It sucks to be a buzzkill and talk about violence and murder instead of dating, sex and love. But when the women you love are vulnerable, it’s good to be informed a act as an active ally.
This past week, the news held several tragic stories about transgender women who were murdered.
Two trans women were beaten to death in Saudi Arabia by police; transgender women are viewed as gay men, and under sharia law, that’s punishable by death. Much closer to home, two trans women were killed in New Orleans over Mardi Gras—one was stabbed, the other was shot ten times.
Transgender victim stats are confusing.
There were twenty-six known transgender murder victims last year in the US. With around fourteen thousand murder victims a year, some argue that there is no “epidemic” against trans women. Activism shouldn’t depend on how many but on right and wrong. People I love are trans, and others are cis men or women. One loss is too many.
Trans women are vulnerable.
Just like cis women, trans women are vulnerable to sexual violence, to rape, and to murder. Even though I take care of myself, I have no problem with good men being protective of me. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for women and being protective when there is danger in the air.
Drive or walk her home.
Even though your transgender girlfriends come and go every day without your help, it can’t hurt to make her feel safe when you’re together. If you put her into a taxi or Uber, make a show of taking a picture of the license plate. Knowing someone is keeping track of her can deter violent impulses.
Stand up for trans people.
Speak up when you hear men acting out about trans women. Just as you wouldn’t tolerate rape jokes from the men on your softball team, when you hear guys speak boorishly about transgender people, let them know that real men respect all women.
Whether you’re at work, play, the swingers’ club or the family reunion, it’s okay to express your support for all women. Treating your trans date like a lady when you’re out on a date sets a good example for everyone.
Stand up for sex workers.
An overlooked area important to all women’s well being is making the sex-work field safe from discrimination and from laws that harm workers and good clients, and from dangerous men.
Laws and social mores are changing, and it’s no longer acceptable to discriminate against sex workers or to blame them for the danger they are in. Good people stand for security and health services that protect sex workers.
No one should go to prison for selling or for using sex-work services. Because trans women are often jailed as men, they’re placed in the line of fire for rape and violence. This sadistic punishment should not be a crime in the first place.
Keep up with cultural trends and the news so that you have an idea what’s welcoming and what’s threatening. Notice where trans women are welcomed or not, and support those places that are positive and caring.
How do advocate for trans women?