November 20 is the transgender
day of remembrance. I was appalled to read of the transsexual woman burned to death in her apartment after being videotaped with a politician. Tara Sawyer reminds us to that police profiling transgender women as sex workers contributes to violence against transgender women. Sex workers of all genders hesitate to report violence to the police in the US and in many other places. There is speculation that all the transgender people who were killed in the past year in the US did sex work. The fear of arrest contributes to violence against sex workers because people who commit violence against sex workers know that their crimes are likely to go unreported and uninvestigated. Some literally get away with murder.
In no other occupation are people blamed for the violence
committed against them. This is only tolerated because sex workers as a group are treated as external to society, and transgender sex workers are treated as still more separate. But gender diversity is not external to society. Transgender people have family and friends and colleagues who are deeply affected by violence against transgender people, including murder. Crimes go unreported not because no one cares but because they may not have the social clout to be taken seriously by the police, and because police have been reported to be callous and violent toward transgender people. Transgender Day of Remembrance is important because violence against anyone is unacceptable, no matter their gender.
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