Detroit

One thing I know...

...from nearly 23 years of writing about transgender issues on the Internet...

...is that cisgender people who deign to write about trans issues (overall, a rarity) are likely to have their voices heard by a much larger audience than transgender people. It is just so easy to write off anything that arises from our mouths or pens or keyboards as self-serving claptrap...because, you know...

...we're trans.

We're the voices that don't actually exist in the minds of too many religious fundamentalists and their ilk. A recent study of Fox News by Media Matters showed a concerted effort to villainize our community. People don't listen to the words of villains.

So it is with heart felt gratitude that I welcomed Wednesday's ope-ed in the Detroit Free Press by Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign and Judy Shepard, cofounder of the Mathew Shepard Foundation, End epidemic of violence against transgender women.

I'm supposing they published this in Detroit because that has been one of this year's hotbeds of anti-trans violence. Other hotbeds...over the past few years...have been Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston.

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Pure Happy

 photo corey_zpsvh6vuw9q.jpgErica Maison is the mother of five children in Detroit. One of her daughters is a transgender girl named Corey.

Erica told BuzzFeed News that Corey was always feminine, even from the time she was very young. “She loved to dress in high heels and dresses. In public she wore boy clothes — I just assumed she might be gay.”

When Corey was in the fifth grade she was bullied so badly her mother made the decision to pull her out of public school and begin homeschooling. It wasn’t until Corey was 11 years old that the mother-daughter duo came across a video of transgender YouTuber Jazz Jennings and everything suddenly clicked. “She said, ‘Mom, I’m just like her, I AM a girl.’

Once she was at home and free to be herself, Corey started gaining confidence and began dressing like a girl in public — which wasn’t always easy.

Her hair was still very short, and she still looked like a boy. People would give her dirty looks, and take pictures of her with their cell phone cameras. They would laugh, and point, and stare. I told Corey, ‘Every time someone points their phone at you to take a picture, you turn and smile and strike a pose!’ That really boosted her self-esteem. I wanted to teach her to turn anything negative into something positive.

--Erica Maison

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Plus two...one for last year and one for this

Back at the end of last November I wrote a diary, There's your problem right there, about a missing transgender woman in North Carolina.

Elisha Walker of Rowan County went missing on October 23 and that was reported to police on November 11. On November 23 Walker's silver 2000 Pontiac Sunfire was found in Sampson County. It had been intentionally set afire.

Earlier this month Angel Arias, a member of the Latin Kings gang was detained in Johnston County Jail on drug charges unrelated to Walker's disappearance when apparently something he said led authorities to suspect he was involved in the Walker case. A house in Johnston County was identified as a possible location of Walker's body.

Investigators from multiple agencies searched the Johnston County house on Thursday. The search began at 7:30 p.m., according to a news release. During the search, investigators found a small depression in woods behind the house.

The depression was excavated and human remains were found which were later identified as Walker.

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#Sayhername...the respectful one

 photo CL5-Gk6UYAAKO9b-457x640_zps0g6aits6.jpgAmber Monroe...was exiting a vehicle near the intersection of 6 Mile and Woodward in Detroit around 5 am Saturday morning when she was fatally shot. Police say the shot came from inside the car, a green Audi.

The area is known as Palmer Park...and is known to be the gathering place of Detroit's transgender community. Four fatal incidents involving transgender women occurred in Palmer Park in 2014.

As usual the Wayne County medical examiner's office announced that a "male was shot" at the location. Then the ME's office identified the victim by what the Guardian calls "her biological name" (her biological name would be homo sapiens)...but i better known in our community as either her birth name or her "dead name."

The decision to misgender Monroe as male outraged trans advocates who knew the 20-year-old, saying it’s disrespectful, particularly in death.

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ENDA

Expectations are that democrats will attempt to resuscitate the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) this year. ENDA would provide nationwide protections for LGBT in employment, housing, education, credit, and public accommodations. Conservatives have consistently opposed those protections on the basis that they are "special rights" (and hence reserved only for normal, Christian Americans), that LGBT people would frivolously run amok litigiously if we and these protections, and that the protections are not necessary because discrimination is simply not taking pace.

This diary takes down that last point.

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New study calls for improved medical care for transgender patients

Daphna Stroumsa, an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, has published research on medical discrimination against transgender people whichis available in the American Journal of Public Health: The State of Transgender Health Care: Policy, Law and Medical Frameworks. Access to the full document requires APHA membership or paid subscription, which I do not have.

Abstract:

I review the current status of transgender people’s access to health care in the United States and analyze federal policies regarding health care services for transgender people and the limitations thereof. I suggest a preliminary outline to enhance health care services and recommend the formulation of explicit federal policies regarding the provision of health care services to transgender people in accordance with recently issued medical care guidelines, allocation of research funding, education of health care workers, and implementation of existing nondiscrimination policies. Current policies denying medical coverage for sex reassignment surgery contradict standards of medical care and must be amended.

Dr. Strousma is a graduate of The Hebrew University Haddassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel. She calls for the medical establishment to immediately address of the situation.

 

 

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Gender Prison: Like they're not even human

Welcome to Transgender Awareness Week…which will culminate on Friday with Transgender Day of Remembrance. It's a time when we should be celebrating being transgender, but as is all too often the case, it will liikely not be a a time to rejoice.

Equality Michigan issued a press release last Friday noting that the murder victim whose body was discovered in a trash bin on November 8, although not yet identified, is believed to be a member of the transgender community.

We are saddened and angry to hear of the murder of another transgender woman of color who has yet to be identified. The undignified way in which her body was dumped speaks to the larger issue of anti-transgender hostility in our society, and the vast amount of work we, as supporters of the LGBT communities, have in front of us. We know that transgender women of color are the most disproportionately affected by violence and hate against the LGBT communities, and this latest incident is a tragic reminder of that reality. 

--Yvonne Siferd, Equality Michigan director of victim services

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Hellraisers Journal: Matilda Rabinowitz arrested for calling Henry Ford "the Speed-up King."

You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Wednesday April 29, 1903
More on Women and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union

Founded in 1900, the ILGWU had 8,865 members in fifty-one locals by 1902. The union fought a successful jurisdictional battle with the United Shirt and Waist Workers' Union, and thereby won the right to organize the ladies' shirtwaist makers, most of whom are young women. These young women make considerably lower wages than the men. The international pays $5 to any organizer who is able to establish a new local. None of these organizers are women.

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