No words. Only rage for the killers, grief for Tiffany, and compassion for all who loved her.
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In the autumn of 2011, a man’s life was forever changed. A professional counselor with a love of surfing, he gave up everything he had in Florida to move and be with his new wife in Virginia. This woman then turned on him, not being able to bear the stigma of being partnered with a trans person. She completely and utterly abandoned him. The man was convicted of a felony. His crime? Being transgender. In the state of Virginia in a region known for being the mainstay of Evangelical fundamentalist Jerry Falwell, Levi Gammons was convicted to forgery of a marriage certificate. This was considered a FELONY. Despite having gone through the expensive and emotional process of medical and legal transition, he was still sentenced to five years in jail. His sentence was suspended to one year which he has spent wholly in solitary confinement. This is what happens to people in our community whose mere existence causes them undue harm and institutional oppression and further, become subjected to the prison industrial complex.
Levi writes, “Here in Virginia my [re-entry program] opportunities are very limited because of being trans. In this state I would not be able to enter into the men’s housing or women’s. So where most people can move into half-way house or programs, I am not allowed simply due to my being trans. This is a scary feeling. No home, money, very scary.” When Levi is finally released, he will have spent one full year in solitary confinement and leave literally with the clothes on his back.
This is why Wyatt and Sarah Jenny are coming to you — to our community — which is also Levi’s community to — to ask for your support. Levi put every penny into his move and with his parents long passed and no siblings, he literally has no support system without us. We ask that you be in solidarity with Levi and show him that he has a community to come home to when he gets out.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- If you can’t afford to contribute, share it far and wide and ask others do the same and contribute if they can.
- Even $1 can help. If each person on our combined facebook friends donated $1 we would already be at $4556. Imagine if each donated $2!
- If you know of transitional housing opportunities or work opportunities for Levi, he has a masters degree in counseling and is very interested in getting involved in trans activism. He is in need of immediate housing starting on September 23rd. He would also ideally like to live by the ocean.
is to reach at least $5,000 for Levi. Levi has no support after being released, no place to live and no clear idea of where his next job will be, let alone his next meal or even bathroom to use. If you think about it, $5,000 is a small number when you need to relocate and have your basic needs met (food, shelter, clothes, etc.) We plan to be transparent with the money raised here and how it will be sent to him and the fees associated with that. If we can’t help one another, who will? Let’s show Levi that we are out here and that we care.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for passing this on to as many people as you’re able.
In closing, Levi writes, “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I really appreciate it. You have my blessings and thanks to go for it. Put it out there to the whole world.”
Sorry, people. I didn’t realize.
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Meanwhile, CeCe McDonald is on trial for the death of a man who viciously attacked her, a man who had a fucking swastika tattooed on his chest. She is facing two counts of second degree murder for what would be called self-defense by any reasonable person, if she even is the one who stabbed that Neo Nazi, which has by no means been proven.
So black trans women are being killed all over the country, but if one is even suspected of fighting back, that’s big trouble.
Here’s the really sick thing. I know, we all know, that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to anti trans violence. Most of us wouldn’t even consider involving the police while we still have breath in our bodies, and for good reason. After all, CeCe asked the cops for help, and they fucking arrested her. And that’s not all:
CeCe was briefly taken to the hospital where she received 11 stitches in her cheek. Then, while she was still suffering both physically and mentally from this traumatic incident, she was left alone in a room for three hours and then interrogated, after which she was placed into solitary confinement. She spent the next several months in jail and had to wait almost two months between her initial doctors’ visit and a much-needed follow-up appointment. During that time, her cheek swelled into an extremely painful, golfball-sized lump, making eating difficult and producing headaches and pressure on her left eye and ear. Ironically, the only gesture towards CeCe’s well-being that authorities made during her incarceration was to put her in solitary confinement “for her own protection” on two separate occasions, despite her stated desire to be housed alongside other prisoners.
As for Brandi Martell, she was surrounded by cops as she died. They did absolutely nothing.
So, very few trans people want to report their experiences of violence to the police, fucking understandably. What this means in practical terms is that we only hear about trans violence from the media when someone actually dies. Sometimes maybe not even then. Who knows whether there are other trans women who have been murdered in April who the media missed covering completely. (They were light enough on the stories of Coko, Paige and Brandi.)
It is vitally important that we mourn our dead. If we do not, we allow even more of our humanity to be taken away from us by the murderous forces of oppression. While we mourn those who were murdered, we must also mourn those whose lives were lost to suicide under the pressure of living in a viciously transphobic, misogynistic, racist society. Can we have a moment of silence for Mark Aguhar, who took her own life so recently?
And while we mourn, let’s also listen to the stories of those trans people who have survived brutal attacks and attempts on their lives. We can’t wait for a trans sibling to make the TDoR list in order to give them our compassion and love. Let’s keep trans friends and family close to us as this bloody April ends. Let’s love each other before it’s too late.
REPOST: Trans Woman Murdered in Oakland, Emergency Demo/Vigil Tonight at 8pm, 13th and Franklin PLEASE REPOST/SIGNAL BOOST
“Brandi, a transwoman, was murdered last night, shot at 12th and Franklin in Downtown Oakland after an altercation with a man who became enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans. An amazing #oo comrade tried to keep her alive with training learned from the People’s Community Medics, but the cops walked away and the ambulance came too late”
Everyone please spread this as widely as possible and please show out tonight to stand up against transphobic violence!
No news stories yet on the situation but will try and keep this updated with info
Update @ 6:33: Mercury News has only this to say:
“The third death occurred at 5:45 a.m., when a person was shot to death at the corner of 13th and Franklin streets, a block from the Burger King where the Saturday incident occurred.
Police responding to reports of shots fired saw the person lying in the roadway, outside another restaurant that apparently had some of its windows shattered by gunfire. The shooting victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Friday, January 13, 2012 · 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM
At the SF Citadel, 1277 Mission St (at 9th st)
$25 at the door, or volunteer for an hour to get in FREE! ($10 Citadel membership required)
TransMission is a party for trans people and our friends. Be you transgender, transsexual, gender queer, gender fluid, gender fucked, gender non-conforming, or simply a friend of trans folks, you are welcome. Bring your toys and your diabolical imaginations, and dress whatever way makes you feel sexy! For this party, trans people are no longer the minority, but instead will rule the dungeon as never before.
To volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I literally will not talk to you, and I definitely will not listen to you, until you have read the entirety of this, and yes, it is a two hundred and twenty eight page PDF. And then go read up on trans murder statistics. And then read some Susan Stryker.
And then if you still think cis privilege is a myth I still will not talk to you because you are a loss of a human being.
You have nothing to tell me that I have not heard before.