Tuesday 19 August 2008

It gets a bit wearing sometimes.

This year, an 18 year old beautician was found dead in her flat. She'd been dead about 3 days.

She'd been garrotted with a scarf, so tightly wrapped around her neck that the ambulance crew couldn't put a finger beneath it. Unconsciousness would have happened within seconds as the carotid artery was compressed, and blood prevented from getting to the brain.

Her body was found with a throw carefully placed over it. Her flat had been ransacked, and her mobile phone, electrical equipment, even her public transport card taken.

Now there was a CCTV camera outside, and a man was spotted emerging from her flat at about the time of death, carrying a bag containing bulky items, like the DVD player and other electrical equipment. He was seen using the victim's public transport card. DNA evidence from the scarf pointed to him, but was inconclusive.

He was identified, arrested, and changed his story several times under questioning. He had a long record of petty theft of electrical equipment and the like.

Of course he was found not guilty of all charges.

You see, the victim was a transsexual. "Everyone knows" that transsexuals are "particularly suited to prostitution" as Dr Bailey, a noted psychologist, has said. so even though there was no suggestion that she was a sex worker, no evidence, well, she probably was. They all are. And everyone knows that transsexuals habitually engage in "other paraphilias" too, bondage and the like, Dr Bailey says that too.

The barrister for the defence managed to convince the jury that she'd either managed to strangle herself in some kinky sex game (carefully arranging the throw over herself in the few seconds before losing consciousness), or had been coincidentally asphyxiated by a person or persons unknown, probably a "client", only minutes after the suspect had left the scene with at least some of the victim's property. Someone who managed to evade the CCTV and left no DNA evidence.

That the suspect came from quite possibly the most transphobic western nation on earth, where transsexuals and even gays are routinely assaulted and even murdered, may not have been mentioned. I'm sure it didn't help that the victim wasn't, you know, IC1. Wasn't white.

The victim's name was Kellie Telesford.

More over at TransGriot.

This gets old, very quickly.

In the state of Colorado, Angie Zapata was bludgeoned to death recently with a fire extinguisher. Angie was also killed by someone with a history of petty theft, who ransacked her flat and put a cover over the body. And who, when the apparently dead victim started to revive, hit "it" again.

It tends to be the young and the beautiful who are the victims, but not always. Some 4 or 5 months ago, also in the state of Colorado, a woman my age was assaulted and left for dead, with severe head injuries.

She's recovering quickly from the brain damage, and was present at Angie's funeral. She's starting to recover her memories of the attack now,and they're not good ones. I have some experience of recovering from brain damage, so I've been giving her what help I can. Here's what she remembers so far from a trip to the shops that went terribly wrong.
There are still many hours of memory unaccounted for. I still don't remember the very beginning except before it all took place and we do know the attack started a good bit of time before where the memory picks up due to the blood in and around where my car was found a good distance or it was driven there after the fact.

What I am regaining is a whole section in the middle that is very violent at a location that is tiered down a hill with concrete with three foot drops. I visualize two individuals one with blond hair the other with dark hair but can't see the facial features. The one with blond hair pushes me off the top tier landing on my back and head then it rebounds up and hits again, I lay there for a moment then roll over on my side to try to get up again and hear talking and laughter but I can't make out what is being said. Next I'm being kicked in the face and chest when it fades out until I made it back to a stand position where I'm pushed off again down to the next tier where similar actions take place except the one with dark hair straddles me, grabs my hair and repeatedly slams my head on the concrete. Then I must be out for awhile because I come to hearing them but nothing is happening until I try to move and groan then laughter starts back up and I start being kicked over and over until it blacks out. Even though I don't remember anything after that yet I was found wondering a mile and a half from where this took place.
She's getting Flashbacks, and needs some support. Only three weeks separates her age from mine. It could have been me.

Often,I wish I could leave all this behind. I've transitioned, after all, and could go back to well-merited obscurity, just another soccer mom, an academic doing a PhD and bringing up her seven year old son. Just life.

But while a single person is drowning, how can one leave the pool? Had I taken the usual route to womanhood, had I had the XX chromosomes and such, I like to think that had I been made aware of the situation, I couldn't rest until I'd done something to help. That I have a view from the inside, as it were, doesn't matter. I just wish I could do more.

At least, now this blog is being archived by the National Library, there will be a permanent record of how it was, and how we felt, back in the Dark Ages of the Naughties. How being victimised, we refused to become victims.

How we moved that mountain, one teaspoon at a time.


Anonymous said...

It tends to be the young and the beautiful who are the victims, but not always.

True - and the incidence seems to be higher amongst trans women who are black or Latina.

La Chola has an insightful analysis on this aspect - link here

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Battybattybats said...

These murders and violence is horrible, the misscarriage of justice is ridiculous and disgraceful.

I wonder what measures have proven most effective at reducing violence towards other persecuted groups?

There has to be some way of changing things, of reducing the instances of these wretched and pointless crimes.

BrainandSpinalCord.org said...

I came across your blog while doing research for a brain injury website, and I have to say I'm just so, so, discouraged and outraged that these things are still happening. The "justice" system is just as outrageous.
My heart goes out to this woman recovering from her brain injury, it is something she will continue to recover from, but she will struggle with it for the rest of her life.