Saturday, November 20

WHAT IS IT: Transgender Awareness Week is a time for transgender people and their allies to express themselves and their pride truly and fully, and to spread knowledge about what it means to be transgender.

WHAT IS IT: The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November each year to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people. The list of deaths available here, only contains those deaths known to the transgender community or that have been reported to the media. The Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

PURPOSE: The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance gives transgender people and their allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who’ve died by anti-transgender violence. Putting on the Day of Remembrance in schools can also be used as a way to educate students, teachers, and administrators about transgender issues, so we can try to prevent anti-transgender hatred and violence from continuing.

WHO IS BEING HONORED: Over the past year, over 30 transgender people have lost their lives due to hate crimes, but this is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg of people killed worldwide due to bias and hatred based on gender identity and expression. Most of the victims were people of color who came from working class backgrounds. Among the fallen are transgender and gender non-conforming youth of color whose lives were cut short unnecessarily.

[a note from xxboy: I considered truncating this message and just providing a link to the full list, because I knew it would be more aesthetically pleasing. but i didn’t want to make it easier to scroll through this list of people who lost their lives due to transphobia. it should be difficult and ugly and painful to see this post. Please read on.]

Gwen Araujo, 17, (Newark, California) chose the name, Gwen, after her favorite star, Gwen Stefani, from the group No Doubt. Before her untimely death, her skirt was lifted up for people to see that she was born biologically male before she was beaten and buried in a shallow grave.

Alina Marie Barragan, 19, (San Jose, California) was strangled to death and her body was stuffed in the trunk of a car after a man named Kozi Santino Scott became enraged after discovering that Alina Marie, who he originally thought was a woman, was biologically male.

Sakia Gunn, 15, (Newark, New Jersey) was a gender non-conforming lesbian who was targeted because of her gender presentation. Sakia Gunn was not like most girls in her neighborhood. She refused to wear pink even as a young child. Her mother laughs when asked if Sakia played with dolls. When they were given to her as toys, she immediately cut off their hair, she says. For as long as anyone can remember, Sakia preferred baggy jeans and a T-shirt over dresses and skirts. On a hot night in June, Sakia and her friends were returning from the Chelsea Piers in downtown Manhattan, a hangout for mostly queer youth of color, to Newark, New Jersey. When Sakia and her friends, refused the advances of a couple of men, Sakia was subsequently stabbed and passed away on the way to the hospital.

Nireah Johnson, 17, (Indianapolis, Indiana) was murdered by a man who became enraged when he discovered that Nireah, the young woman he was attracted to, was transgender. Nireah and a friend, 18-year-old Brandie Coleman, were shot in the head while sitting in a SUV.

Freddie Martinez, 16, (Cortez, Colorado) was a very striking Navajo teen who presented as female and was often harassed at school. Freddie was murdered in Cortez, Colorado.

Nikki Nicholas, 19, (Detroit, Michigan) was an African-American transwoman making her living as a performer in clubs where she often danced and lip-synched to Beyonce songs. The youngster preferred playing with Barbie dolls rather than G.I. Joes, Nicholas’ mother said, and by age 11 began experimenting with girls’ clothing and makeup. Her body was discovered during a routine property check of an abandoned farmhouse.

Stephanie Thomas, 19, and Ukea Davis, 18, (Washington, DC) were friends found shot to death together. They were a part of SMYL (Sexual Minority Youth Liaison) and were often teased for being feminine. Stephanie started wearing dresses and makeup at the age of 14. Her mother commented that “on the school bus kids tormented her, so she would get off and walk a couple miles to the school.” Through a transgender health group, Stephanie met Ukea Davis, another transgender woman. They supported one another, especially when classmates—and even teachers—harassed them about their gender identity.

Sadly, these numbers are continuing to grow. With TV shows like Jerry Springer, gender identity is trivialized as transgender and gender non-conforming people are brought on the show and bashed verbally and sometimes physically. When people watch shows like this or when we reduce people’s experiences to phrases like “he was dressed as a woman,” we trivialize gender and people’s identities.

