Saturday, November 23, 2013

TDoR and Personal Security

On occasion other issues in the news take away from the transgender community's greatest problem- death by our own hands and by others. Let's take a moment and remember this week commemorated The Transgender Day of Remembrance.

(TDOR) has become a global event held around this week each November to memorialize those who have been killed through anti-transgender violence. Since its emotional inception by Gwendolyn Ann Smith following the still unsolved murder of Rita Hester in November 1998, communities, allies and people of faith gather, often by candlelight, in solemn remembrance to read the names of those lost over the past twelve months.

What saddens and even terrifies me are the number of people in the world who think somehow transgender women and men are subhuman and disposable.

Every so often, I write a Cyrsti's Condo post containing personal security warnings for all of us.

As we transition from MtF, we do lose male privilege especially in the areas of personal security.  I have heard from a couple of Condo readers they never had male privilege to start with.  For as long as they can remember they have been bullied and abused as a man. For many more of us though, that is simply not true. I know in my case, I feel much more comfortable alone in most all public situations as a man than as a woman. More specifically, going to my car alone in a dark parking lot. In fact I don't even consider it as a woman.

Early in my transition, I held the view that somehow victims of violence or rape (Transgender or Genetic) were just in the wrong place at the wrong time-until I found myself in similar situations before I learned how dangerous this game could be.

I was lucky and removed myself from the problems before anything happened.  What I did learn was how quickly dangerous situations can threaten you as a woman.  I quickly became proactive and became extra careful where I parked and suddenly I began to notice single guys around me. Slowly and surely I developed an extra sense of where I was in relation to the world.

I know many trans women who aren't shy about taking security to a higher level by going through concealed carry weapons courses and the like. In my case I would be afraid I would shoot myself first but I understand why others would carry a weapon.

For all of us though,  TDoR needs to be a time of remembrance and a time to band together as a group for our own protection.

Finally, all you new transtioners please never take your security as a women for granted.  Chances are there could be someone watching you who isn't taking it for granted either.

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