Weekend Convo: The Violent Threat of Transmisogyny

[The] data continues [to show] a three-year trend in which transgender women, LGBTQ and HIV-affected people of color, and transgender people of color experienced a greater risk of homicide than other LGBTQ and HIV-affected people. These statistics demonstrate that the most marginalized LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities experience higher rates of severe violence. These same communities experience higher rates of homelessness, poverty, and job discrimination which can increase their risk of violence.” National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)

Transmisogyny is in full flower, part backlash of increased media visibility and human rights protections for trans, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, and part mental and spiritual disease.

Even the term, transmisogyny, is a misnomer because the word, misogyny is a dislike of girls and women, all girls and women. It is the gender identity itself that causes an aggressor to objectify, discriminate against, and wreak violence upon girls and women.

Elisha Walker RIP

Elisha Walker RIP

Some of what we see on line, in comments, and on message boards would be amusing if this backlash didn’t pack the threat of increased violence towards trans people, in particular black trans women. While accurate statistics are hard to come by, the relative rate of attacks on trans men and white trans women are very small when compared to the skyrocking extreme violence aimed black trans women. Reportedly, five trans murders have taken place this week alone bringing the reported cases up to a couple of dozen or more since January of this year. This doesn’t account for, nor has it ever, both unreported murders and murders of trans women which were recorded incorrectly as the murder of a man.

“Bruce Jenner is just deceptive.” Trolls that get into unwinnable arguments on their Facebook pages only succeed in revealing their own transphobia and transmisogyny (acknowledged or not) even as they rush to scrub this self-incrimination and related comments. Someone even has a tumblr page trying to convince us that transmisogyny is trans misogyny, two words warning of the patriarchal privilege trans women exert against other women, nothing more than an ugly entrail of the misanthropic, so-called radical feminists who are still arguing they are right. But these basement dwellers are just the scab on the embedded, infested swarm of people who would harm or kill a woman just because she is judged to be a man in women’s clothing.

Clicking through here will help educate anyone still doubting that misogyny/transmisogyny is the source of violence against trans women of color. Its triggers are broken down —trans panicmale privilege, hypersexualization and desexualizationmedia representation, gender presentationrape culturemental healthdegendering, and transmisogyny and white supremacy.

In the meantime, I pass on yesterday’s message from leading advocate Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Executive Director of Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC).

“. . . We can no longer wait for anyone to save us. We gotta do it for ourselves. We gotta invest in ourselves, we gotta build for ourselves. PROTECT yourselves and your sisters. DEFEND yourselves and your sisters. Hold each other close today and everyday. Reach out to your sisters and let them know that you love them and you got their backs. Let them know that our life has tremendous vale, that our life matters.”

Everyone else? Start fighting to end misogyny. Get involved. Let us know what you think.


More on this convo: Transmisogyny; and Intersex Children Counter Transmisogyny.

Alison Gardner