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Trans-bashing is the act of victimizing a person physically, sexually, or verbally because they are transgendered or transsexual.[1] Unlike gay bashing, it is committed because of the target's actual or perceived gender identity, not sexual orientation. The term has also been applied to hate speech directed at transgender people[2] and at depictions of transgender people in the media that reinforce negative stereotypes about them.[3]

Discrimination, including physical or sexual violence against trans people due to transphobia or homophobia, is a common occurrence for trans people.[4][5][6] Hate crimes against trans people are common even recently, and "in some instances, inaction by police or other government officials leads to the untimely deaths of transgender victims."[7]

The most famous incident was the December 30, 1993 rape and murder of Brandon Teena, a young transman who was raped and murdered by his male friends after they found out he had female genitalia. The story was captured in the film Boys Don't Cry, which earned Hilary Swank the Academy Award for best actress.

In Seattle's gay village of Capitol Hill, there is some evidence of an increase in incidents of trans-bashing over the past two years.[8]

Differentiating trans-bashing from gay-bashing Edit

At least since the Stonewall riots in 1969, transgender people have often been politically aligned with the lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities.[9] However, transgender activists argue trans-bashing should be categorized separately from violence committed on the basis of sexual orientation ("gay-bashing").[7][10] One argument is that conflating violence against trans people with violence against gay people erases the identities of trans people and the truth of what happens to them. However, campaigns against gay-bashing and trans-bashing are often seen as a common cause.[11]

In one case, perpetrators accused of hate crimes against trans people have tried to use a "trans panic" defense (cf. gay panic defense). The jury deadlocked, but there is evidence they rejected the trans-panic defense. One law journal provided an analysis of the trans-panic defense, arguing in part that the emotional premise of a trans panic defense (shock at discovering unexpected genitals) is different than the emotional premise of a gay panic defense (shock at being propositions by a member of the same sex, perhaps because of one's repressed homosexuality).[12]

U.S. hate crime laws covering gender identity Edit

In the United States, currently nine states plus the District of Columbia have hate crime laws protecting people victimized on the basis of their gender identity (they are Hawaii, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington state[13] and Washington, D.C.).[14][15]

The Matthew Shepard Act, which has been passed in various forms by both houses of the current United States Congress, would expand the federal hate crime laws to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

References Edit

  1. Guilty plea over transsexual bashing By Mariza O'Keefe in Herlad Sun
  2. Demagogues of defamation Gay: Where is the outrage when cable TV’s talking heads trash trans people?
  3. McNamara, Mary. "Transgender Artists, Work Gaining Acceptance", Los Angeles Times, 2001-02-08. Retrieved on 2007-12-01. 
  4. Trans Health Project: A position paper and resolution adopted by the Ontario Public Health Association
  5. Hill, D.B. (2001). Genderism, transphobia, and gender bashing: A framework for interpreting anti-transgender violence. In B. Wallace, & R. Carter (Eds.). A multicultural approach for understanding and dealing with violence: A handbook for psychologists and educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.
  6. Namaste, V.K. (2000a). Invisible lives: The erasure of transsexual and transgendered people. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Frye, Phyllis (Fall 2000). "The International Bill of Gender Rights vs. The Cide House Rules: Transgenders struggle with the courts over what clothing they are allowed to wear on the job, which restroom they are allowed to use on the job, their right to marry, and the very definition of their sex". William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law 7: 139–145. 
  8. Gentrification ousting local gay community
  9. Kay Dayus, Transgenders Protest HRC Exec's Visit to Houston, Hous. Voice, Sept. 29, 2000
  10. Discrimination and Hate Crimes Against Gender Variant People, It's Time Illinois . . . Political Action for the Gender Variant Community (May 2000)
  11. 'Zero tolderance for gay-trans bashing': Protests mount
  12. Steinberg, Victoria L. (Spring 2005). "A Heat of Passion Offense: Emotions and Bias in "Trans Panic" Mitigation Claims: Hiding From Humanity". Boston College Third World Law Journal 25. 
  13. HB 2661 - 2005-06: Expanding the jurisdiction of the human rights commission
  14. National Center for Transgender Equality: Hate crimes
  15. Human Rights Campaign: Mississippi Hate Crimes Law

See also Edit

External links Edit


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