The Unspeakable Dread

Potential trigger: This post gives a brief description of an act of violence committed against a trans person.

It’s been hard to write for the past few days. On September 14th I read a report from Transgender Europe that said that from January to June of this year 93 trans people were reported killed. (I found the report via Helen of Questioning Transphobia.) This means that every other day a trans person is reported killed, which is pretty remarkable when one takes the small size of the population of trans people into account. Considering that a disproportionate number of the trans people who were killed were women or transfeminine, this should be of concern not only to those of us who fight for trans liberation but also to those of us who fight for women’s liberation. One reason I’ve been disinclined to speak is that experience has shown that no matter what trans women say, cis feminists by and large fail to acknowledge that our concerns are feminist concerns.

But mostly what’s been keeping me from writing has been dread—the dread of facing each day knowing that there’s a greater than fifty percent chance that it will be reported that someone like me has been killed. And who knows how many of us get killed without anyone hearing about it? It is difficult enough to think about just one of the killings. Consider, for example, the trans person who was killed in Chihuahua on April 3rd. Ze was decapitated while ze was still alive, and hir head was discarded one kilometer from hir body. What kind of hate does it take for one human being to do that to another? Thinking about the question leaves me feeling inadequate. I can tell you what happened, dear reader, but I can’t hope to express the horror.

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2 Responses to The Unspeakable Dread

  1. Lika says:

    No wonder it’s been so hard for you to write lately. It makes me sick to read that report. I can’t imagine that dread you must feel. I wish I could take it away. I wish I could make all the assholes who want to hurt you and women like you go away. I don’t understand that level of hate either, but I know patriarchy encourages it.

    You’re right, it’s totally a women’s liberation issue. Cis women need to understand that.

    *HUGS* If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  2. I don’t understand that level of hate either, but I know patriarchy encourages it.

    I’m really glad you brought this up. There are a lot of people who try to write off the violence as a number of isolated instances, but as you recognize, it’s a systemic problem—the persistence of the violence more than suggests this.

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