TW: Anti-LGBT violence, murder, suicide, transphobia, harassment, threats.
So I haven’t been keeping with this blog as much as I’d have liked to since the Week of Action. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with it for a while – I didn’t want it to be totally inactive between events, but I had no idea what direction I should take it during the off-months. I’ve thought about letting it have a broader purpose for that time – a general activism blog, updated with stories of interest from around the country as well as the things I’m doing and ways you can take action throughout the year – which is probably what I will end up doing. It will remain the Week of Action Movement in name, but in between events, it will have a larger purpose.
Did you know that anti-LGBT murders have been increasing for three years? And that 2011 had the highest number of these murders ever recorded by the NCAVP? I didn’t. And though I can’t say I was entirely in disbelief, I was disheartened. These numbers don’t get any better when you look more closely at them – 87% of the victims were people of color, and 45% were trans women. Action? We need it. This is awful. In the year 2012 alone, I have already counted six murders and six suicides – and there are probably many others I didn’t hear about. You may recognize some of them from the Week of Action 2012:
Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. – Age 14. Gay. Committed suicide. He took his own life after being bullied, receiving death threats.
Coko Williams – Age 35. Trans. Murdered. Her throat was slit and she was shot at least once.
Brandy Martell – Age 37. Trans. Murdered. She was gunned down, shot multiple times in her car.
Paige Clay – Age 23. Trans. Murdered. She was shot in the head and left in an alley.
Agnes Torres Hernandez – Age 28. Trans. Murdered. She was an activist, found burned with her throat slit.
Thapelo Makutle – Age 23. Gay, trans. Murdered. He was found mutilated, nearly beheaded, just last week.
Jadon Higganbothan – Age 4. Murdered. Shot because the man he lived with suspected he was gay.
Brandon Elizares – Age 16. Gay. Committed suicide. He took his own life after being bullied, receiving death threats.
Eric James Borges – Age 19. Gay. Committed suicide. He was an activist who took his own life after enduring bullying, assault, and ostracism – some of which was perpetrated by his own parents.
Jack Reese – Age 17. Gay. Committed suicide. Some believe he took his own life due to anti-gay bullying, but details are scarce.
Phillip Parker – Age 14. Gay. Committed suicide. He took his own life after being bullied and assaulted.
Jeffrey Fehr – Age 18. Gay. Committed suicide. He was depressed; his parents believe his depression was caused by years of anti-gay bullying.
There has been a spate of outrage-inducing events in the US lately that involve the LGBT community. Here are some stories of interest that would be worth your time to look into:
-CeCe McDonald is a young black trans woman who has been charged with manslaughter following an attack in which she was physically and verbally assaulted. The state has decided to sentence this woman to three more years of violence and assault by assigning her to a male prison. There’s a petition going to free her here: http://www.change.org/petitions/free-cece-we-re-looking-at-you-michael-freeman-drop-the-charges-against-cece-mcdonald. You can read about her at these links: http://www.transadvocate.com/have-you-heard-about-cece-mcdonald.htm and http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2012/06/11/cece-mcdonald-prison-confinement-raises-question. If anyone knows of any current events or actions going on in support of CeCe, I would love to hear them.
-A 14-year-old New York teen by the name of Kardin Ulysse was blinded by a pair of seventh graders who harrassed and beat him, shouting anti-gay slurs. His doctors have said he will need to have a transplant. His family plans to sue the city for $16 million for failling to properly supervise the students. Read their story here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-family-sue-city-son-blinded-bullies-brutal-assault-roy-h-mann-junior-high-school-article-1.1098129.
-One Arizona family is living in fear following being repeated targets of what they are calling domestic terrorism (which includes terrorizing their children, one of whom is disabled); they also don’t believe the police are taking the crimes seriously. They believe strongly that they are being targeted for being a gay couple. Their story here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/31/gay-arizona-dads-targeted-with-domestic-terrorism/#.T8wjkXiUVA4.facebook.