As we remember people of the trans community who were lost to acts of violence, we must include this fact. 82 percent of the lives lost since the beginning of 2018 were women of color.
In recent years, bloggers and news media have been careful to include more coverage regarding violence against trans people. This exposure, while informative, is frequently incomplete. Many deaths go unreported and worse, some are misgendered upon discovery. While representation for this community may be at an all-time high, they are frequently depicted as victims, killers, or villains in media. These exploitative portrayals fuel stereotypes that trans people are degenerates and influence prejudice. These prejudices manifest in the worst way.
Anti-trans acts of violence are on the rise and we have a responsibility to petition for their safety. Trans women of color face high rates of murder, homelessness, and incarceration. While access to housing, employment, and health care exists, there are no protections in place to prevent discrimination based on gender identity or expression in some states. This leaves thousands susceptible to hate crimes for which there is no requirement to report them to the FBI.
So, what can we do to be allies? We can be careful about confidentiality, “outing”, and ensure we use the proper pronouns. Respect their privacy by not asking about their surgical status. Challenge people who use anti-trans language or make jokes at their expense. We owe it to members of this community to be inclusive and they fight for equity. In the hopes that one day the conversation regarding trans lives will shift from acts of violence to their great works and contributions to society, let’s be supportive. It is only through this will the lives of those lost not be in vain.
We Support Black Queer Youth. Including Zion Wade.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union supported their son, Zion Wade, at Miami Pride and there’s something I need our community to understand — Until you value ALL Black lives, you don’t believe Black lives matter.
Growing up as the daughter of a Black man who stated he would disown me for my queerness, I celebrate the love and support Dwyane and Gabrielle shower Zion with. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and something that should be afforded to everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community indiscriminately. However, several troglodytic, backwards people believe that rather than protection, Zion deserves correction.
At 11-years-old, Zion Wade has expressed ownership of his identity. I applaud him. When I was 11, I was a victim of the same ridiculous banter all children hear. “Look at you and [random heterosexual boy], y’all are so cute together. I can’t wait until y’all grow up!” The same people who push children into heterosexual relationships without question are currently asking “How old is Zion? Isn’t he too young for this? How does he even know he’s gay?” as if queerness ebbs and flows like the tide. As if his identity comes later in life like a Pokemon evolution. The level of homophobia in the Black community during a time when we are losing more children to suicide because of their queerness and our community’s refusal to accept them is baffling.
It is difficult enough in this country to survive as a Black person without the added stress of being shunned by your own community. So many queer people find themselves without unconditional love, which results in them fleeing hostile living conditions and facing homelessness. And we have the audacity to wonder why children like Jamel Myles die by suicide at the age of 9.
If you are unable or unwilling to show up for queer Black youth, you’re just going to have to square up in 2019.
Perez Hilton Faces Harsh Criticism For Outing Son of Brunei Sultan
Following the news that the Nation of Brunei would be enacting a Sharia law policy, celebrities and LGBT advocates spoke out against the injustice. Stating that the punishment for homosexuality and adultery is death by stoning, the law prompted a boycott of nine hotels owned by the Sultan in a viral campaign. For Perez Hilton, the boycott simply wasn’t enough. In a tasteless, insensitive, and life-threatening action, the gossip blogger outed the Sultan’s son.
In a recent YouTube video, Perez Hilton alleged that the Prince Azim, who is fourth in the line of succession, is gay. Although Perez understands that the law is “tantamount to LGBT genocide,” he fails to see that his decision to out the young prince is equally dangerous. Stating “It’s so hypocritical. This guy’s son is a big flamer, and now he’s enacted a law to stone to death gay men,” Perez believed that outing Prince Azim was for “the greater good.” However, the blogger has been on the defensive as few agree with his approach.
Advocates and members of the LGBT+ community assert Perez has placed the 36-year-old royal in the line of fire for a potential honor killing. According to Matthew Woolfe, a human rights group founder, the Sultan has been working diligently in an effort to clean up the family’s reputation. Known for a lifestyle of excess and filled with several controversies this sudden adoption of Sharia Penal Code is purportedly due to his desire to create a more palatable legacy. Perez’s recent admission poses a significant threat to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s legacy, his outed son Azim, and even Perez himself.
In Harm’s Way
Before his unverified admission, Perez said the following:
“Y’all know I don’t out people anymore. I used to do that back in the day, but I’m making an exception here. I’m guessing the Sultan of Brunei doesn’t know that his son, Prince Azim, is a big old homo. I would know because I have spent time with him.”
Although Perez insists that neither he nor the Sultan’s son are in harm’s way because the law requires four Muslim witnesses, Brunei locals tell a different story. According to Shahiran S Shahrani who spoke with BBC News, queer citizens are living in fear.
“The gay community in Brunei has never been open but when Grindr came that helped people meet in secret. But now, what I’ve heard is that hardly anyone is using Grindr anymore. They’re afraid that they might talk to a police officer pretending to be gay. It hasn’t happened yet, but because of the new laws, people are afraid.”
As far as whether or not Perez is feeling remorse, outing queer people in violent environments is the hill he has chosen to die on.
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