For Gwen, Stephanie, Nikki, and other transgender teenagers, public school is usually not a safe place for them to express their gender. In addition, if they come from school districts that are underfunded, there will not be any funds to have teacher trainings and programs that address diversity, especially gender identity. Very few states have laws that protect transgender and gender non-conforming students’ rights.

Tarayon Corbitt
On August 10, 1995, in Dale County, AL, Tarayon Corbitt (19), a transgender woman, was found dead – shot twice in the head and once in the chest. Her murder remains unsolved.

Ashley Nickson
On May 1, 2005, in Dothan, AL, Ashley Nickson (30), an African-American transgender woman, was shot three times in her home by Steven Kyles (19) following a sexual encounter. Kyles, who had a history of violence, had been released from jail for an unrelated shooting just days earlier.

Jerrell Williams
In November 1997 in Mobile, AL, Jerrell Williams (19), an African-American cross-dresser, was stabbed and had his throat slashed. His assailant, Tavares Forrest, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years.

Delilah Corrales
On May 6, 2005, in Yuma, AZ, Delilah Corrales (23), a transgender Latina woman, was found stabbed, severely beaten, and drowned in the Colorado River. Her murder remains unsolved.

Alejandro Lucero
On March 3, 2002, in Phoenix, AZ, Alejandro Lucero (25), a transgender Hopi woman, was strangled and beaten to death. Police ruled the murder a hate crime, but her case remains unsolved.

Gwen Araujo
On October 3, 2002, in Newark, CA, Gwen Araujo (17), a Latina transgender teen, was beaten and strangled to death by recent acquaintances who learned she was biologically male. Michael Magidson (25) and José Merél (25) were convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 15 years-to-life in prison. Jaron Nabors (22) was sentenced to 11 years in prison pursuant to a plea agreement. Jason Cazares plead no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was snetenced to six years in prison. Michael Magidson, 25, Jaron Nabors, 22, José Merél, 25

On January 19, 2000, in San Jose, CA, the body of Alina Marie Barragan (19), a transgender Latina woman, was found strangled to death following a sexual encounter in which her assailant learned she was biologically male. Kozi Santino Scott (21) was convicted and sentenced to 15 years to life.

Chanel Chandler
On September 28, 1998, in Clovis, CA, Chanel Chandler (22), an African-American transgender woman, was found with her throat cut from a beer bottle in her apartment, which had been set on fire in what police called an attempt to destroy evidence. Christopher Lopez and Christopher Chavez werecharged with Chanel’s murder but were released in 1999 after the charges were dropped.

Sindy Cuarda
On September 30, 2003, in San Pablo, CA, Sindy Cuarda (24), a transgender Latina woman, was killed with multiple gunshots to her upper body. Her murder remains unsolved.

Feliciano Moreno
On December 26, 2004, in Los Angeles, CA, Feliciano Moreno (25), a Latina transgender woman
was shot in the head and dumped in a cul-de-sac. She had been involved in sex-work. Patrick
Vallor (29), the primary suspect, was killed by police after he lead them on a high-speed chase.

James Rivers
In December 1995 in Oakland, CA, James Percy Rivers (23), an African-American transgender
woman, was stabbed and beaten to death in her apartment. Her murder remains unsolved.

Joel Robles
On August 15, 2004, in Fresno, CA, Joel Robles (29), a Latina transgender woman, was stabbed
20 times after a sexual partner discovered she was biologically male. Estanislao Martinez (23)
pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Fred Martinez
On June 16, 2001, in Cortez, CO, Fred Martinez (16), a Two-Spirit Navajo teen, was bludgeoned to death on the edge of town as he walked home. Shaun Murphy (18) pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

On May 9, 2003 in New Haven, CT, Jessica Mercado (24), a transgender Latina who was involved in sex-work, suffered multiple stab wounds before her apartment was set on fire. Michael Streater (30) pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and arson; he
was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Robert H. Jones
On October 15, 1997, in New Castle, DE, Robert H. Jones (30), a transgender woman, was
stabbed to death. Jones was attacked in her car after her assailant learned she was biologically
male. Ronald Taltoan plead guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to a prison term of 10 years.

