Violence Against (Trans)Women Today
I wrote a short essay on street violence against women and (trans) women that I initially did for a panel for the U of M but because of the DOC drama, I never got a chance to finish it… until now. I hope you all enjoy it. I love you all! TTYL!
A major problem in the entire world is violence against all women, which also includes trans women. Throughout time, women have been subjected to the cruel “iron fist” of the male species’ ever-inflicting egos. The violence that has been upheld for centuries have affected us all, whether it be a tyrannical leader’s harsh rule over a nation or domestic rule inside the household. Women have a higher rate of experiencing violence in all its forms–physical, verbal, and/or sexual. In most cases we are the victims of murder, and in the act of defending ourselves we are subjected to time, even life in prison. How can society say that it detest and challenge violence against women, when there is very little, if any, real help for us, and the help we give ourselves result in punishment?
Street violence and trans women go hand in hand, and I’m sure that if asked any trans woman can agree that most of her conflicts occurred outside of her dwelling. For me, all of the incidents that I’ve experienced were outside of the home. I, and most trans women, have to deal with violence more often and at a higher rate than any cissexual person, so every day is a harder struggle, and the everyday things that a cissexual person can do with ease are a constant risk, even something as simple as taking public transportation. Street violence has affected me drastically, and I think–no, I know–that if I never learned to assert myself that I would’ve never gained the courage to defend myself against those who have no respect or gratitude towards others in the world, I would have met my demise years ago.
Currently, I am in a men’s state prison for the death of someone I accidentally stabbed in the act of defending myself. It all started around 12 am on June 4th, 2011 whne a group of racist drunks began to verbally bash my friends and I on our way to a local 24-hour grocery store. After being called everything from faggots to niggers, tempers escalated and I was caught in between the madness. A woman from the other group decided to throw her alcoholic cocktail in my face, and to add insult to injury, she smashed her glass cup in my face which lacerated my cheek and was deep enough to cut a saliva gland which caused painful complications later on after getting 12 stitches. When the police arrived it wasn’t hard to for them to assume who the aggressors were–surely, for them, it had to have been the group of black kids who started all this drama. At least that was the feeling I was receiving by the way they were treating me and my friends. And instead of taking me directly to the ambulance, they made me sit in the back of a squad car in handcuffs while bleeding badly and in very bad pain.
When I was finally transported to the ambulance, I was immediately bombarded with questions, even before I could get the medical attention I needed. And when I got to the hospital it didn’t go any better. I was told to take off all my clothes, after that I was shackled to a hospital bed, and poorly examined hence the large deformity that was on my left cheek from a saliva gland being cut. From there I say in an interrogation room for over 5+ hours. And it all went downhill from there. I can say that I’m so blessed to have such wonderful, caring, loving friends, family, and supporters that helped me through this injustice.
But it does go to show that there is nothing really in place for women to protect themselves–ourselves. We need to unite to make a voice for all those who have become a victim of violence. I want to shout-out all the organizations and programs that are doing just that. To all those who showed up to the 1 Billion Rising event in Pittsburgh on Valentines Day I LOVE YOU ALL! I also want to shout out all the victims of violence that were honored at the event: Patreese Johnson, Charmaine Pfender, Marissa Alexander, and Tanika Dickson. I LOVE YOU ALL! We are all victims of violence and the injustices and oppression of a faulty legal system and the PIC. And in memoriam of all our fallen sisters, this is for you! Our flames of resilience and tenacity burn bright in the efforts of a revolution for women. We will not give up until there are the necessary changes in this world for better protection and equality. And it is up to us to show that we are concerned and that none of our struggles will go in vain.
I cannot reiterate enough to people how they should get involved. GET INVOLVED! Organizations like 1 Billion Rising need our help, or get involved in local organizations and program. I pray that no other woman should have to deal with violence on any level, and I know that we can make a change.
Thank you all for taking time to hear (or should I say read) my concerns for our women in the world. I LOVE YOU ALL! Please stay strong, live well, and fight hard!