CIS FOLKS, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
I will be talking about suicide & trans murders. Please practice self care and only read if you feel comfortable and safe doing so.
There are the moments in the trans community, specifically the BIPOC trans community that are deeply sad, disturbing and astronomically frightening.
They are also moments I don't talk about often.
Here in Houston we have lost a number of trans women in the last few years to anti trans violence.
Tracy Single, Asia Jynaé Foster, Iris Santos, Za’niyah Williams
Standing in front of the open casket of a trans woman who has been murdered is not something I ever imagined doing but it’s happened. There are no words to express the pain and fear those experiences brought to me.
Last year I spoke at the funeral of a trans woman who took her own life, as a result of being the target of anti trans bullying and harassment. Her entire family denied her existence as her true self. A local church heard about her story and decided to throw her a celebration of life.
These experiences I've had around the murder and death of our community are so filled with emotions I almost have to detach emotionally, which is definitely a form of self care.
In my opinion, based on their actions year after year, the majority of cisgender LGBQ folks here in Houston seem to be so out of touch with the national LGBTQIA+ movement, the needs of the transgender community and how to be allies to us.
When tragedy hits the trans community, in our own city, there is a deafening silence from the majority of LGBQ orgs and leaders. Transgender activists, leaders and organizations time and time again are the only part of the LGBTQ spectrum that responds.
I don't say this to shame, anger or belittle anyone. I say this because I have seen with my own eyes the turn out for vigils, funerals, protests etc for cisgender LGBQ members of our community when tragedy strikes. It's so bleak and to be honest feels so disrespectful.
I feel this way because LGBTQIA+ orgs in Houston are often cisgender led, cisgender centered and seems for the most part completely unaware of how to follow out their mission statements to be inclusive of anyone who is gender expansive.
In a way I don't blame these orgs. Most LGBTQIA+ orgs were founded at a time when transgender humans were not thought of at all in terms of being a demographic would would benefit from their services. Especially older organizations. They barely benefit anyone other than white cis gay men.
I strongly believe one of the only reasons the majority of LGBTQIA orgs even mention the trans community is because our community increases their funding. I mean these orgs are the first to profit from the murders of transgender humans. Fundraising by using our trauma and pain to pull at their donors heartstrings.
This is often done with very little regard for the transgender persons well being or mental health.
Every time we tell our stories, we relive the trauma we have been through. We often tell our stories as a vehicle to create change.
Where is the change?
It's 2022 and I'm embarrassed by most of the orgs here in Houston and their trans competency. More often than not, pronouns are still being debated inside these orgs and taught as if this was a new part of the conversation to being inclusive of trans and gender expansive folks.
I have a lot more to say about this but I'll leave that for another post. Anxiety is high right now after thinking about those incidents.
What are your favorite trans orgs? Leave a comment with their websites below.