Deasha Andrews
On August 8, 2002, in Jacksonville, FL„ Deasha Andrews (28), an African-American transgender woman, was found shot to death in her car. Her murder remains unsolved.

Cinnamon Broadus
In January 2003 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Cinnamon Broadus (21) a transgender woman was shot
and died while running from her assailants. Her murder remains unsolved.

Allison Decatrel
On October 31, 1999, in Iverness, FL, Allison Decatrel (17), was fatally hit by a car. Allison had been trick-or-treating with her friends, who were all dressed in clothes of the opposite sex, when her assailant made derogatory comments about their costumes. Richard Burzynski (18) was sentenced to a prison term of 45 years.

Reshae McCauley
On December 13, 2003, in Largo, FL, Reshae McCauley (30), a cross-dresser, was fatally stabbed at home. McCauley was last seen with William McHenry (34) at a club that caters to the LGBT community. McHenry, whose blood-spattered clothing was found in the victim’s apartment, was sentenced to life in prison.

Robert Martin
On January 7, 2001, in Ashburn, GA, Robert Martin (29), an African-American crossdresser, was
found severely beaten in an abandoned school-yard. He was still wearing a feminine wig. Martin
was in a coma three months before dying. His murder remains unsolved.

Quincy Taylor
In October 1995 in Atlanta, GA, Quincy Favors Taylor (16), an African-American cross-dresser,
was fatally shot once in the chest in a parking lot. His murder remains unsolved.

Sidney Wright
On June 18, 2005, in Chicago, IL, Sidney Wright (26), an African-American transgender woman,
was punched and stabbed to death by Michael Majors (25) following an argument about Wright’s
sexual orientation. Majors was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Christian Paige
On March 22, 1996, in Chicago, IL, Christian Paige (22), a transgender woman, was beaten, strangled, and then stabbed with a knife more than 20 times. Her apartment was then set afire, possibly to destroy evidence. Her murder remains unsolved.

Brandie Coleman
On July 23, 2003 in Indianapolis, IN, Brandie Coleman (18), an African-American woman, was
found in a car with a transgender friend, Nireah Johnson. Both were bound and shot to death. Their car had been set afire, possibly to destroy evidence. Paul Anthony Moore (20) was convicted and sentenced to 120 years in prison in 2004.

Nireah Johnson
On July 23, 2003, in Indianapolis, IN, Nireah Johnson (17), an African-American transgender woman, was found in a car with a friend, Brandie Coleman. Both had been bound and shot to death by a sexual partner who learned that she was biologically male. Paul Anthony Moore (20) was convicted of murder, criminal confinement and arson, and sentenced to 120 years in 2004.

Timothy Blair, Jr.
On May 22, 2005 in Louisville, KY, Timothy Blair, Jr. (22), an African-American cross-dresser, was found shot multiple times while wearing feminine attire. His murder remains unsolved.

Chanelle Pickett
In November 1995 in Boston, MA, Chanelle Pickett (23), a transgender woman, was beaten to death by her date after he discovered she was biologically male. In 1997, William Palmer was convicted of assault and battery, which carried a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years.

Tamyra Michaels
On December 14, 2002, in Highland Park, MI, Tamyra Michaels (26), a transgender woman, was
shot. Her murder remains unsolved.

Nikki Nicholas
On February 21, 2003, in Green Oak Township, MI, Nikki Nicholas (19), an African-American transgender woman, was shot to death in an abandoned farmhouse. The case remains unsolved.

