By now I suspect that most people who read my blog have read or seen or heard about the incident at a Baltimore area McDonald's where a trans-woman was brutally attacked by 2 patrons - apparently over the bathroom (details here). It was disturbing, disgusting, and just plain horrific. But in reality - it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.
The irony of it all is that trans-people are so often portrayed as predatory animals intent on little more than getting into the "other" bathroom. In reality, as this brutal incident so vividly highlighted, the people who are most vulnerable in a bathroom are NOT others. It's us. And anyone who can in any way justify, condone, explain, or otherwise minimize what happened in this video is no better than anyone who participated or witnessed this crime.
Make no mistake about it. What happened here was a crime. It was a hate crime. And anyone who watched and did nothing, anyone who laughed at this victim's anguish, anyone who turned their back on her is just as guilty as the people doing the beating.
As for me - when I watch this I see the Rodney King incident all over again. I see Reginald Denny getting pulled from the cab of his truck and savagely beaten to the edge of death by a mob consumed by anger.
It's still sickening to watch today. And to watch this poor girl have to deal with these animals invites the same kind of visceral response.
I'll tell you - the first thing I feel when I see this is anger. I picture myself in a similar position and I assure you, if I had faced a similar attack at least one person would have been seriously injured and that person would be the first one I could reach and grab by the neck. As it is, this video is an example of the horrible realities that so many of us face every day - events that dehumanize us and disrespect us to the point where some can somehow turn their back on this kind of violence.
Everyone's scurrying to cover their butts over this. McDonald's needs to do a whole lot more than simply acknowledge that something "regrettable" happened. Prosecutors need to take a more aggressive role in making sure that everyone who was involved is held accountable (story here). Legislators need to take notice and recognize the need for public accommodation protections. And those who actively did this need to face the most severe punishment available, as it WAS a hate crime.
There is little irony that this incident happened in Maryland, a state that just became the poster child for the inherent failure of incremental rights when public accommodation protections for transpeople was dropped because of concerns over the bathroom thing. That failure helped lead to the departure of the ED for the state's political advocacy organization, Equality Maryland. And, as this story highlights, one can only hope that people have learned from this and to do the right thing next time.
Thankfully - there will be a next time. Given the brutality and the pack mentality of the incident there could very well have been a more horrific outcome. The reality that seeps in for many of us is that it could have been, or very well could be in the future, and one of us. When I think about that the anger I feel turns more to sadness. Why does it have to be that way?
Anyway - enough of that for tonight. My own life is complicated beyond explanation right now. All I can say is, "Oy",