Attacks on Transgender Individuals

Jennifer Burke over at Transcending Gender posted two entries exposing violence against trans people.

Quoting a Houston Voice piece entitled, Vatican slams free hormone treatments for transgender people, Jennifer shares,

The Vatican’s official newspaper criticized the government of Italy’s Tuscany region June 9 for providing free hormone treatments for people transitioning . . . . A U.S. transgender advocacy group condemned the newspaper’s comments. “The Vatican’s criticism is a glaring example of the widespread ignorance surrounding the health care needs of transgender people,” said Simon Aronoff, deputy director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Jennifer also speaks about protests in New Zealand held outside the Portuguese Consulate in Wellington and attended by Transgender MP Gorgina Beyer. Agender, a transgender support and advocacy group organized the event ” to demand action by the Portuguese government over the brutal torture and murder of Gisberta, a transgender street worker in Porto, Portugal in February this year.”

Jennifer shares resposts from some details of Gisberta’s brutal slaying.

Gisberta, who was homeless and HIV positive was found at the bottom of a water-filled pit at an abandoned building site, dumped there by 14 boys who had systematically tortured and raped her over a three-day period. The boys, aged between 10 and 16 were, with the exception of the eldest, given suspended sentences and returned to their Catholic care institution.

The system in Portugal sees Gisberta as less than human as evidenced by the slap on the wrist to the boys who acted so inhumanly.

Closer to my home, I heard via a myspace friend Uchenna about the physical assault and hate crime of singer Kevin Aviance, “one of New York’s most influential transvestite, drag, and transgendered performers”. According to,

Aviance, 38, whose songs have topped the Billboard dance chart, was attacked late Saturday as he left a Manhattan gay bar. According to New York City police, the singer was kicked by four youths who called him “faggot.”

Police charged the four aged 16 to 20 with hate crime assault and hate crime harassment. They were being held pending arraignment today.

NY1 states that the singer will be released today with has a broken jaw that’s wired shut.

That two of the three crimes were initially perpetrated by very young men disturbs and saddens me all the more. They too become victims of anti-LGBT violence in society today. Of course institutionalized hate against trans folks occurs like the recent actions of the Vatican and in the weak action of the Portugese government in regards to Gisbeta’s murder.

In Connecticut we have the Stonewall Speakers, a group that arose out of the violent murder and hate crime of gay man by two Hartford area teen boys, one from a public school H.S. and the other from a Catholic H.S. We get invited to go into schools with panels of LGBT folks (and those who love them) to put a face to LGBT people in hopes of sparing lives. Some of the most courageous (and effective) are the transgender men and woman who step up to tell their stories for these young people.

If you live in Connecticut and want to know more about Stonewall Speaker, please email me.

This post has 1 Comment

  1. Tonya on June 12, 2006 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for focusing on this issue. I am linking to it.

Leave a Comment