LGBT activists call for new focus on violence against transgender community | World news | The Guardian

While I am a bit annoyed that many in the LGB community waited until marriage equality was secured before turning their attention to tans issues, I do welcome all support. This article by Ed Pilkington in New York writing for The Guardian looks at the issue of violence against transgender individuals. Here are the opening paragraphs…

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A contingent for ‘Trans-Life’ takes part in the 2015 San Francisco Pride Parade. Photograph: John Orvis/Demotix/Corbis

Advocates for transgender rights are hoping that last week’s historic US supreme court ruling on gay marriage will pave the way to renewed public focus on what they see as a national crisis of violence, sexual assault and custodial abuse against trans individuals.

So far this year alone, at least nine trans women have been murdered, putting 2015 on track to be one of the most violent periods for transgender individuals in recent times. In the most recent incident, the body of a 17-year-old trans woman called Mercedes Williamson was found last month hidden under the brush in a desolate area of southern Mississippi, reportedly displaying stab wounds.

The grim discovery was made just three weeks before last Friday’s ruling that flung open the doors across all 50 states to same-sex marriage. Leaders of the transgender community see the murder as a reminder amid the nationwide rejoicing that despite the extraordinary leap forward made last week, there are many people still in great danger in today’s United States.

Advocacy groups hope that the same public focus and enthusiasm for change that produced such an irresistible surge in support for gay marriage will now coalesce behind their decades-old struggle for trans equality. They are loth to describe the fight as a new frontline – fearing that would belittle the hard work that has been waged over many years largely out of the limelight.

But they think the time has now come for a push to reverse extreme discrimination that continues to put lives at risk. “Clearly gay marriage has been a cause of great celebration,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center. “But it’s critical to remember that many members of our community cannot celebrate when they are struggling to survive on a daily basis.”

Top of the list of priorities articulated by transgender groups is the ongoing epidemic of violence faced particularly by black trans women. Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that hate violence was running at levels that rendered it a national crisis.

“The issue is so urgent as the harm is so severe. We have to deal with it better than we have,” he said.

Continue reading this important article here at The Guardian

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About Fairy JerBear

A disabled, trans/agender fairy bear living in the American Southwest and passionate about social justice, the environment, Trans/ LGBTQIA+ equality and combating bullying.
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5 Responses to LGBT activists call for new focus on violence against transgender community | World news | The Guardian

  1. My mistake – it is in fact a journalist in America writing in the UK Guardian. Well, I guess it’s something to see that that can represent both sides of the debate, though having said that, I am inclined to doubt that they would give column inches to a brazenly Islamophobic journalist the way they did to Julie Bindel… (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jan/31/gender.weekend7)

    • Perhaps the paper has evolved in the last 11+ years. That old school “radical” feminism is completely out of step with the realities of gender today. I just don’t see the point of their screed against trans women. Women both cis and trans should be allies and for the most part are. This is the brand of feminism that has more in common with right wing anti-trans activism then it does with the beliefs of the average young woman of today. I had run in with another variant of this belief when I was working to get adult establishments to help with safer sex campaigns in the late ’80s. The same thing then – they had more in common with right wing anti-porn crusades then left wing politics.

      • People miss always miss the moral simplicities of their own particular golden age, though it does seem a bit ironic still calling such nostalgia “radical” when the zeitgeist has written it off as embarrassingly retro…

  2. Actually the Guardian has a presence here online. It is the same basic outfit as the UK just a sort of US branch office. I have never seen a physical newspaper though. I have a Guardian app on my tablet which feeds news from all over. I know there is a Guardian based in Australia as well. Perhaps they are turning over a new leaf? There seems to be a lot of that lately. 😁

  3. I didn’t know there was a Guardian paper in America as well. I thought at first it must be the British Guardian, which surprised me as they have not been overly complimentary on trans issues over the years (in spite of being a socialist paper, depressingly).

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