Thursday, November 20, 2008

Transphobia, Prop 8 and Racism = Same Thing

For all the continued brouhaha over the failure of the No on 8 campaign I am curious how many of the protesters bothered to pay attention to other ballot measures that have an equal or greater impact on the LGBTQI community. I also wonder if the court challenges are successful and Yes on 8 gets shot down will the Gay Rights Industrial Complex pat itself on the back for a good job and ignore all the lack of involvement with communities they're still trying to blame?

There's this great open letter written by Adele Carpenter, a fellow SF resident who asks why was there a lack of support of Propositions that would have made life a little easier for a lot of people and potentially saved some as well. She also mentions how the State of CA incarcerates a high percentage of some of its citizens. I've not seen a larger discussion about how that's tied to Prop 8 by many others. This is also why I am supporting Kamala Harris' run for Attorney General. Read Ms. Carpenter's letter here.

What were some of those Propositions?
Prop K: To decriminalize prostitution. Yeah I know that's a yucky topic for many but since we know it's the 'oldest profession' why not make it legal and safe for those that do it? Also SF is a big market for human trafficking and we'd actually prevent people from abusing children.
Prop B: Affordable Housing initiative. We know how ridiculous rents are here. Enough said.
Prop 5 & 6: More treatment, less jail and an increase in crime prevention programs. List of other results are here.

LGBTQI is a long acronym and usually the Q(ueer) and the I(ntersex and Questioning) are meant to be encompassed in the first four but they're not really. I know a Queer woman who I thought was a lesbian because she was dating a woman but as it turns out she likes men as well - though she's not bisexual. I don't need to understand to be supportive. Our identities are mutable and should be our own choice.

L = Lesbian
Probably the only time the "Gay" community will put a woman first.

G = Gay
Lots of straight people still think it's men in short shorts making out at clubs.

B = Bisexual
There's still some resentment and questioning whether you can truly be bi and not just being greedy choosing between genders.

T = Transgender
It's one thing to like and love someone the same gender, what do you do when you think you're the wrong gender?

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. From Gay/Straight Alliance Network site:
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November each year to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people. The list of deaths available at Remembering Our Dead only contains those deaths known to the transgender community or that have been reported to the media. The Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
I wanted to write about the life and death Duanna Johnson, a beautiful ebony woman who's life was taken less than one week ago. She was a transgender woman from Memphis who was arrested on a prostitution charge (it was later dropped). She suffered a vicious beating by the police back in February while being held and objected to being called he/she (and probably ni**er) by them. Thank goodness the officers involved were fired, and there's a lawsuit pending. One of the reasons this tape came to light was the officer filed a complaint that he wasn't getting help in beating Duanna! I hope the killer(s) will be brought to justice.
So this is why I think the Gay Rights Industrial Complex is intentionally being short-sighted by focusing solely on marriage equality as the issue of importance. This does nothing to address the lives of working class people or those whose work is not met with societal approval. This does not address the inequality of our lives and the specific danger transpeople of color face. I hope that singular agenda will be reassessed and the ignored people and their 'less important' needs will be given their "props". I'm not counting on it though.
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Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Good God Almighty! What a video! I wouldn't treat a dog like that, much less a human being. Those racist, homophobic dirtbags masquerading as cops involved in this should all be fired, and both the one doing the beating and the other holding him down should be locked on assault charges. I hope he sues the heck out of the city too.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Kit, both cops were fired. Duanna was murdered, shot execution style. I can't help but wonder if one had to do with the other but didn't want to put that out there. Maybe I should. Her case against the City is still going forward.

Miriam said...

That was heavy. The officer HOLDING Duanna was fired, but not the one who threw the punches?! According to that video.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Miriam, both cops were fired. That broadcast originally aired before any administrative action had been finalized. There's other video on youtube with a press conference-ish announcement of his firing. That's why I can't help but wonder if those ex-cops were looking for revenge. It was divine intervention that fueled the arrogance and ignorance of the cop giving the beat-down to file a complaint against the other officer which is how the tape got released so quickly.

Anonymous said...

This is truly and deeply disturbing. This is a sad state of affairs for our country. How can someone take another life because that person may be different? How will they account for this when they meet their maker?

I am glad they got fired and I hope they face criminal charges for their behavior.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Welcome Pinkchocolatesunshine,

I love your screen name. Chocolate and sunshine, hmmm. I hope Duanna is at peace and I know justice will be served one way or another, in this life or the afterworld. I'd prefer it be sooner rather than later!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Faith...I do love chocolate and sunshine!

I hope she is at peace as well.