“These trans women make easy, almost socially sanctioned, scapegoats for a litany of issues that they are largely unconnected to and not responsible for.”

by matttbastard

Wendy Babcock, Morgan Page, and Rebecca Hammond have an article in this months issue of FAB Magazine on the Homewood-Maitland Safety Association and its controversial efforts to force transgender sex workers out of the neighbourhood.  Although the article isn’t available online, Babcock has posted the text at her blog, the Prostitution in Canada Journal.

A sample:

Homewood and Maitland isn’t the first stroll in Toronto to come under pressure as a consequence of gentrification – so what’s the big deal if this is a sad, but seemingly routine, social process? Homewood and Maitland is unique in that it has historically been known as the trans stroll, making it one of the few safer spots for trans sex workers. Johns here know what they are getting, as one sex worker explained, “in other neighbourhoods the johns don’t know what they’re getting, and they are likely to freak out and assault us.” As working conditions deteriorate thanks to the HMSA, trans women have started working untested areas where they are likely subject to increasing violent attacks.

These trans women make easy, almost socially sanctioned, scapegoats for a litany of issues that they are largely unconnected to and not responsible for. The streets are quiet, save for a few rowdy drunk college kids and the sounds of traffic wafting down from Wellesley. You know, the kind of night soundscape one comes to expect in downtown Toronto. Other residents of the neighbourhood have expressed their dismay to us. “Just tell me what I can do to help the sex workers,” one man said to us. The HMSA is quick to dismiss these other neighbours as unimportant, either because they live on the higher floors of the condos or their opinion goes against HMSA morals.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

PSA: Transgender Day Of Remembrance

by matttbastard

Feminist Daily News:

Today marks the 9th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The event was founded to honor Rita Hester, whose 1998 murder led to a candlelight vigil in San Francisco, CA, as well as the beginning of the Remembering Our Dead web project, which memorializes those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

The goals of the Day of Remembrance are to both raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people and to publicly mourn and honor the lives of those killed. According to the event website, more than one person per month has died over the past decade due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. The murder [of] Rita Haster, which led to the creation of Transgender Day of Remembrance, remains unsolved.

The incomparable Lisa Harney has links galore over at her superlative site, Questioning Transphobia, including an amazing post @ Feministing by Julia Serano, There’s Something About Deception:

Much of the violence that is directed at trans people is predicated on the myth of deception. For example, straight men who become attracted to trans women sometimes erupt into homophobic/transphobic rage and violence upon discovering that the woman in question was born male. Perhaps the most well known of such cases is that of Gwen Araujo, who was bludgeoned to death by a four men, two of whom she had been sexually intimate with. Despite the fact that the men plotted her murder a week in advance, defense lawyers insisted that the murder was merely manslaughter because the defendants were victims of Gwen’s “sexual deceit.”

[…]

Few attempts to blame the victim are more blatant than when trans people are accused of “sexual deceit” or “sexual assault” simply because other people have chosen to express their attraction toward us. In reality, it is they who are guilty of cissexual/cisgender assumption (when one presumes that every person they meet is nontrans by default). Trans people simply exist, we are everywhere, and the rest of the world has to start recognizing and accepting that.

Also see Julia Serano again and Transgender Day of Remembrance Comics Project. Make sure to also check out quench zine (h/t Jessica Valenti) and to visit the Transgender Day of Remembrance website. And, of course, never forget, 24/7/365.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers