Friday, 5 December 2008

Today's Battle

In reply to L.H.Crum at the New Mexico Daily Lobo
He states
One could make the argument that I am part of a minority because I enjoy rugby. However, I don't need to promote a "rugby day of remembrance"....

My reply:
L.H.Crum completely misunderstands the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Perhaps the name should have clued him in. It is not a Day of Celebration, nor a Day of Pride. It is not a day for espousing any particular cause. It is not even a day for demanding basic Human Rights.

It is the Day where we remember our dead.

It is the one day of the year, the only day of the year, where we gather in all solemnity to remember those of us who have been tortured and slain, butchered, crucified, burnt, or gunned down, not because of anything we've done, nor of our beliefs, but because of who we are.

It is the one day where we read out their names, and ages, some as young as ten this year, in voices that shake with emotion and shared grief.

Those who would deny us this day want us to to die in silence. They do not feel comfortable being made aware of the fact that every month two transgendered Americans are butchered without mercy. They wish that if we are to be butchered, that we just die quietly and not stain the carpets with our blood.

We do not ask others to remember our dead, for they are ours, not theirs. We do not even make this a day for taking action to stop the carnage. But although there are many who would deny us the right to live, to exist, we will not die quietly, nor without reminding others that we are dying, every few weeks another of our number slain by bigotry and hatred. Even if we are denied the right to exist, we demand the right to have our deaths noted and not forgotten by our own. Even if the rest of the world does not, We remember Our dead.

What others do about that remembrance is up to their own consciences.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haha, not butchered because of your beliefs, that's a laugh...

You believe you are women. That's a belief.

Losers.

Anonymous said...

"two transgendered Americans are butchered without mercy."

Over 100 Americas are butchered each month 2 happen to be transgenered many happen to be black etc. The reasons are they live risky lives on the wrong side of common sense.

Laserlight said...

We do not ask others to remember our dead, for they are ours, not theirs

Zoe, I'm assuming that by "we" and "ours", you refer to the entire set of "good people" rather than only the "IS/TS" component of that set. That is, I'm assuming that you'd want a vanilla, straight, non-TS, non-IS, non-et cetera person--I'd say "like me" but my membership in "good people" is shaky--to think of the slain as "our people" rather than "them / auslanders".

tina_SD said...

Laserlight makes a great point- I won't speak to Zoe's intentions in choosing that terminology, but many people I speak to- of all gender stripes- find the whole us/them mentality embodied in phrases like "Remembering Our Dead" and at least implied by messages like "they are ours, not theirs" to be very off-putting, divisive, and antithetical to the idea that all people should be treated as equals and as members of one human race.

It may give some comfort in a perception of solidarity among transpeople, but it comes at the price of alienating people of conscience who *do* consider themselves to be part of the same human race, many of whom are allied with the gender variant cause based on having dealt with their own discrimination issues... only to be implicitly told that they really aren't like "us" and will always be outsiders who can't possibly understand.

Is it any wonder that so many of them shrug their shoulders and say, "Fine, YOU deal with it then..."?

To quote the immortal Pogo:

"We have met the enemy, and he is us"...

Zoe Brain said...

The second commenter realised that 1 in 50 murders are of Trans people (and guess what, less than 1 in 50 people are trans. Less than 1 in 500 in fact). Their "risky behaviour" excuse can be shown to be untrue by some statistics on murder:

For prostitutes in general, the whole-of-life rate is 204 per 100,000 (Potterat, 2004)

For transgendered prostitutes, the rate is ~8000 per 100,000.

Expected rate would be 3000-3500 per 100,000, based on a 16 times normal murder rate as found in the general TS population.

Anonymous said...

In 2005, homicide victimization rates for blacks were 6 times higher than the rates for whites.

Also most blacks were killed by other blacks.

Does that mean TS are killed by TS?
Figures do not lie liers figure. Not passing or being up front about your history and dateing straight people is risky. Just because people have hateful beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Laserlight and Tina:

While many people observe (Rememberance Day | Armistice Day | Veteran's Day), and so they should, isn't it logical that the day may be more significant (by an order of magnitude or two) to a returned veteran?
That veteran, with his or her own memories of the battlefield and lost colleagues may (politeness not withstanding) have a perfectly legitimate point when they suggest to a non-veteran that "you have no idea". It doesn't mean that the veteran is snubbing support, it just means that because of the vateran's experience, the day has a whole new meaning for them, that is difficult (if not impossible) to appreciate without that experience.

