I am doing something that I never thought I would be doing ever in my life. Currently I am taking a class to be advocate against violence towards women. We have all heard the stories and it may have even touched our lives. But the reason I am writing this is because while my families life has been touched by this violence in many different forms I was uneducated about the full impact of this issue. Please understand that I know that there is violence towards men as well. BUT it is not to a point that one could say it should be classified as a epidemic.
Why did I say that lets look at my life. My family would not be here if it was not for a rape that took place with my great grandparents. That act forced a marriage and a child was born from that event (my Grandmother). That Grandmother was abused by her father and was placed in the home of my Great grandfather Grover. My Grandmother was first married to a man who very questionable about his actions towards her. But we now call what he did to her was Emotional Violence. But what was also known that this did not stop with just that. After her divorce that man became violent with his children. At some point this generational violence needed to stop but that was many years later (at least I hoped). Even my own father was violent at times but in saying that he worked hard at changing his ways (to a point). One of my sisters lives was impacted by a violent partner. I was also in two violent relationships and in the end it was the police who ended the violence that was directed towards myself. One of my daughters was sexually assaulted.
Has it ended? NO! Why? Well this is a very good question one that many might not be ready for but I am not one for pulling punches. I am Transgender and my Daughter is questioning her own attraction issues. As a Transwoman I am subjected to violence from places that I never thought in my life would happen. Over the last four years we have seen a rise of many of the extremist fundamentalist in religious circles in so much that it is spilling into politics. These extremists have convinced many of the need for exclusion of the Transcommunity for those that only identify as a female. They continue this violence with the dog whistle of “Women only safe spaces”. Which if you think about it, it is a violent action in itself. By say this they devalue not only the Transgender communities they create a hidden violence that all women are not able of caring for themselves. Which at its core is an action of removing the rights of others while demonising the person who might identify differently. But these actions are much than simple “Dog whistles”. They border on the verge of the scope of propaganda to drive hate towards all Transwomen.
These actions not only are created for hate. They spill forth with a barvado that since a person can devalue a person who is Transgender with impunity, they are then embolden to continue this violence in other areas and towards others. Hatred knows no boundaries nor does it police itself. There is never a fine person who hates another. This type of violence if unchecked and stopped continues to grow exponentially and without remorse for the overall impact.
I thought I knew violence until I was honest about being Transgender. I thought wrong…
We must break the cycle of violence towards women that also includes Transwomen. There is no excuse for abuse even if that abuse comes from one person towards women or a government towards women.
Since I work hard for a greater understanding of the Transcommunity as a whole. I would like to explain some of the violence/abuse that we see directed towards us. Some of these topics I am sure you never looked at as being violent or abusive. BUT they are!
- Dead Naming – Ignoring a person’s chosen name and reverting to their old name.
- Refusal to use proper pronouns – While it might seem simple pronouns are a sign of personal respect from on to another.
- Refusal to accept a person’s transition (surgery does is not a requirement).
- Asking if that person has had the “Surgery”.
- Asking a person for their “Old” photos.
- Asking for a person’s “Dead Name”.
- Asking if the person enjoys their “New” gender or surgery.
- OUTING – Outing is the act of letting others know about a person being LGBT+. Without the LGBT person’s permission.
- Telling a person that they need help.
- Being disowned
- You can’t use that restroom.
- Being stared at for extended period of time. (we call it being read)
This list goes on and on, sadly the ones that are above are the violence I have received over the years. Last point I would like to make is that in the US alone 34 murders have been committed against Transgender Women (link). In Brazil where for a number of years has been one of the highest murder rates of the Transgender Community in 2020 at the time of this writing there have been over 129 murders (link). Violence towards all women must stop.