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1 comments | Friday, November 20, 2009

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on the intersection of race, sexuality, and homophobia at Georgia State University and was struck by the story of a beautiful transgender woman named Somiaya who shared her experience as a victim of a hate crime.

It's not surprising that non-LGBT communities know very little about the experience of trans people but it's incredibly disheartening to see the lack of awareness and respect within our own community when it comes to our trans brothers and sisters. The "T" may be apart of the acronym but the people who identify as trans are often misunderstood and even further marginalized as evident in this thread.

Not to forget that trans identified people are frequently the targets of vicious hate crimes and workplace discrimination.

Somiaya tells a heart wrenching tale of an incident that thankfully didn't result in death as so many attacks on LGBT people have, yet the reaction of those who watched the incident occur and offered no assistance is enough to make anyone with the smallest ounce of compassion hurl.

Today is the National Transgender Day of Rememberance and I will do my part to make sure the "T" is represented on this blog consistently and not just on this day every year.

Get into the video below:


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Her story was heartbreaking, but nonetheless not uncommon as the attitudes and treatment towards Trans people is very appalling . The clarity and detail of her story no doubt lets me know this was 100% real.
What I would like to know is what was the result of the report? Was the male officer (s) reprimanded because of the lack of assistance on his part? Did the female officer that assisted followed through and submitted the report to the appropriate people, or because of the “politics” of the job was forced to “sit down and shut up” about this incident?
Not that this matters but I’m just curious, were the officers also African American?
Ya’ know a lot of times I hear us as people often criticize white GLBT people and their supposed “refusal” of not reaching out to the Black Gay Community, but I have to wonder, how well do we reach out to our own? How often do we stand up FOR EACH OTHER? How often are we as much as a voice for ourselves instead of others being a voice for us?

Darian does a great job of bringing all sides of this conversation into play and I hope that more stories come out like this in the future. We have to expose this hatred for what it is and combat it at all levels.
TOO MANY TIMES I hear our Brothas and Sistas (mainly Brothas) state the same old mantra,
“Why do ya’ll have to be so vocal about what you do”?
“Why can’t ya’ll keep it to yourselves”?
“Why do you have to let everybody know you’re Gay”?
Or the best one: “You can hide your {gayness}, but you can’t hide being black”…

This is the reason why this conversation HAS to be brought out in the open. Black Gays & Lesbians are NOT a monolithic people, we are NOT all cut from the same cloth. Our sexuality IS part of our identity and therefore should not be suppressed, hidden, cloaked, or whatever you want to classify it.

They go hand in hand - point blank.

November 20, 2009 11:15 AM


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