Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Your Words Kill


Not long ago, writer, black trans woman, and incredible human being Janet Mock went on a hip hop radio show in order to try and reach black and Latinx individuals with her very simple message - she and people like her are human beings.

Unfortunately, she endured crude questions about her anatomy, as per usual. It makes me want to approach my fellow cis people with aggressive questions about their genitals so they know how it feels. But something worse happened days later, and Janet Mock wrote about it.

Then I checked Twitter and saw a video clip of “The Breakfast Club” interview with comedian Lil Duval, whose name I hadn’t even heard before. In the clip (an extended version can be seen here on TMZ), DJ Envy poses a hypothetical question to his guest about dating and sleeping with a woman who discloses that she’s trans after four months of courtship. 
“This might sound messed up and I don’t care,” Duval says. “She dying. I can’t deal with that.” 
“That’s a hate crime,” Charlamagne says. “You can’t do that.” 
“You manipulated me to believe in this thing,” Duval says, before continuing, “If one did that to me, and they didn’t tell me, I’mma be so mad I’d probably going to want to kill them.”

Who else could you say this about and get away with it? Even posing the question was gross. But for this man to declare outright that he would murder her, and the hosts laughed after this. It's disgusting and it's tragic and it's hateful and this is why trans women die.

People hide things about themselves in relationships all the time, whether out of shame or to maintain power or even because they're afraid of being killed for it. But because trans women may have or used to have certain genitals, because this threatens men's fragile masculinity and sense of heterosexuality, it's not only considered acceptable for them to react by MURDERING HER, it's considered a valid legal defense. It's that socially acceptable, and words used by individuals like Lil Duval fuel that. Those words kill.

I write this even thought Janet Mock and so many other trans women have said this before. Why won't people listen? Black trans women keep getting murdered by cis men because they're trans. Over and over it happens. Why is that okay with so many of my fellow cis people?

Please, if you care at all, read the entire article and try to do something. Teach your family and friends that trans people are people. Don't let them die.

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