Tag Archives: Laverne Cox

Transgender Day of Remembrance – 2015

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17Once again, a tough year for the trans community.

But I’m unable to find the numbers to back this up as I have done in the past.

I had high expectations for increasingly accurate numbers going forward but the last tracking initiative’s website .. the one financed with Kickstarter dollars .. isn’t responding on the eve of TDOR.

Although my cynical nature tells me that many would rather hide the ugly numbers than publish results of a near devastating year for trans people, I have no proof of this.  But GLAAD, who I personally believe has been the most honest and reasonable when  reporting trans issues, has said that violent deaths of trans people in the US has risen 50 percent over 2014.

From the numbers I was able to find, Brazil is once again the leader in violent trans deaths.  But it appears the US is next in the order.  Mysteriously, Mexico, who was in the second spot, is not on the list at all this year

But as always, the 20-29 year old age range is the hardest hit group, and girls of colour were most at risk.

Some activists are stating that the number of trans murders hasn’t increased at all; it’s just that the reporting has improved.  but what’s an activist going to say?  That they suck at everything except patting themselves on the back?   I honestly believe we take two steps backwards for every one step forward.

Jenner .. didn’t help.

The US Prez .. didn’t help.

Beck .. didn’t help.

Hollywood didn’t help.

Hate crime laws didn’t help.

Even Cox didn’t help.

And the LGB’s still want to disassociate themselves with the T.  (I hope to discuss this further in a separate blog post)

Can’t blame them.  We’re not very good at gaining acceptance.  And when our sisters are dying at an increasing rate, we’re able to lay blame but are unable to feel remorse or responsibility.

Please take a moment today, to think about the transgender people who have lost their lives this year, often just because they were transgender.


UPDATE:  20th Nov 2015 11:45 am EDT

Better numbers are starting to appear for 2015.  Here’s a table of what I was able to find.  The good news is that Brazil is down to 96 from 154 in 2014 but sadly Mexico is up to 37 from 28 and the USA is up to 21 from 14.

Brazil 96
Mexico 37
Colombia 22
USA 21
El Salvador 14
Argentina 12
Ecuador 7
Venezuela 7
Pakistan 6
Honduras 4
India 4
Cuba 3
Peru 3
Chile 2
Philippines 2
Turkey 2
Uruguay 2
Austria 1
Canada 1
Dominican Republic 1
Guyana 1
Italy 1
Netherlands 1
Spain 1
UK 1

Trans News Out of Hollywood Could Be ‘Jenner-cide” for Our Cause

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17Here I go again … seeing the world from a totally different angle than so many of my peers.  Tell me you think I’m wrong but please don’t hate me for my opinion.

The bandwagon is once again overloaded.  Since the news that Bruce Jenner might be transgender hit the tabloids several months ago, much of the trans community has been piling on.  Wishful thinking, maybe, that having an all-American guy transition would be as good for the transgender movement as it was when a US Navy SEAL went public.

But this one is very, very different.  Jenner is part of a group of attention whores who, unlike the Olympic Decathlon gold medal winner himself, have little reason to be in the spotlight at all.

Now, honestly, for most transitioning there is an awkward stage.  It’s that time when the male existence has been left behind yet the female appearance, with help from hormone or surgery, just hasn’t kicked in yet.

Most who transition with dignity keep a low profile at that awkward time if they have the financial means to do so.  Emotional transition may have occurred but appearance wise, we’re somewhat in between.  And to be honest, it’s a time when we are least likely to gain the compassion of the uninformed..

So Jenner, who likely has access to funds and image management we could only dream of, takes the long road to transition.  No disguising girly look.  Just facial hair removal, a trachea shave and nail polish .. and the tabloids likely had a field day searching for, and publishing, only the weirdest photos they had access to.

Let’s face it.  Bruce Jenner was handsome guy, and, post transition, you can be sure she will be an attractive woman, but that time in between is, dare I say this, unsettling to the mainstream eye.

