and lecture. I’m not going to leave angry comments on your Facebook page. I just think that trans men and other female assigned trans folks should be aware of the impact of using that word and the alienating effect it has on many trans women. I give performances, and if I was ever alienating a lot of folks, I would want to know, especially if I was alienating people along lines of oppression.”
No More Apologies: Queer Trans and Cis* Women, Coming/Cumming Together!
A FREE conference about social exclusion, sex, and sexual health
No More Apologies is a day-long sex talk, designed to name and address the exclusion of queer trans women from broader queer women’s sexual communities.
Social exclusion negatively impacts trans queer women’s sexual, emotional, and psychological health; meanwhile, by excluding trans women from our communities, cis queer women are missing out on a multitude of sexy, wonderful women to love, fuck, and connect with.
Join us for this long overdue conversation and call-to-action about how to transform our talk about trans inclusion into practice.
Because trans inclusion means more than including trans men in our communities.
Because trans inclusion means more than just saying “women and trans people” in our mission statements.
Because welcoming trans women into our spaces is not the same as welcoming them into our beds.
Because our actions are speaking louder than our words.
2:00-2:45 : “What we’re all here for”: Opening plenary by Drew DeVeaux
3:00-4:15 : Brazen: A pleasure-based sexual health workshop for trans women and the folks who are into us, facilitated by Morgan M Page
4:30-5:30 : Concurrent break-out sessions (facilitators TBA)
—> Trans women talk: A discussion on experiences of exclusion in the queer women’s community
—> Cis women talk: A discussion on trans women’s inclusion in the queer women’s community
6:00-7:00 : Coming/cumming together: A dialogue between trans/cis queer women (facilitators TBA)
9pm : Join us for Cum2GetHer, a post-conference dance party and the launch of BRAZEN: The Trans Women’s Safer Sex Guide, a new guide from the 519 Church Street Community Centre. Hosted by Drew DeVeaux with homo-gogo’s and music by DJ L-Rock (Yes Yes Y’All) and DJ Mama Knows (Get It | Got It | Good)! While the conference is only for queer trans and cis women, all are welcome to the party! Check out the Facebook event at: http://www.facebook.com/events/272257252833748/
To pre-register, or for more information, please contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-961-0113, x. 123
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- This conference welcomes both trans and cis women who have sex with women
- The conference space is wheelchair accessible, and interpreter/attendant services can be made available upon request. TTC tokens will also be made available for conference attendees. Please let us know if there are any other ways that we can make this conference accessible for you!
- For the well-being of attendees with multiple chemical sensitivities, we ask that you please avoid wearing scented products like perfume, cologne, scented lotions, or any other chemical-based products to the event.
ABOUT THE NO MORE APOLOGIES WORKING GROUP: The No More Apologies working group (comprised of Morgan M Page, Mara Pereira, Savannah Garmon, Rebecca Hammond, and Kate Klein) is a group of queer trans and cis women who came together as part of the Sex Talk Series to think of ways to fill the gaps in sexual health promotion for trans women who have sex with women. Special thanks also go to Terri Mathews and Sally Lewis for their contributions to the project.
ABOUT SEX TALK: This event is part of “Sex Talk 2: A Sexual Health Workshop Series for LGBTQ Women”. Sex Talk is a project of Planned Parenthood Toronto, in partnership with the 519 Church Street Community Centre and Sherbourne Health Centre. Sex Talk 2 is generously funded by the Community One Foundation.
*Cis, short for “cisgender”, is an adjective used to describe any person who identifies/feels comfortable with the gender that they were assigned at birth.
Radical anti-violence/anti-oppression projects that claim to address violence and oppression against the women’s and trans communities often erase, marginalize and/or tokenize trans women. It is as if the phrase “women and trans” is actually code for women or trans to the exclusion of those of us who are both women and trans.
I use the phrase, “All the women are cis, all the trans are men,”* with inspiration from Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott and Barbara Smith. Their book, But Some of Us Are Brave, highlights how the existence of Black women is erased, marginalized and tokenized in both women’s studies and Black studies. They gave us But Some of Us Are Brave in order to promote and expand the much needed field of Black women’s studies.
The Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project exists because there is a gap in anti-violence/anti-oppression organizing that needs to be filled. Anti-violence organizing that addresses violence against women generally focuses on cis women, while failing to address the needs of trans women. And anti-violence organizing that addresses violence against trans people generally tends to de-gender this violence—that is, using gender neutral language that ignores gender differences—which also fails to address the needs of trans women.
To borrow again from Gloria Hull and Barbara Smith, merely to us the term “Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project” is an act charged with political significance. It at once affirms both our existence and our resistance in a society that would have neither.
* Where I’ve written “all the trans are men” the word “men” could more accurately be replaced with CAFAB (coercively assigned female at birth) to include those who are trans identified but do not identify as men.