New Jersey
Sakia Gunn
On May 11, 2003 in Newark, NJ, Sakia Gunn (15), an African-American lesbian, was stabbed to death while waiting at a bus stop with friends. Richard McCullough, whose advances had been rejected by the group of friends, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter, aggravated assault, and bias intimidation and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Kareem Washington
On August 29, 1999, in Passaic, NJ, Kareem Washington (21), an African-American cross-dresser,
died from stab wounds in the back and neck. The body had been left in an industrial area of the town and police believed the assault may have been sex-work related. His murder remains unsolved.

New Mexico
Ryan Hoskie
On December 27, 2004, in Albuquerque, NM, Ryan Hoskie (23), an African-American transgender
woman involved in sex work, was found dead in an alley. Her body showed signs of upper
body trauma. Her murder remains unsolved.

New York
Amanda Milan
On June 20, 2000, in New York, NY, Amanda Millan (25), an African-American transgender woman who was involved in sex-work, was stabbed to death. According to witnesses, Amanda’s throat was slashed after she was verbally harassed about her biological sex. Dwayne McCuller (20) pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 17 1/2 years to life.

Dion Webster
In November 1996 in New York, NY, Dion Webster (21), African-American and transgender, was
killed by multiple stabs to the head with a knife. Webster had been involved in sex work, and was
believed to be killed by a client. Her murder remains unsolved.

Chareka Keys
On September 27, 1999, in Cleveland, OH, Chareka Keys (19), an African-American transgender woman, was found beaten to death in an abandoned factory. Police ruled out robbery as a motive; her murder remains unsolved.

Donathyn Rodgers
On November 15, 2005, in Cleveland, OH, Donathyn Rodgers (19), an African-American transgender woman, died from gun shots to the face, back, shoulder, and thigh. The shooting an abandoned gas station was suspected to be sex-work related. Her murder remains unsolved.

Jacqueline Anderson
In February 1998 in Portland, OR, Jacqueline Julita Anderson (29), a bearded woman, was shot to death by the ex-boyfriend of her partner. Eric Running (47) was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to death.

Loni Kai Okaruru
On August 26, 2001, in Hillsboro, OR, the body of Loni Kai Okaruru (28), an Asian/Pacific-Islander crossdresser, was found dead in a field. Her head had been severely and repeatedly beaten. Loni Kai was wearing feminine attire at the time of the murder. Her murder remains unsolved.

Bibi Barajas
In January 2002 in Houston, TX, Bibi Barajas (27), a transgender woman who had been involved in sex work, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds to her neck, arm and chest. Her murder remains unsolved.

Arlene Diaz
In April 2002 in El Paso, TX, Arlene Diaz (28), a transgender Latina, was killed by a single gunshot. Police classified the murder as a hate crime. The alleged assailant, Justen Hall (20), was charged with murder but sentenced to death on an unrelated murder charge before prosecution.

Michael Hurd
On June 18, 2003, in Houston, TX, Michael Hurd, a 23-year-old crossdresser was shot to death in
his car. Michael was found wearing a wig, make-up, and feminine attire. His murder remains unsolved.

Francisco Luna
On March 4, 2001, in Houston, TX, Francisco Luna (29), a transgender Latina woman, was shot
multiple times in the face, stomach and shoulder. Her case remains unsolved.

Lauryn Paige
On January 8, 1999, in Austin, TX, Lauryn Paige (19), a transgender woman, was found dead – she had been stabbed with a knife more than 60 times and her throat cut so deeply that she was almost decapitated. Camaliel Coria (28) was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Christina Smith
On October 12, 2005, in Houston, TX, Christina Smith (20), a transgender woman was found
shot in the head on the front patio of her apartment. Her murder remains unsolved.

Washington, D.C.
Bella Evangelista
On August 16, 2003, in Washington, D. C., Bella Evangelista (25), a transgender Latina woman, was shot to death. Antoine Jacobs (22) confessed and was convicted of second-degree murder; he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Ukea Davis
In the early morning of August 12, 2002, in Washington, D. C., Ukea Davis (18) an African-American transgender woman, was killed with her friend Stephanie Thomas (also transgender) in a hail of automatic gun-fire from a passing car. Their assailant then returned on foot, walked up to their car, and fired another burst of more than 20 bullets into their dead bodies. Her murder remains unsolved. The two girls had been bullied so severely at school that they feared returning and had recently dropped out.

