Transgender Day of Remembrance 2008

// 20 November 2008

Today – 20 November – is the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Please spare a few moments quiet contemplation for all those of my trans sisters and brothers who can’t be here today.

  • Teisha Cannon
  • Dilek Ince
  • Duanna Johnson
  • Aimee Wilcoxson
  • Ruby Molina
  • Nakhia (Nikki) Williams
  • Samantha Rangel Brandau
  • Jaylynn L. Namauu
  • Angie Zapata
  • Juan Carlos Aucalle Coronel
  • Rosa Pazos
  • Ebony (Rodney) Whitaker
  • Silvana Berisha
  • Felicia Melton-Smyth
  • Lloyd Nixon
  • Luna (no last name reported)
  • Simmie Williams Jr.
  • Lawrence King
  • Sanesha (Talib) Stewart
  • Ashley Sweeney
  • Fedra (no last name reported)
  • Adolphus Simmons
  • Stacy Brown
  • Patrick Murphy
  • Gabriela Alejandra Albornoz
  • Brian McGlothin
  • Kellie Telesford
  • Ali (no last name reported) and two other Iraqi trans women

ETA:

Other bloggers who have posted about the TDoR include:

Antony & The Johnsons – Bird Gehrl

I am a bird girl now

I’ve got my heart

Here in my hands now

I’ve been searching

For my wings some time

I’m gonna be born

Into soon the sky

‘Cause I’m a bird girl

And the bird girls go to heaven

I’m a bird girl

And the bird girls can fly

Bird girls can fly

(Cross-posted from bird of paradox)

Comments are enabled and will be moderated by the a member of The F-Word bloggers group before publication. Please remember there will be a delay between comments being submitted and their appearance on the blog.

Comments From You

m Andrea // Posted 21 November 2008 at 4:03 pm

Normally, we consider people who use their emotions in place of reason to be utter fucking morons.

The basic premise of transgender ideology is that girl and boy brains exist, and are different from each other. Girl brains luv pink, and are rilly soft and gentle. Boy brains luv blue, and are rilly hard and aggressive.

The basic premise of feminist ideology is that no such difference exists. Oops, we have a discreptancy!

Since some women are quite the aggressive fuck, they must be a boy. Therefore, they are transgendered. Amazingly enough, wanting a penis is not required for women to be an aggressive fuck, so something is quite illogical regarding your theory.

Perhaps insanity is the answer.

Helen G // Posted 21 November 2008 at 7:49 pm

Hello mAndrea.

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

So then. This comment of yours: even though it’s transphobic hate speech, plain and simple, I feel it’s worth publishing as an example of just one sort of violence that people like you use to attack trans and other gender non-conforming people across the world on a daily basis.

Of course, your violence isn’t the physical violence used to murder my trans sisters and brothers named in my post; and it isn’t the mental violence that pushes others of us into taking our own lives. But even verbal violence such as yours is still violence, and it cannot be tolerated by anyone with even an ounce of humanity, with a heart, with a soul. Logic and reasoning aren’t even required.

And it hasn’t gone unnoticed that you singled out a post made on our Remembrance Day. It’s my guess that you have done this as a shock tactic similar to the desecration of headstones by fascist thugs.

It’s a means of getting attention, and on this occasion I’ve decided to oblige you.

Why? Well, here’s the deal, girlfriend:

As long as I am a blogger at The F-Word, I will never again publish any comment of yours that may arrive in any mod queue for which I’m responsible.

That’s all. Game over.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your 15 minutes.

Helen

Lisa Harney // Posted 21 November 2008 at 8:00 pm

She has one script and she’s sticking to it. It’s a ridiculous script full of slavering hatred and mendacious, malicious ignorance, applying her emotions in place of reason.

Plus the bonus use of ablist language.

thisonewoman // Posted 21 November 2008 at 8:03 pm

Seriously M Andrea.

what is wrong with you? You clearly have no respect, you clearly don’t care about the trans people who have been killed

It doesn’t matter why people are trans what matters is that they are punished and killed for it and that is not okay and we all need to work to change that

Also there is no feminist Ideology your feminism has nothing in common with my feminism.

i also somehow doubt you have actually asked any trans people themselves or read any writing by trans people about their experiences, Shockingly cis radfems don’t know what its like to be trans.

Also you do know that the whole “reason is better than emotion” is a patriarchal standpoint yes?

wouldn’t want you to get in to trouble over at radfem central or anything.

Anne Onne // Posted 21 November 2008 at 8:10 pm

Excuse me? do you really think that for transgender people it all boils down to male-to-female people wanting to wear pink, and female-to-male people wanting to wear blue? Seriously? Sure, everybody wants to go through a lengthy transition, risk losing friends, family, etc, and risk their life simply to wear a little pink.

Many of us will never feel what it is to feel that you’re into in the right body, that it doesn’t fit. That doesn’t mean this feeling doesn’t exist, or isn’t real to trans people. If you’re a feminist, you’ll be familiar with the phrase ‘Check Your Privilege’. Please do.

