LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — By guest writer Michelle Rose.
Well, I’ve been assaulted five times. Does that count?
1) Spat on (by a sweet little old lady who looked like someone’s favorite granny).
2) Elbowed in the head while disembarking from a city bus (essentially a sucker punch that knocked me to the pavement and if it hadn’t been for some sharp-eyed folks at the bus stop who pulled me out of the gutter and onto the sidewalk, that 20 ton bus would have rolled right over my dazed skull).
3) Punched in the back by a young gang girl who wanted to prove something to her fellow gang members—”earning her stripes” is the correct phrase, I believe.
4) Had a cupful of icy Pepsi thrown on me by another gang girl who then showed me a rather impressive knife and hinted, strongly, that she was going to summarily remove my genitalia and,
5) Was knocked to the ground by a young white male, college-age, who kicked me in the head as he leaped over me (his aim was poor and he was in a hurry. He grazed my ear and tore off my earring. Never found it, darn it) which resulted in bruised ribs and a blown knee. I limped for a week and climbing stairs was out of the question.
But ya know what? I’m lucky. Maybe I should put that in all-caps: I’M LUCKY. Know why? I’m alive to tell the tale. Some of us—over four thousand at last count—aren’t so lucky. They end up as a corpse on a slab with the coroner telling the homicide detectives, “Gentlemen, the deceased was NOT a woman! It was a man with a sex change!” Nods all around, they go for coffee, cut to commercial.
So who will speak for the dead woman on the slab when the last son-of-bitch to see her outside of a coffin takes away everything she’s worked for her whole life?
Me. You. Anyone who gives a damn about human life, that’s who. I’m lucky. I’m alive. In contrast, the equivalent of a whole city full of my sisters was murdered.
THAT’S the worst kind of transphobia.
(Michelle Rose is the co-author of the Lambda nominated book “The Color of Sunlight” and is an associate English instructor at a major American university. This article was previously published elsewhere.)
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