Tyra Henderson
On April 23, 2000, in Washington, D. C., Tyra Henderson (22), an African-American transgender woman involved in sex work was found bludgeoned to death. Her murder remains unsolved.

Tyra Hunter
On August 7, 1995, in Washington, D. C., Tyra Hunter (24), an African-American transgender woman, was critically injured in a car accident. According to witnesses, the emergency medical technician stopped working on her for two to five critical minutes to laugh with his partner after discovering that she had male genitalia. Tyra died as a result of her injuries.

Emonie Spaulding
On August 21, 2003, in Washington D. C., Emonie Kiera Spaulding (25), an African-American transgender sex worker, was shot and killed after her assailant learned that she was biologically male. Derrick A. Lewis (23) pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Stephanie Thomas
On August 12, 2002, in Washington D. C., Stephanie Thomas (19), an African-American transgender woman, was killed with her friend Ukea Davis (also transgender) only a block from her home in a hail of automatic gun-fire from a passing car. Their assailant then returned on foot, walked up to their car, and fired another burst of more than 20 bullets into their dead bodies. Her murder remains unsolved. The two girls had been bullied so severely at school that they feared returning and had recently dropped out. Their murders remain unsolved.

Imani Williams
On August, 21, 2003, in Washington, D.C., Imani Williams (24), an African-American transgender woman, was found beaten and shot to death. Her murder remains unsolved.

Brandon Teena
On December 31, 1993, in Humboldt, Nebraska, Brandon Teena, a trans man, was brutally raped and murdered by John L. Lotter and Marvin Thomas “Tom” Nissen, who he thought were his friends. He was raped and murdered when they found out that he was genetically female.

Please participate in TDOR this week… in honor of all those who have died just for living honestly. And as a message of support to all of those struggling - and as a message that we will not stand for hate and violence against trans people. Community is a beautiful and powerful thing.

(Source: damnitdisney, via transinspirations)

"I wish we didn’t need a day of remembrance. I think a lot of people in the trans community feel the same way. Violence against people who are trans is so prevalent and it’s such an issue that we lose just hundreds of trans people across the world every year to violence. This is our chance to come and remember these people and mourn their loss. But even more importantly, it’s a time for us to be able to come together and let each other know that we’re not alone, we’re not the only people going through these things, and try and gain some sort of strength from a tragedy as large as this."

Q: Why do we need a Transgender Day of Remembrance?

(via TRANSPRIDE: Misconceptions, answers about transgendered people)

(Source:, via transpride)

No one has been more gravely disappointed and, at times livid, with the practically non-existent record of President Obama on LGBT equal rights. Over and over again I have held this administration’s feet to the fire in an effort to force them to move forward in our struggle for freedom. As we all know by now, those pleas often have fallen on deaf ears. Our disappointment, anger and frustration is totally justified.

What is not justified is to allow those emotions to intrude on our ability to be intelligent voters this election day. We cannot and should not shoot ourselves in the collective foot because of the administration’s actions.

Why is it important to vote? Let’s get right down to it: If the House and Senate fall into Republican Tea Party hands on November 2nd, the LGBT community will be facing the most hostile United States Congress in our history. The election of these bonafide Teabagging wing-nuts could cause chaos, fear and intimidation in our political process. Their ascendancy to power would validate some truly dark and despicable forces operating in American politics. If we think it is hard to achieve equal rights now just try and do it in a Tea Party dominated Congress.

Simply put, our political and government process could end up in chaos, anger, violence and the legitimizing of bigotry against LGBT people in American politics. You think I might be exaggerating? Well, then guess again because all over the country we have seen time and time again this election season the most extreme positions, unheard-of actions and uninformed incitement to overthrow the government. These incidents have not been isolated - they have been rabidly, almost incoherently widespread.