And not all feminist ideology believes that there is absolutely no biological difference between male and female brains: many of us fight for the understanding that whatever differences there are present at a biological level (something as scientists we can’t entirely deny), they do not account for every difference between men and women, nor should they be used as a reason to discriminate against them. Scientific truth is blind: it does not give a reason that a person is inferior, it is flawed human thinking that warps it. Scientific truth does not mean that all women are the same, or all men are, or all people are ‘men’ or ‘women. It is our bigoted boundaries that warps our understanding of science, not vice versa.

There are many subtle differences between different groups of people, whether different races, sexualities, sexes, genders or all of the above. They are not responsible for most of what we call gender performance, but who are we to deny anyone else how they should act or look? Do we eshew all gendered behaviour? What a double standard.

This isn’t a thread about trying to understand the desire of some transgender people to act out the ‘act’ of gender as well as be another physical sex. This is a thread to honour the dead.

If you can’t say something respectful about people who were MURDERED for not following gender binaries, hello, call yourself a feminist? Or are lives only of worth if people define gender in the same way you do?

HelenG, I know you know this, but mAndrea doesn’t speak for all cis feminists. We will remember, and we will add our voices to yours.

Laura // Posted 21 November 2008 at 8:17 pm

mAndrea, Your hatred and apparent delight in lacking any ounce of human compassion is shocking – appalling. I fully second everything Helen says above.

Donna // Posted 21 November 2008 at 8:49 pm

mAndrea, this posting was in memory of people who were murdered due to hate and bigotry, and instead of offering condolences or taking a moment to grieve with us, you offer more hate and bigotry. This is simply an incredibly gargantuan display of insensitivity, you’re like the Fred Phelps of the feminist blogosphere.

Nick Kiddle // Posted 21 November 2008 at 10:03 pm

Transphobic troll: Even if we pretend there’s any truth at all to what you’re saying, it has precisely zero to do with the Day of Remembrance. We’re talking about people who were killed, often with an obscene degree of brutality, just because of who they were.

Even Julie Bindel prefaces her transphobic screeds with a disclaimer about how violence against trans people is wrong. Congratulations on being an even lower form of humanity than her.

Legible Susan // Posted 21 November 2008 at 11:18 pm

The thing that gets me, apart from the total lack of human decency, is how that particular brand of bigot accuse trans* people of reifying the gender binary. So Thomas Beattie, to take a not very random example, is reifying the gender binary, and the gatekeepers of wymyn-only space aren’t? Suuuurrre …

Back at the original topic, I don’t know what the etiquette is for linking to other people’s blogs, but “Silence Exile and Crumpets” has poetry for TDoR.

Kristin // Posted 21 November 2008 at 11:29 pm

“This is simply an incredibly gargantuan display of insensitivity, you’re like the Fred Phelps of the feminist blogosphere.”

Uh, yeah… Seriously, the Fred Phelps comparison strikes me as incredibly apt. mAndrea, you disgust me. What self-righteous nerve it must require to spew your hateful ideology on something like a Day of Remembrance. You have certainly outdone yourself here. I wouldn’t say I’m shocked… She’s been at this for a long time now.

Beth R // Posted 21 November 2008 at 11:44 pm

Perhaps this is not the most appropriate space for discussing the position of trans-people in feminist politics. The post was up for nearly a day without being turned into that.

I myself am conflicted as I do have particular views on this, but I also believe that all violence is a feminist issue, that these are truly tragic cases, and also that there is often a strong element of misogyny in a lot of this. Whatever our broader beliefs about trans issues in feminism, I personally believe that these murders ARE a feminist issue.

It is a shame that some of us do no feel we have been given the space for this discussion, and perhaps some civil attempts are overdue. I do personally think that mAndrea was completely out of line – but I also fear that her belittling and mocking response might in part be a response to the invisibility of more moderate critiques in spaces such as these. As it is, suggesting on the one hand that transwomen are ‘fucking morons’, and on the other implying that Julie Bindel is a lower form of life are not going to get us anywhere.

My personal line is that I try to respect the preferences of trans people, and I see no problem in using the gendered pronouns and names that they choose (similarly, when I know anybody who changes their names through marriage I try to stick to what they have chosen, regardless of my own politics). I believe that mocking transsexuals is unacceptable, and that violence against them ought to be treated with the utmost seriousness – which currently it is not.

I do however think that there are debates to be had as to whether transwomen should be included in all woman-only spaces, whether women have a right to be upset about being de-centred in feminist debate by terms such as cis, and whether we ought to be working towards a reality in which transitioning is no longer the ‘solution’ to gender dysphoria.

I agree that this is not the place for these debates – but I believe that they are necessary. If my statements here are all too horribly inappropriate [which I totally understand they may be], might they be posted in a new comments thread?

Zenobia // Posted 21 November 2008 at 11:51 pm

M Andrea,

In addition to what everyone has said, I’d like to add that I’ve seen the rest of your work, and you need to actually read Orwell or stop taking his name in vain.

Also,

Perhaps insanity is the answer.

Did you really just say to someone that she is transgendered because she is insane? I’m glad it was published, actually, because no one should be forced to put up with this kind of horrifying crap in secret.

