(this piece was originally featured at Steven Grooby’s Blog)
Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Each year, we reflect on those who lost their lives through violence. The GLAAD website, states that the day “honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence” but when a report was published in “The Guardian” yesterday that almost 50% of transgender youths in the UK had considered suicide, I believe the remit of the TDoR should also include those. When a person has been so marginalized, misunderstood, alienated or abused that they have nowhere to turn but to consider taking their own lives, then that life would also have been lost through anti-transgender violence.
We work in the entertainment industry – an industry that creates and sells fantasies and it’s always been important to educate on that distinction. The models or performers working in the transsexual adult industry in the past few years have done a lot to help normalize who transsexuals are; that each one is individual, with a different background, different outlook, different ideas on politics, different tastes in music & culture, they look different and they act different. Their identity doesn’t come because they’re transsexual – they are individuals who are transsexual. The pornography industry, is showcasing transsexuals faster that any other industry and breaking down the stereotypes – and this is what is needed across all industries.
As every year, there have been too many deaths of transgendered people across the world but what we are starting to see in 2014, is some media starting to report more fairly and law enforcement taking hate crimes against transgendered people seriously. Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was murdered by a US marine in the Philippines received worldwide attention and closer to us, a well-known model who was beaten and raped in NYC, had the closure of seeing her attackers jailed after a lengthy police investigation. However, the violence against transgendered people is still disproportionate compared to other people in society.
I don’t believe in my lifetime, I will see the complete normalization and integration of transsexuals into society, if one expects to see a transsexual to not turn heads or cause a second glance. Human’s will always look at someone who is different to them – but it’s not always with malice but often just out of interest and that’s something that needs to be accepted. I see it when out with transsexual friends – and the instinct is to either be defensive or retreat. The better way, as I can attest to having watched these friends, is to engage and be themselves. As friends, family, employers, co-workers … or even as a fan of transsexual pornography, we have the same duty. To educate the un-educated. To show that transgendered people are individuals, that don’t conform to stereotypes and are the same as everyone else. This is how hate crimes against any group will reduce.
I don’t believe I will see the complete normalization and integration – but I truly believe that if we/I, (the “allies”) engage as well as refuse to allow our friends to be alienated or humiliated, then I will live to see a world where transsexual persons are no longer a marginalized or separate group.
Please take a moment to think on the girls and guys who have died through ignorance and hate. You can see news reports on some of these at The Grooby Post