Victims of Sexism and Racism

The least considered ‘genuine victims’ of sexism and racism tend to be those who classify as prostitutes or teenage black males. Contrastingly, individuals who are seen to be the most fitting victims of sexism and racism are those who classify as middle-class and are a white girl child. They are seen to be the “most pure, innocent and helpless.” This is a major issue for the individuals in the trans community because they are hidden by sex and gender norms. These factors make it excessively difficult for a trans person to receive health care and obtain housing approval. Therefore, many individuals recognize a growing pressure to conform to a set sex or gender that is societal approved.

The Trans Day of Remembrance should be an event that not only remembers passed trans individuals, but it should also be a celebration those’ individuals lives who were able to find courage within themselves to live as they felt inside. The class exercise where we were to form our own idea of how a TDOR would run if the students in our class were in charge of the events was an interesting approach in gaining better understanding of the well known event. It’s difficult for one to appreciate exactly all the planning that goes into such a sensitive event because there is much to be considered; more than is obvious at a TDOR event. My group ran into some discrepancies when it came to formulating ideas for the event, because we discovered that we were not only focusing on remembrance or celebration, but we were subconsciously incorporating events to cause strife between identity communities (i.e. those individuals who have a direct problem with trans people, as well as sexual predators.)

This blog came from the ideas set by an article, Retelling Racialized Violence, Remaking White Innocence: the Politics of Interlocking Oppressions in Transgender Day of Remembrance, by Sarah Lamble. TDOR is “defined by details of brutality, violence [being] reduced to the snapshot of a crime scene [and] a momentary fragment in time between perpetrator and victim.” If the events are centered on remembering mostly the violence and horror, then antiviolence efforts aren’t acknowledged adequately.

When collaborating on how to plan an even such as TDOR, one student recalled last years TDOR on the IU campus. She said the most effective tactic she’d seen so far was a field filled full with photos accompanied by brief descriptions of how the trans individuals had been victimized. She said that the most alarming was something she had never before considered. This was that a trans woman had died because she was consistently denied healthcare. This is something many people never even consider when thinking of victimization. Factors such as this are important when thinking of how to shed light on the problems that trans people face.

My sole source was

Sarah Lamble, “Retelling racialized  violence, remaking white innocence: The polics of interlocking oppressions in transgender day of remembrance” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 5:1 (2008), 24-42.

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