TDoR 2015

Candlelight VigilHey folks. As many of you already know, today is the annual transgender day of remembrance in which we honor those who have fallen in the past year. I won’t say much on the subject, because I’ve already said it all. I wish this day didn’t have to exist, I look forward to the year when there are no names, etc. etc.

What I do want to discuss is something of a related note. As I mentioned, I’ve been watching a lot of Arrow and Flash recently, and at the start of season 3 of Arrow, during either the first or second episode, Ollie has a moment where he’s trying to tell Felicity what the five years on the island did to him. It goes something along the lines of “I learned not to trust anymore, and when you can’t trust, you don’t see people. You just see threats. Or targets.”

This stood out to me as it’s an apt description of what PTSD does to you. And while most don’t have the kinds of lived experiences that I have, many trans people have some form of PTSD, simply because in order to survive in this world, we have to think in that sort of way. Any individual COULD be a threat. Especially with the rise of murders brought about by the rise of visibility. To paraphrase from Dr. Van Helsing discussing Dracula in the classic Bela Lugosi film, the trans person’s greatest strength (historically) is that people do not believe in them.

What this means is that in the past, we could walk around and people would write off a guy being shorter, or a woman having large hands, or whatever other subtle physical hints there might be. But now, with trans people everywhere in the media and the news, people are less likely to just gloss over those things, examining harder. Add to this the fact that there’s been an increase in non-binary presentation (such as the individual I’ve seen around campus a number of times who wears either a skirt or a dress while rocking a full beard) and the bigots out there are suddenly more aware that we exist.

This is why the numbers of murders have been increasing dramatically the past few years, and why here in the States alone, we’ve nearly doubled last year’s numbers. Remember that nearly everything is a double edged sword, and the very tools we use for activism can turn around and hurt us as well. Stay safe out there, readers.

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Far From Over

c2189-transgenderprideflagThose who follow the news have likely seen a number of events lately involving trans issues that seem to have gone in the favor of trans rights. I mentioned last week that the military here in the states is looking to repeal the ban on trans service members. Earlier this week, Brianna Wu wrote a piece about how Samus is most likely trans (which made me so very, very happy). A few weeks ago, when yet another trans woman was murdered, news outlets never once referred to her using her birth name or said “was born a man” or any other form of their typical misgendering. Sadly, those are all just one side of the issue. Continue reading

D Cups, Full of Justice

A running joke about the new Tomb Raider reboot/prequel compared to the older games.

A running joke about the new Tomb Raider reboot/prequel compared to the older games.

Way back in December, I started a new series talking about diverse characters in gaming, with an intended particular focus on strong, realistic depictions of women, both done well, and where they are failed. I mentioned that one such example I would cover would be the case of Samus Aran, who has always been an amazing female character, done right in every game, until she was ruined in Other M. That discussion is not for today, but today I will be getting back into that series. And what better way to do so than by talking about breasts!

No, seriously, breasts are going to be a major part of today’s topic. Continue reading

College Woes

Butterfly WomanSo, before my laptop broke (the part did come in and it should be fixed by tomorrow, hopefully), I was playing another visual novel game called Roommates. The basic premise is that you play as one of two characters who is beginning college and has chosen to live in a communal house on campus. It’s sort of like a fraternity or sorority house, except it’s not a frat or sorority, it’s just a co-ed house with a communal bathroom and kitchen. The thing that struck me about this game is the sheer level of attention to detail given regarding diversity in this game. Yes, like many games with a small cast, it is primarily white folks with token racial minorities (one Indian roommate, one Hispanic roommate, and one black guy as the friend and bandmate of one of the two playable characters). However, they go more into detail with this game to the point that they actually have one character (the Hispanic girl, who is actually a Mexican citizen and attending college to get a degree in teaching so she can go home and improve the education of kids in her small hometown) explain the difference between pansexual (her) and bisexual (the Indian guy) to you, as she’s pan and another character is bi. Continue reading

Special Tuesday Edition!

Angry Gamer GirlOk, so I missed last week, and I didn’t go into too much depth the week before because of the issues I was facing, so this week, I’ll be doing two posts, one today, the other on my normal Friday slot. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also using this blog as my journal for my activism class this semester, so I’ve been trying to stick more to my topic of legal issues trans people face than going off on some of my other, more colorful (and fun) discussions about gaming and the like. However, I think I can tie in some examples of gaming to my topic for today. Buckle yourselves in, because it is NOT going to be a happy one today. Lots of difficult stuff to discuss. Also, spoilers for any games I bring up today. You have been warned. Continue reading

Taking a Breather

Butterfly WomanJust in the last week, we’ve had two more trans women murdered here in the States. Last Friday night, Bri Golec was stabbed to death by her father, who left her body out on the porch and made a false 911 call saying that they were attacked by members of a cult that his “son” supposedly belonged to. And just a couple days ago, Christina Grant Infiniti in Miami was murdered by her boyfriend. This one has barely been acknowledged, even by media sources that would normally cover these murders, such as the Advocate. Couple this with the fact that on Wednesday, I had a hostile (but thankfully not violent) encounter in the ladies room on campus, and I need a few days for myself. I’ve even skipped my LGBT studies and activism classes for this week because of this, and my professors were told why before either class. As such, I’m not going to really write much today. Instead, I leave you with a couple of essays I wrote about a year or so ago for a human sexuality class, discussing the media influences that existed while I was growing up, and what I would like to see changed. Think of these in light of the recent murders that sometimes, more knowledge of a topic, or more visibility, is not always a good thing. I risk my life every day just by being open and honest. As Laverne Cox said during her speech, there isn’t a moment when I leave my home that I don’t wonder if I’ll be coming home at the end of the day alive.

I’ll be back next week. Stay safe out there. Continue reading

A Sad Day

Candlelight VigilDear readers, today I am quite sad. Normally, this would be a good thing, as I struggle with emotions in general thanks to the abuse I dealt with growing up. However, today it’s not a good thing, because of the cause of this sadness. We’ve had far too many murders of trans women of color already this year. Now, I say this every year at TDoR that one murder is too many, but we’ve already had five (some would say six) in the first five weeks of the year. And that’s just trans women of color, it doesn’t include trans men or white trans women. That’s also just here in the States, not including all murders internationally. Even worse, as we’re in the height of movements such as Black Lives Matter, these murders have largely gone unreported, glossed over by major media in favor of more sensational news. Sadly, this shows that even those who support the Black Lives Matter movement don’t always care about ALL black lives. So who are/were these five/six people that the major media outlets have largely ignored? Continue reading