I note that many military units often have their own rememberance ceremonies, honour rolls etc. This does not in any way exclude broader recognition and rememberance of those fallen, but does acknowledge the special significance of "fallen person of Group A" to "members of Group A".

? from Surrey

Battybattybats said...

Hmm... I expected more comments than that by now, maybe they are becoming picky about which ones get approval...

One at least I know was posted yesterday with the capitalised word MURDERED used several tines to make the distinct difference with Rugby quite clear.

It's interesting how desperate some people are to minimise the issue of TG murder victims.

Some notable anti-TG folk (some radfems in particular) have gone to the point of shockingly offensive and desperate remarks and ludicrous arguments in their attempts to ignore and invalidate the death rate.

I guess its hard to paint people as the evil villains hurting others if you have to acknowledge that they suffer a way higher utterly dissproportionate murder rate simply for existing.

I guess thats why so many want us to be silent about it, want everyone to stop talking about it, why they complain so bitterly when it's pointed out especially when TG people talk to the general public about it.

tina_SD said...

"anonymous" said-

That veteran, with his or her own memories of the battlefield and lost colleagues may (politeness not withstanding) have a perfectly legitimate point when they suggest to a non-veteran that "you have no idea". It doesn't mean that the veteran is snubbing support, it just means that because of the vateran's experience, the day has a whole new meaning for them, that is difficult (if not impossible) to appreciate without that experience.

The problem with this kind of thing is that while a veteran's war experiences *may* be unique to that group, that isn't to say that they are any more real or important or damaging than those of other people affected by war...and in many cases their experiences are simply not unique; it could be argued that a civilian targeted for death by someone in a war zone is even less prepared to deal with it and potentially FAR more affected by it than an armed combatant who signed up for it, has substantial armed backup looking out for him, and will hopefully go home when his job is done.

So it isn't very wise to assume that being a soldier or anyone else targeted for violence and/or oppression automatically gives someone a unique perspective or experiences.

Fortunately most civil rights law recognizes this fact when it treats discrimination against people based on things like sex, race, religion, etc. as being equally offensive, and doesn't specify any particular subgroups.

The original point is that anytime a group tries to claim that their oppression and suffering is unique or trumps that of another group, they risk unwittingly alienating those who *do* know how they feel even if the circumstances that informed that knowledge are not identical.

Anonymous said...

The original point is that anytime a group tries to claim that their oppression and suffering is unique or trumps that of another group, they risk unwittingly alienating those who *do* know how they feel even if the circumstances that informed that knowledge are not identical.

I still think your problem is of your own making. A phrase such as "Remembering Our Dead" only implies that the dead person(s) are members of a group that the remembering person is also a part of. Simple Venn diagram sort of stuff.

I see nothing wrong with members of *any* group wanting a memorial for fallen members of their group.

By the same token, take Joe Public who is now deceased. He may have had an exceptionally close friend who is highly grieved by Joe's death. This friend may be even the *most* grieved, and this is entirely legitimate. However most people will also consider Joe's family foremost. Is this not the normal expectation? That members of Joe's family will be *particularly* grieved by Joe's death?

Laserlight said...

? from Surrey, I'm not trying to imply that I have the same experience, whether we'll talking about a combat vet or a TS person-- I don't. The point I was making is that while my friends who are vets could correctly say "you haven't had our experience", I haven't heard any of them say "They who fell are our people, not yours."

Battybattybats said...

I don't think the veterans analogy is the best as this 'war' is still ongoing, there are new casualties every week and no-one enlisted nor are they fighting back.

As the media disrespect TG dead with improper names and pronouns and victim-blaming its important for someone at least to do it properly and thus far outside involvement *cough*HRC*cough* only seems to be either clumsily ignorant and therefore incompetant or downright exploitative.

You know, I tried to think of another analogy to better represent TDOR... but I can't think of any that really work.

tina_SD said...

I see nothing wrong with members of *any* group wanting a memorial for fallen members of their group.

And neither do I- that was never the point and to characterize anything I or anyone else here has said as implying that there was anything "wrong" with memorializing slain transpeople is frankly repugnant.

The problem occurs when members of that group create divisions among those who would mourn the loss on a day set aside to memorialize people and bring attention to the core issue, which IS artificial societal divisions.

Sometimes it stems from well meaning but poorly thought out rhetoric, and sometimes if stems from pure identity politics posturing.