The more prominent ones feature the literal call to arms by Sharron Angle in Nevada, the numbing idiocy of Ken Buck of Colorado’s stance on LGBT issues, the handcuffing of a reporter by the black suited, sunglass wearing staff of Alaska’s Joe Miller or the dragging to the ground of a MoveOn worker in Kentucky and then stomping on her head by the supporters of Rand Paul. The list does stop here. The tragic fact is that I can go on and on reciting devastating positions of Tea Party candidates and the mindless and mean-spirited rhetoric they employ daily that validates violence.

Believe me the America they advocate does not include us as full citizens.

Don’t get me wrong. My faith in the Democrats has not been reborn - however there are many, many allies of the LGBT community who support full equality, including marriage equality, who are in tight races on the ballot. For us to punish them by staying home is inconceivable to me. Why in the world would we abandon our real friends in a time of need?

If you need to skip a vote for a Blue Dog Democrat then just cast a protest vote by electing those who are good for not only our community but for our nation.

This year voting is about protecting sanity in American politics. The last thing you should do is play games with this election by stay home. Unacceptable. Untenable. And unbelievably scary.

Tags: activism

"Unfortunately the larger problem here is that the word “tra**y” has become an easy punch line in popular culture, and many still don’t realize that using the term is hurtful, dehumanizing and associated with violence, hatred and derision against transgender people- a community that is nearly invisible in media today."

Glee Episode Hits The Wrong Note |

So I have talked to a lot of people within and outside of the trans community about the word “tranny.” I like to joke around and call myself a tranny sometimes, and I have been called out by other trans masculine guys, saying that it is not really my slur to reclaim, as it was used against trans women. And I have called out some cis friends who used the term offensively - i.e. “she looked like a tranny” and explained to them why it is offensive.

I was alarmed to read that it was used as a slur so casually without any discussion in Glee.

And this quote from GLAAD’s blog sums up why I have decided to stop using the word at all, even when referring to myself. 

"For hard-core political junkies in the LGBT community, there’s a lot to worry about in the November 2 voting—and not just because there’s the possibility of Republicans taking over the U.S. House and Senate. A number of races around the country could have significant impact on both the climate and the landscape for LGBT civil rights nationally."

13 races to worry about Nov. 2 | Keen News Service


also read these for more info:

Tags: activism

So you are a member of the transgender community (SOFFA included) and you are at least 18? WELL GET OUT TO THE POLLS

November 2nd is election day in the United States and as a member of a historically-disenfranchised group, there is little to no reason to not go to the polls and make your voices heard.

In terms of trans rights, the best way to ensure that this country is moving in a progressive direction is to make sure our elected officials are supporting legislature that explicitly include gender identity and expression in anti-discrimination laws. We need to make sure that they are supporting LGBTQ rights in all of their political moves, because even queer issues that may not affect transgender people directly, do affect the political and social climate for all queer issues and people, and thus impact our well-being, safety, security, etc.

Now, voting as a trans person is often not as simple as voting as a cis person, because it’s an issue of proof of identity, name changes, gender marker changes, not looking like yr photo, etc. The awesome National Center for Transgender Equality, wrote up a handy guide to “Overcoming Voting Obstacles”. It opens with the advice, DO NOT LET ANYONE REFUSE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.

Wondering who/what to vote for? I’ve found some LGBTQ voter resources that include endorsements and such. Do yr own research if you can, because some of these endorsements are from groups like the HRC who do not always keep trans rights top priority.

And If you needed a reminder, I got this from HRC’s site:

 Why should I cast a vote for equality this Election Day?

You can either write your own reason, or use one of our suggestions. If you select ‘use a random message,’ one of the following will be used:

SO GET OUT THERE TOMORROW AND HAVE TRANS (AND ALLIES) VOICES HEARD. This is not an election to take lightly and you voting or not actually does make a difference.