Also, do you really think all those people on that list had theoretical gender dysphoria, and that they were only theoretically killed? Plus, what do your pathetically uninformed “theories” have to do with this post at all?

Also, Miss Andrea, hate to break it to you, but you have a gender. I would never mistake you for a man, not even over the internet, even if you weren’t called ‘Miss’ and your writing didn’t wear a strap-on the size of the leaning tower of Piza.

Emma Twosouls // Posted 22 November 2008 at 12:55 am

mAndria’s comment, ‘The basic premise of transgender ideology is that girl and boy brains exist’ shows how little they know about ‘idiology, tran-theory’ the psychological model of transgender and the cultural history of global gender varient people. Perhaps she has read ‘Moir and Jessel’ andsimply formed a narrow opinion based up on that?

Why do people feel so ready to post comments on subject which they know so little about?

walk in beauty

Emma twosouls

confused // Posted 22 November 2008 at 1:01 am

I am really confused.

I really dont think I understand the nature and meaning of “feminism” as an ideology.

I understood that feminism is a way of breaking down gender norms, of saying that everyone is equal and should have the same opportunities regardless of what sex / gender someone identifies with. Feminist argument as I understand it is that patriarchal society supports men, men are the source of violence against women etc. All these arguments are with the societal construct of the male / female gender roles – gender being the problem.

However, I also believe that gender as a concept is entirely fluid, I have, in my life moved between masculine and feminine within my identity. This is because I believe I am a sum of my experiences gained within the society in which I live.

I am confused because I dont understand that if I am a feminist who is breaking down the idea of “gender” then how can I simultaneously identify with a gender? Or want to change gender? Surely I should be arguing that gender is not important. Is this not a fatal flaw in feminism as I understand it?

I am not sure if I need to reconsider my identification with feminism or change my definition for feminism. Have I been getting it wrong?

How does the existence of transgendered people – who are so strongly “devoted” to their “cause” (for want of a much better vocabulary) that they find themselves in situations where they are all too frequently being killed fit with the idea that gender is a social construct – it does not exist but is forced upon us by a patriarchal society? Can someone give me a better definition of feminism and clear up my confusion?

I have been very moved by the stories of trans people in the video above and the number of people who have been murdered because of their identity, I am more than happy to be educated – I am quite new at this game.

Kate Smurthwaite // Posted 22 November 2008 at 3:00 am

4. Trolls will be banned from commenting. We get to decide who is a troll.

Err, my vote is: m Andrea is a troll.

I mean seriously. The question of whether gender is a “brain state” or not is IRRELEVANT.

Look at it this way – I could (and do) argue that the desire to shave your armpits is totally 100% to do with social programming. I don’t believe any of us have a biological instinct to shave our pits – it’s all to do with societal expectations.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel that societal pressure myself, nor that I condone violence against women who choose to shave their armpits.

You have to differentiate between wanting to stop society from putting pressure on people to conform to gender stereotypes and discriminating against those who may have been affected by that societal pressure. They are TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS.

And for the record I am a feminist who wants to see an end to discrimination against women. You are a troll who wants to see yet more hatred and vitriol piled upon women who are already suffering more than enough. These, again, are TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS.

Goodbye and good riddance.

Mór Rígan // Posted 22 November 2008 at 6:06 am

@ m Andrea

Are you actually dismissing other people’s experiences? Is your basic premise I’m right because I know better than you do despite the fact that I have no personal experience? In that case you are dismissing people’s agency and denying their voices.

Do you actually call yourself a feminist? I would remind mind you that for centuries men did the same to women. You telling a trans woman that she cannot know her own truth is the same as a man dismissing you for being a weepy weak woman who doesn’t know her own mind. Does that piss you off? It should.

Of all the posts in the world, you choose to troll the one where we remember murder victims. Have you no heart? No soul? You choosing this day of all days; this post of all posts; only underscores not only your transphobia but also your inhumanity.

That’s repugnant

Helen G // Posted 22 November 2008 at 7:07 am

I write this on Saturday morning, two days after my community’s Remembrance Day. It’s the one day of the year which allows us, collectively, to focus on and grieve for our sisters and brothers whose rights to life have, without exception, been violently denied by those who have appointed themselves as judge, jury and executioner.

But it is only one day, and my community remembers and mourns our loss each and every day, we carry their memories in our hearts always, and we do not need a specific day to think of those whose existences have been so brutally extinguished. So I believe it is now time to begin to move back into our lives and to continue our daily struggle to survive, to maintain, to learn, to progress – and to live.

Trans people cannot and will not be morally mandated out of existence, nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in this thread. However we self-identify, trans or cis, we move forward together and continue our collective work to help bring about the time when we can know, without doubt, that a specific Remembrance Day will not be needed. Sadly, I do not believe this time is yet with us.

I read many, many people’s words as I compiled the link round-up in my post and one comment has been coming back into my mind on an almost hourly basis. I would like to leave you with it:

If you’re human, you’re entitled to human rights

Comments are now closed.

Thank you

Helen

22 November 2008

Have Your say

Comments are closed on this post

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds