Today Is #TransDayOfVisibility & Indiana’s New Anti-LGBT Law

This post is quite unpolished, since this day crept up on me quite unaware.  I’d been rather desultorily collecting links about the many murders of the transgendered that are unknown to most of us, save for in the trans community.  The silence has become even more noticeable when the killings are of black trans citizens, which many call “intersectionalism” or double-whammy, double-trouble, etc., as far as being oppressed and living public lives fraught with fear.

I’d hoped to dig a little deeper into the subject in order to write a coherent essay, but…there it is.  Today is the day.  There will be Tweets, and if you can’t see them in their entirety, hold down Control, press -, then + for larger again, and they should justify.

Some resources, first.

It’s dated, but: Pro bono: a Transgender Primer.

#Trans News Daily on Twitter

#TransdayOfVisibility on Twitter

Transgender on Wikipedia:

It starts with the definition:

“Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these.”[2]
“People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves.”[3]
“Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth.”[4]

A transgender individual may have characteristics that are normally associated with a particular gender and identify elsewhere on the traditional gender continuum, or exist outside of it as other, agender, gender-neutral, genderqueer, non-binary, third gender, etc. Transgender people may also identify as bigender, pangender, or along several places on either the traditional transgender continuum or the more encompassing continuums that have been developed in response to recent, significantly more detailed studies.[5] Furthermore, many transgender people experience a period of identity development that includes better understanding one’s self-image, self-reflection, and self-expression. More specifically, the degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance and accept their genuine identity is referred to as transgender congruence.”

Apparently transgender Laverne Cox stars in a teevee program called ‘Orange is the New Black’, and made a documentary for MTV called ‘the T word’, which you can watch at the url.

From the advocate, two items; Miami: Seventh Trans Woman Murdered in U.S. in 2015, and Photos: Your 99 Transgender History Lessons

“We got 99 problems, but finding our trans roots isn’t one — thanks to a new exhibit from the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art and the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.

Transgender history is part of the very fabric of American history — whether or not school textbooks reflect that fact.

To fill the gap, trans historians and artists have long taken the lead in archiving trans communities’ great works and legacies. The U.S.-based Museum of Transgender Hirstory — which exemplifies its mission in its name, using a coined word that combines “history” with gender-neutral pronoun “hir” — was founded in 2013 in San Francisco by trans artist Chris E. Vargas to continue the practice, developing stylish, culturally resonant exhibits that display the rich work of often lesser known trans forebears and contemporary greats for a new generation.”

Some trans edjumication by Tweet:

Another ‘intersection’ is lesbian/feminist, and one of the best-known authors and speakers on the theme is bell hooks.

bell hooks on Twitter

Males in the #BlackLivesMatter have slowly been tuning into the fact that black females, whether straight or mixed gender, haven’t received the attention that blackmales killed by police have, and are reading bell hooks, and understanding why she’s long claimed that white supremacy is at the core of most black issues.

You likely already know that Bruce Jenner recently transitioned to being female, but may not know that a week ago transgender Blake Brockington, a high school student in Charlotte, took his own life just after being elected homecoming king.  He was an activist for the trans community, and had hoped that his being crowned king could aid in the acceptance of other trans students.

Governor Mike Pense of Indiana just signed a sincerely sick and bigoted bill that could sanction discrimination by allowing business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers in the name of “religious freedom.”  Arkansas may soon enact a similar bill.

(the transcript)

It’s difficult to feel that as a society we seem to be taking two steps forward, two steps back as far as acceptance of our fellow human beings.  How can we bring the ‘strong hand of love hidden in the shadows’ more fully into the light of day…every day?  The racist and threatening stuff I’ve seen on #BlackLivesMatter related Twitter accounts almost defies imagination.

9 responses to “Today Is #TransDayOfVisibility & Indiana’s New Anti-LGBT Law

  1. Wendye

    thank you for this dear. My dear friend and wonderful radical ally Jennifer is Trans. She is the most wonderful, loving and giving person I know. My wife (the long beleaguered Mrs Michael Cavlan) and i spent our Birthday celebration with Jennifer. Who did a skit at a local, outside the box Theater in Minneapolis and i was proud to help her with it.

    As an aside I always run as a Street Medic for the Trans march in the yearly Pride march. I proudly call myself the “breeder ally.” LOL

    As always hello you and the ever fortunate Mr Wendy Davis.

  2. Margo Schulter

    Thank you for a very helpful overview of the Trans Day of Visibility and some of the related and intersecting oppressions, including race, class, and issues of sexual preference or orientation. These can all interact and overlap in different way, with bell hooks indeed one of the great African American activists developing the feminist concept of intersectionality, and Kimberle Crenshaw another.

    What’s indeed developed over the last 40 years and a bit more is an awareness that “transness” is a very complex thing, and doesn’t always neat fit the kind of transition narrative that was the norm back in the 1970’s, of migrating from one binary gender identity to the other. In fact some trans people do have more or less binary identities, but others don’t: this is the realm of nonbinary identity or genderqueerness that become more visible in the 1990’s.

    The lines are not neat and clear, because human identity is complex, and doesn’t fit patriarchal concepts, which can sometimes, sadly, get internalized within feminist and related social justice movements also. Thus Black women and other women of color, Lesbian or otherwise, may face either outright rejection and silencing (like Ida B. Wells, a great intersectional feminist and anti-lynching activist, a century ago); or mostly being ignored in a middle-class, white-oriented take on feminism (too often the reality from the First Wave to whatever wave we’re in now).

    Likewise, Lesbian feminist trans women may face exclusion from other Lesbian feminists — something known to happen 40 years ago, and sometimes still today, although I would emphasize that feminism and the Lesbian community have become more and more progressive on these issues.

    Nonbinary identity gets intricate: it can to a degree be a choice not to identity with the binary category “woman” or “man” as a social construction of patriarchy; but can also be the brute reality that certain people simply don’t fit into binary expectations, however they might choose it to be. Those of us who can more comfortably fit into a binary system need to be aware that this is a kind of oppression we can easily support through sheer inertia: being a good ally to nonbinary people is a great and necessary challenge that promotes everyone’s liberation.

    Some Butch Lesbians, for example, may identity as trans, or as genderqueer but not trans — but this can be a very vulnerable situation, with race not surprisingly a risk factor.

    The artist Sophia Wallace, as an advocate for all women, nontrans or trans, made a documentary entitled Girls Will Be Bois which in part addresses the murder of Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old African American Butch Lesbian.

    This violence against queer and gender-nonconforming people of various descriptions also includes, of course, what has been called a war against “Black trans bodies.” The recent murders you mention, and also the recent case of Cece McDonald in Minnesota, an African American trans woman who was imprisoned for the “crime” of defending herself against a hate crime and surviving (recalling the case of Joan Little in North Carolina in 1974, who was put on trial for her life after using deadly force to prevent a rape attempt by a prison guard while she was in custody), illustrate how trans women of color are under attack both by private assailants, and sometimes by the justice system itself (just compare Cece McDonald’s trial with that of George Zimmerman).

    An artist like Sophia Wallace brings things together in ways like that of bell hooks: asking us to appreciate the different dimensions of oppression, how their impact is often greater on a person in double or multiple jeopardy than this isolated elements might lead to imagine (as bad they are in themselves), and to address the immediate need of the moment as best we can.

    Your diary seems very much in this spirit, and merits deep appreciation.

  3. bless your breeder ally ♥, michael cavlan, and jennifer’s too. did she do the skit for this event? i do apologize that this was just a hasty, slapdash post, but as i indicated…time catches us unaware sometimes.

    my best (our best) to both you and miz.

  4. bless you for coming, margo schulter. i knew that you’d likely bring your formidable knowledge and experience to this post, and you’ve exceeded my expectations. thank you.

    so many of those names are new to me, but i will agree with both you and mr. wendydavis, after he’d read the Wiki: it’s all very complicated. you’ll likely remember Margaret at fdl.. she’d written a brave and helpful diary about her experiences in the Navy as transgendered (something like “they always forget the T”, and explained the various mixed chromosonal configurations that can be at play. were my.fdl still extant, i would have brought the link and excerpted portions of it as soooo very useful in understanding what can be going on, including the feelings of knowing that one has literally been born in the…wrong body.

    this isn’t ‘girls will be bois’, but sophia all the same. what a find! thank you ever so much for enriching this rather lame post. srsly. ;-)

    http://www.sophiawallace.com/girls-will-be-bois

  5. jeezum crow. ‘Bill Black: The Homophobic Law and the Indiana Governor Who Dares Not Speak Its Purpose’

    “Yves here. Since we ran a post yesterday on Indiana’s anti-gay law that is pretending not to be one, I thought that was plenty on this topic. However, when Bill Black sent me his brief legal analysis of the bill, I changed my mind. This legislation is a remarkably nasty piece of work. The trick is that the “religious” ground do not have to hew to any organized religion, giving the business owner or manager the right to claim any pet bias as part of his religion. If nothing else, it’s instructive to see how innocuous-seeming language can be anything but. “

  6. Good morning wendyedavis,

    I read through the Bill Black piece earlier as we have a potus wanna-be in WI that is going to feel compelled now, to figure out a way to get to the ideological right of Pense. So far his near silence on the subject, instead of joining the wide chorus in opposition to the law, is pathetic to say the least.

    Thanks to you and Margo for the instructional leads here.

    OT, the turkey vultures returned today, spring is here.

  7. mornin’, mi amigo. will the gov get to the right of ted cruz, as well? i guess arkansas went ahead and passed theirs, and watching the push-back form walmart is high-larious. “it doesn’t reflect our values”, yaa, yada. yes, that is a seriously high bar from the waltons. paying more than a living wage might be a good way to reflect ‘better values’.

    could someone as stooopid-looking as walker get elected? oh…wait: yes.

    and you’re welcome, although i am sorry it’s a bit of a crap and rushed post. and yes, margo really added so very much, didn’t she? i do hope folks might watch the documentary that laverne cox made. fascinating, educational.

    i finally got my seed flats ready in the greenhouse, and stuck a few things in. boy, it’s early, but last year it never did freeze mid-june here, so it may not again this year. ooh, la la, though. i got some white and purple datura seeds, and a white poppy with black centers, and even, tada! some red hibiscus.

    still no word from jane hamsher on whether my.fdl will ever come alive again, and kevin said not to believe anything until we heard it from her mouth..er…keyboard.

    hooray! the vultures! mr. wd said he’d seen a few here yesterday, too. and one lone bluebird flew in, but didn’t stay. i just don’t wanna feed those ishy larvae or what.ev.er. (((shiver))) but we did put up some houses for them a few years ago, in case they get desperate. ;-)

  8. Madison, WI City Council added another minority group for specific protection against discrimination to their already comprehensive list yesterday. Atheists are now officially protected against employment, housing, services, or any other imaginable forms of it, in the city. They join with LGBT folks, former felons, Wiccans, racial minorities, and other religious minorities already on the list, officially protected under law.

    The “guv,” claimed he was not considering any similar sort of religious restoration act, so true to past scenarios, most recently his not considering, “right to work,” it’ll likely be on the legislative calendars right after Easter.

    “Not considering it,” is the silent dog whistle to his lieutenants to march right on over to ALEC for the “proper,” wording to pursue.

  9. well, at least the city council is trying to afford some protections. i love that wiccans are on the list. alec wields some serious power, eh? oh, maybe someone needs to file paperwork for a ‘first church of cannabis‘ like they did in indiana after the “religious freedom” bill passed. ha ha ha ha

    oh, and the gov or arkansas says he won’t sign theirs. maybe walmart gave him pause. ;-)

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