violence against transgender people

My Feminism Will Be Trans-Inclusive

Trans flagby Jarrah Hodge

I have joined at least 200 other feminists in signing on to A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism. The statement was crafted in response to a summer that saw several high-profile instances of feminist transphobia, including:

“the forthcoming book by Sheila Jeffreys from Routledge; the hostile and threatening anonymous letter sent to Dallas Denny after she and Dr. Jamison Green wrote to Routledge regarding their concerns about that book; and the recent widely circulated statement entitled “Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Critique of ‘Gender,’”signed by a number of prominent, and we regret to say, misguided, feminists have been particularly noticeable.”

This is all happening in an already hostile climate for trans people, including persistent mis-gendering of Chelsea Manning and continuing murders of trans people, particularly trans women of colour.

I’d encourage people to read the statement in its entirety and to sign on here, but I’m also excerpting a portion for this post. Thanks so much to the people who took the initiative to write this thoughtful statement and to the moderators going through the deluge of comments and signatures.

We, the undersigned trans* and cis scholars, writers, artists, and educators, want to publicly and openly affirm our commitment to a trans*-inclusive feminism and womanism.

[...]

We are committed to recognizing and respecting the complex construction of sexual/gender identity; to recognizing trans* women as women and including them in all women’s spaces; to recognizing trans* men as men and rejecting accounts of manhood that exclude them; to recognizing the existence of genderqueer, non-binary identifying people and accepting their humanity; to rigorous, thoughtful, nuanced research and analysis of gender, sex, and sexuality that accept trans* people as authorities on their own experiences and understands that the legitimacy of their lives is not up for debate; and to fighting the twin ideologies of transphobia and patriarchy in all their guises.

(full credit to Flavia Dzodan for writing the article the title alludes to: “My Feminism Will Be Intersectional or It Will Be Bullshit”, and specifically for her work supporting trans-inclusive feminism).

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism, LGBT 1 Comment

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tomorrow is the Transgender Day of Remembrance – a chance to raise awareness about violence against transgender people and to mourn victims of hate crimes against transgender people. We observe the day in November to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered in Allston,  Maine in November 1998.

It’s more than tragic to note the number of new victims each year. Likely the youngest this past year was Roy Antonio Jones III of New York, who was less than two years old when his mother’s boyfriend beat and choked him to try to make him “act like a little boy instead of a girl.” While Jones is too young to say if he was trans, his murder stemmed from transphobic attitudes.

It’s also deeply troubling that we continue to have to fight for dignity for victims, like Dana A. Larkin, who was shot three times in the head and who, despite identifying as a woman since she was 16, was maligned in the media as a “man posed as a female” and a “cross-dressing prostitute”.

If you’re in Vancouver, the gathering for the Day of Remembrance will start November 20 at 5:30 at the Carnegie Centre, 401 Main Street. The gathering will be followed by a march to SFU Harbour Centre. You can find more event details here.

Here’s the info for the vigil tomorrow night at 7 PM in Toronto.

For a more comprehensive list of events internationally, check out http://www.transgenderdor.org/ and feel free to add events in your community in the comments section.

If you can’t make it out to a vigil take a minute and visit the online Remembering Our Dead project, which came out of Rita Hester’s murder to help us remember the lives that have been lost to transphobic violence.

-Jarrah

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism, LGBT Leave a comment