17 May 2014

Younger And More Brutally Attacked

Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.  Normally, I don't care much for days dedicated to one thing or another:  I believe that we always need to be conscious of those things to which those days are dedicated.  Nonetheless, I think IDAHOT is at least a good start to help raise awareness about violence against us.

The thing is, it's not just straight and cisgender people who need their consciousness raised.  Too often, murders==let alone other kinds of violence--are ignored or given the short shrift by the LGB media and their audience unless the crimes are particularly horrific or happen in bars, clubs, other public places  or neighborhoods that are supposed to be our sanctuaries. And violence against youth is also ignored or simply missed.

To address this problem, the Trans Violence Tracking Portal was launched just last month.  Anyone can use it to report incidents of any sort of violence--from beatings to murder--against anyone who lives under the trans umbrella.  So far, it has received 102 reports of such violence since the beginning of this year. Although that is the total number received from around the world, it's far out of proportion to our percentage of the population, even when one considers that only a small percentage of such crimes are reported.  

The TVTP reports reveal something I've discussed in other posts:  the sheer brutality of attacks against trans people. It's truly disturbing to see how often trans people are shot or stabbed multiple times--often after being beaten to death, or within an inch of their lives.  A disproportionate number of us are also set afire, whether after being killed or while still alive.

Perhaps the most frightening part of the TVTP report is how often young people are attacked. Such crimes include the following:

  • 8 year old boy beaten to death by father for being trans
  • 14 year old strangled to death and stuffed under a bed
  • Two 16 year olds were shot to death
  • Three 18 year olds stabbed to death, dismembered, or shot
  • Two 18 year olds murdered with no details being reported
  • An 18 year old suffered two violent attacks by a mob and survived.
Reading of these atttacks, I couldn't help but to wonder whether or not I'd be alive today if I had been an "out" trans child or teenager.  I'm sure many other trans people--including some of you--are asking the same question.

No comments: