South Africa: Gay Trans Activist Thapelo Makutle, Victim Of Hate Crime
A young gay South African was murdered last week in the Northern Cape after getting into an argument with two men about his sexuality and gender.
Thapelo Makutle [pictured], a drag performer who may have identified as trans, was found in his apartment with his throat slashed. A volunteer with LGBT rights group Legbo Northern Capetown, he was seen being harassed earlier that night by two men at a nightclub. Witnesses say they saw the duo follow the victim home when he left at 1am.
Friend Moisama Boyang called Makutle “fun-loving and outgoing.”
In what may have been a hate crime, a Bay Area transgender woman was shot to death in her car last weekend in Oakland. Brandy Martell, 37, had worked for a local transgender services organization.
Another transgender woman and friend of Martell’s—who wants to keep her identity private—was in the back seat of the car. According to this witness, she, Martell and two other transgender women had been socializing in the parked vehicle for several hours. Around 3 am, two men approached the car and chatted with the women briefly, the witness said. Martell and the other women told the men they were transgendered, and after a seemingly cordial conversation, the men walked off, said the witness. Two hours later, the men reappeared, and one of them stuck the barrel of an automatic weapon into the crack of Martell’s window, according to the witness. According to her, the man shot Martell in the side, and the other women fled as Martell tried to drive away. Martell made it only as far as the intersection before her wounds stopped her. The gunman fired multiple shots into the car, two of which struck Martell, the witness said. The shooter and the other man got away on foot.
One Anchorage is demanding that the opposition pull an insulting anti-transgender commercial.
In the ad, a cartoon “transvestite” who wants to work at a day care is drawn as a man with a jutting jaw and body hair, wearing a short pink dress, red high heels and lipstick. If Prop. 5 passes, the narrator of the ad says, “it will be illegal for Carol to refuse a job to a transvestite who wants to work with toddlers.” That imagery is an “offensive, stigmatizing and distorted” representation of a transgender person, said Trevor Storrs, a spokesman for the One Anchorage campaign. Transgender people are twice as likely as the general population to be assaulted, Storrs said, and the imagery in the ad “is definitely fanning the flames of fear that can lead to hate and violence.”
News that an 11 year old trans girl in Berlin, Germany, is about to be committed to a mental institution by local authorities – following intervention by her absent father – has prompted grave concern by the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO). A petition has also been started on change.org. According to a statement released by IGLYO yesterday, the girl, elsewhere identified only as “Alex” (Alexandra) lives with her mother, who supports her gender expression. However, the girl’s father, divorced and separated from her mother, strongly rejects this view of his daughter’s gender identity and wants to force her to grow up as a boy. If all else fails, there is a real and present possibility that pressure from her father, supported by the Youth Welfare Office in Berlin, means that Alex will shortly be confined in a closed ward of a psychiatric institution to ensure that “he” returns to “normality”. This is despite the fact that Alex claims, in an interview published earlier this month in online lifestyle magazine taz.de, that she has identified as female for as long as she can remember. She is accepted as female at school, and has been registered as such from her earliest days there. This led to conflict with her father, who insisted on calling her “Alexander” and forcing her to wear boy’s clothes. When Alex reacted negatively, he accused her of being badly behaved. Her parents split over the matter of Alex’s gender. Now, with puberty fast approaching – and Alex claiming she would rather die than go through the changes it is likely to bring about – her father has besieged the Youth Office with written submissions. His motives are unclear: what is clear is that the child has not been examined by independent experts – but a new member of staff in the Berlin Youth Office believes him and claims that the correct response to Alex’s suicide threats if she does not receive treatment for gender dysphoria is for her to be committed to a mental institution. Alex should be encouraged to identify with male role models and to follow male pursuits: female preferences would be discouraged. Thereafter, according to a proposal that has shocked Professor Udo Rauchfleisch, a recognized expert in the care and treatment of transsexuality with the University of Basel, she should be separated from her mother and placed with foster parents. There are clear similarities between this and approaches adopted by John Money in respect of David Reimer and David Rekers with Kirk Murphy: both cases ended badly with the subsequent suicide of the individuals – Reimer and Murphy – who were the target of this reparative therapy. This is echoed by a statement from IGLYO. They write: “The board of IGLYO strongly advocates the rights of transgender youth and are concerned with the institutionalization of this happy and healthy child. We would like to highlight the endangerment of forced “therapy” to make children fit into the gender roles the society thinks are right for them. IGLYO follows the wealth of research that shows that reparative therapy regarding sexual orientation or gender identity can be seriously harmful to the child. “The Board of IGLYO declares our solidarity with the girl and her mother. Moreover, we ask the authorities of Berlin to intervene with the actions of the Youth Welfare Office and stop the removal of the child from her mother. We find it extremely irresponsible and unacceptable to remove any child from a loving and supportive home without thorough research and consultation with experts. “In line with international human rights standards, IGLYO advocates for the best interests of the child. The institutionalization of this child violates many human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights.” The case is now being referred upward to Germany’s supreme court.
TENNESSEE: State Rep. Richard Floyd Threatens Trans Women With Violence
The Huffington Post reports:
On Jan. 12 Tennessee State Representative Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) said he would “stomp a mudhole” into any transgender woman he saw attempting to use a women’s restroom. That phrase means to sexually and violently assault someone to the point where they are unable to fight back. So far, Rep. Floyd’s comments have been largely ignored and unchallenged by the mainstream media. How could something so incredibly outrageous and disgusting go unreported? We are living in a world in which transgender people face extremely high rates of violence and discrimination. Every year I attend the Transgender Day of Remembrance and hear a new list of names of trans people who have been murdered. And, sadly, in my workplace, I hear stories of violence and discrimination on a regular basis. Rep. Floyd’s hateful remarks validate people’s misconceptions about transgender people and incite violence against anyone who is gender-nonconforming. My heart goes out to all of the Tennesseans who are subjected to this kind of violent language and discrimination. Tennessee, I think about you every day, and I’ve been talking to my friends and family about how your lawmakers are attacking you and your families. So many of you are standing strong in the face of recent threats like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the“Permission to Bully” bill, and, most recently, the “Police the Potty” bill. Your legislators are talking about beating up transgender women and calling gay people perverted predators. Still, you go about your life like everyone else. Every LGBT person, especially LGBT youth, in Tennessee right now is a hero in my eyes. One such hero is Marisa Richmond of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC), who has been giving voice to the transgender community and tirelessly advocating for the rights of all Tennesseans for years. When she isn’t organizing in local communities or planning events, she’s right there in the statehouse meeting with legislators who will talk to her about equality. Now is the time for all of us who are allies to the transgender community to come out proudly and support all the work groups like TTPC and Transgender Law Center do to create a world that treats transgender people and their families with dignity and respect. We will not have a society free from violence until we dismantle rigid gender norms and stereotypes.
So, can Dan Savage be put in the same category as this son of a bitch? No, I don’t fucking think so.
A man has been taken into custody in Istanbul after allegedly confessing to killing a sex worker because she was transgender. Transgender Europe is reporting that the murder took place Sunday, after the suspect hooked up with the victim via Facebook and agreed to pay her for sex. When the man, who is reportedly a fugitive, found out she was transgender, he killed her. The victim’s screams alerted police and the suspect was taken into custody. According to the article, the man told police, “I thought that she was a woman, but she was a travesti. After learning this, I killed her.” Read the article here.
Railway Police Arrest 212 Indian Transgender People
The Advocate reports:
Military police charged with protecting India’s South Central Railway arrested 212 transgender people in Hyderabad last month, according to IBN Live. “In order to eradicate the alleged menace of eunuch, the security department of SCR conducted 564 drives during June at the sections where presence of eunuchs was reported,” says the story. The Indian word for transgender, “hijra,” is often translated into English as “eunuch.” Among those arrested, charges were reportedly filed against 201 people. While trials of 26 are still pending, 11 have been sentenced to imprisonment, and nearly 35,000 Indian rupees have been collected in fines. Read the full article here.
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