In my opinion, by the way Jenner is handling things, I get the feeling that this is just as much about greed and money as it is about moving on with life as her true self.  And here’s why:

  • no celebrity leaves home without an appearance strategy; “no one will see me” is never a strategy.  Be cute; be funny, draw compassion; but when the ugly comments far surpass the kind, it might be time to change the strategy
  • Jenner’s news, and upcoming interview with Diane Sawyer, is ramping up during the February ratings period.
  • The ‘mixed emotion’ comments coming from the Kardashian kids is perfect, salable drama

But it all came off the tracks.  The photos circulating are very unflattering and appear to be of a person who  is not moving from male to female but who is struggling to find a place somewhere in the middle.  And with a very uncomfortable scowl that reeks of tension; not someone who is happy to finally be true to themselves.

Those of us who have had friends transition know the “glow” that suddenly appears when the emotional bridge has been crossed.

The cruel, demeaning online comments about his “secret” situation are outnumbering the non-judgmental by 100 to 1 (my best estimate, of course).  

So am I judging?  I suppose I am, because in the world of Cox, Mock, Beck, Prakash, Pejic et al, this was the big one.  The one that, if simply done with the respect and dignity almost all of us seek, could have not only opened the door but ripped the door of it’s hinges.  And instead it will become a circus that will invariably make some wealthy person even lots wealthier, while the rest of us will appear to the general public to be even freakier than we are.  *winks*

As I write this, news has just hit that Jenner has been involved in a motor vehicle crash that has taken someone’s life, quite possibly while being followed by trans-celeb-chasing paparazzi.  OMG.

So, in closing, rumour has it that Bruce will be using the girl name Caitlyn or Kaitlyn.  In the Kardashian world where every woman has a first name that starts with the letter “K” , would anyone like to bet that Ms. Jenner will choose the “K” version of that first name?

If you want to be supportive of Jenner in transition, I’m cool with that.  But don’t give me any bullshit about it being good for the trans community.  Because, in my opinion, it’s not.

Bruce Jenner was a Gold Medal Winner in the 1976 summer Olympics held in Montreal
Laverne Cox is an American actress, reality television star, television producer, and LGBT advocate
Janet Mock is an American writer, transgender rights activist, author
Kristin Beck is a former United States Navy SEAL who gained public attention in 2013 when she came out as a trans woman
Padmini Prakash has become India's first transgender to anchor a daily television news show
Andreja Pejic is a transgender Australian model of  Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb ethnicity.

Time Magazine Cover Girl Laverne Cox

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17They’re saying she “has emerged as the public leader of the trans movement”.  Others are saying that any publicity is good publicity.  But as you might expect, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

Laverne Cox, star of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black, is a sweetie and a wonderful actress but she’s just a girl who happens to be transgender.  Did she volunteer to become the “public leader” Time declares her to be?  Does she even want the role?  She has an acting career and a lifestyle that goes with it.

Her story is a story we’ve heard a million times .. always knew she was a girl, bullied and harassed as a child, yadda, yadda .. but it’s a story that much of the mainstream world will be hearing for the first time.  And you know what they  say about the importance of first impressions? They’re important!

Strategy.  Make no moves without a strategy.  This is a mantra that served me well in the corporate world as well as my personal life and I think it applies to our quest for acceptance.  And with Ms Cox’s appearance in Time, we’re making a move, but if a strategy exists, it’s coming from a journalist.

“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. ~ author unverifiable

Her interview is nice but certainly not that of a leader … at least not in my opinion.  Here are some partial quotes that sound Obama-like and lack the leadership qualities necessary to win over the uninformed world:

“I think what they need to understand is …”

“That’s what people need to understand … “

“People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know…”

“… they need to get to know us as human beings…”

“… you need to look at yourself ..”

Notice the word she uses over and over again?  “Need“.   I hate to inform Laverne but people don’t need to do anything.  Their life and their world feels just fine to them without understanding and accepting us.   Meet people face-to-face for the first time and tell them they need to know us as human beings and see how many friends you make.

We need.  We need a spokesperson who comes at the world with a respectful attitude.  A kind, likeable, attractive person, both in appearance and in spirit, who can get into the hearts of all she connects with.  Logic doesn’t work.  Rhetoric doesn’t work.  Demanding rights doesn’t work.  Helping the masses to want to accept us is the way to make things happen for us.

Tell me I’m naive and I’ll tell you the proof is in the pudding.  The LGB’s have left us behind in a cloud of dust.

Once again, I long for a Panti Bliss type personality to move to the forefront and lead us into an accepting world.   I love Laverne Cox but I’m afraid she is not that person.