Either way it isn't helpful, and all that was suggested is that people addressing the issue keep this in mind and make an effort to create associations that will engender solidarity among ALL people who respect life, rather than take umbrage and retreat into shame based recriminations based on group membership.

Zoe can of course speak for herself, but needs to count me out of the "We do not ask others to remember our dead, for they are ours, not theirs" club, because I for one think that people who do care about life and liberty NEED to DEMAND that **everyone** consider the violence that fallen transpeople have endured, if for no other reason that senseless violence of that kind is SENSELESS and thus is a danger to everyone...ask any fourth grader beaten up for "looking like a fag" regardless of his sexual orientation.

the idea that being non-LGBT somehow protects one from gay/trans-bashing or suffering from it is patently false, and only when that is made crystal clear to non-LGBT people will any headway be made against it on a societal level.

Anonymous said...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4784739a19716.html

Zoe Brain said...

Anon - see Monday's post on this.

And thanks to everyone for giving me much to think about. More Later when Real Life (tm) isn't getting in the way.

Anonymous said...

Zoe can of course speak for herself, but needs to count me out of the "We do not ask others to remember our dead, for they are ours, not theirs" club, because I for one think that people who do care about life and liberty NEED to DEMAND that **everyone** consider the violence that fallen transpeople have endured, if for no other reason that senseless violence of that kind is SENSELESS and thus is a danger to everyone...ask any fourth grader beaten up for "looking like a fag" regardless of his sexual orientation.

Thanks Tina, I understand. I'd misread Zoe's post and the initial few replies.

Perhaps (I think) what Zoe may have meant is something along the lines of "We do not demand that *you* memorialise fallen transfolk, byt we do demand the right that those that do support transfolk (regardless of their own status) be allowed to do so in peace".

In a world more ideal than the wone we currently reside in, the proportion of the population that supported transfolk would be the vast majority...

Make sense?

?

Christine said...

"In Germany, when they came for the Communits, I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and i didn't speak up because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me - and by that time there was no one left to speak up"

Take heed the words of Pastor Niemoller - or don't... at your own risk.

Zoe Brain said...

tina_sd, laserlight - please look at the comments here. If we dared ask others to remember our dead, the critical reaction would be even more intense, and possibly violent.

Lux Mentis said...

Zoe,

I would like to point out they are not your dead, anymore than I can lay claim to all the dead males of the world.

Beyond that, they are human beings and in that respect, they are all *our* dead. This is not a transgender tragedy - this is just a plain simple tragedy for humanity.

I think the fact that anyone is persecuted for sexual orientation/gender or race, aspects of which an individual has limited or no control, is horrific. It is rooted either in ignorance or pure evil (or a mix of the two).

Lux Mentis said...

Thomas Paine had this covered:

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from
oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that
will reach to himself." -- Thomas Paine

Battybattybats said...

"Beyond that, they are human beings and in that respect, they are all *our* dead. This is not a transgender tragedy - this is just a plain simple tragedy for humanity. "

I think you should move the word 'just' to before the word Transgender and remove the words 'a plain simple' and replace them with 'an abhorant abominable'.

Because whenever a group is singled out like that it becomes a much greater tragedy than random violence. It's just a step down from Genocide and where the justice system is complicit either directly in perpetrating the crimes or by being biased and inconsistent in their investigation and prosecutions then it is really close to the borderline of being a covert sanction of Genocide.

As such it is important to note the horrific excess of the tragedy. Not the worst tragedy in the world today considering what is happening in Africa for example but the inaction in recognising and addressing this issue by the political and justice systems of the western world is surely one of the greater human rights abuses and crimes by inaction and dereliction of duty going on in those nations today!

As for Thomas Paine, indeed. It's logic that I'm yet to hear any reasoned argument against.

Trouble is they don't teach enlightenment philophy in schools. Most of the populace has no idea at all about those arguments. Many are in fact taught through life to ignore and dissmiss the kind of rational thinking required to fully grasp them.

Questioning, logic, philosophy... they are dissmissed as valueless when they are in fact invaluable. Considered a waste of time to study when they should be compulsary subjects for anyone who would ever hold any position of authority.

But people who can think for themselves rationally don't make good consumers, they don't make good worshipers, they don't make good voters, they don't make good followers and they don't make god suicide bombers... at least not 'good' in the sense of manipulatable and obedient to those who want them to be so.

There is nothing so dangerous as well informed and clear thinking masses to those who profit from ignorance and obediance. That's why they killed Socrates after all.