Monday, April 25, 2011


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",


Anne said...

Donna. You are a very intelligent woman. You almost got it right. Almost..."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."

This had NOTHING to do with "trans" anything.
This had NOTHING to do with bathrooms.

This was about "a mob consumed by anger." ~Donna

Donna said...

@Anne: I think what I hear you saying is that this particular incident in Baltimore had nothing to do with trans or bathrooms. Proof would indicate otherwise.

As for the other incidents I mention, of course they had nothing to do with trans or bathrooms. I didn't imply that. However, they were both brutal shocking attacks caught on tape made even more disturbing because bystanders watched it unfold.

Whether it's racism, religious based bigotry, homo or trans phobia, or any kind of deeply rooted bias that is allowed to fester to the point of violence the end results are similar.

Melissa said...

@ Anne

Following your normal pattern of believing only the evidence that supports your opinion and dismissing the evidence that refutes it, you continue to deny that the victim's transgender status had anything to do with this hate crime, and that it was purely racially motivated, when the evidence clearly states otherwise. The victim herself, as well as other witnesses, is on the record as saying, people were saying, "That's a dude..." when she entered the women's restroom. The guy who filmed the incident and who was subsequently fired for it, said on his own Facebook page, that it was because she was a dude dressed as a woman, using the women's restroom.

Anonymous said...

I was busy yesterday morning so I caught glimpses of the video on ABC. Later, I watched it on YouTube and I got a knot on my stomach. I felt impotence, anger, too difficult to describe as new thoughts and emotions run through my mind watching the sickening scenario.

If this video did not make it clear that we need protection from society instead of the other way around (as some right-wing retrogrades claim), I do not know what might make that clear.

sweetbrandigirl2004 said...

Well I guess to begin with we should clear up that Transgender people aren't GID...Transsexuals are..yes ! its that same old argument. For all of the studies she's points out were Involving Transsexuals not transgender. As for whether transsexuals are really women I'd say yes and I agree that they were misgendered at birth...... Science has shown they have female brain genders, But I wouldn't agree that all those who fly the transgender flag are misgendered or are truly women. since they self diagnosis, self medicate, and self mutilate their bodies with silicone and most of them don't ever have a diagnosis from a trained gender therapist theres no telling if they are truly TS or not some I suspect some may be but the vast majority of them aren't they're just living out a fantasy

As for this women in the Mcdonalds beating she's not Transgender she a post-op and doesn't claim to be Trans anything in any of her Interviews nor does her family see her as trans her brother calls her his sister. Based on the fact she's only 22 I'd suspect she was diagnosis as TS at a young age and has since had surgery and moved on with her life. She's just a women and nothing more not a transwomen. Once one goes through the transition process and has surgery to correct the birth defect and blends back into society they aren't trans anything any longer. Transition is a process with a destination not a stopping point one doesn't transition into trans. It has a beginning a middle and an end once the process is done the person is suppose to be to the point were they can blend back into society only in the opposite gender.

But with the invent of the Internet it opened a whole new world to those out there who'd always dreamed of being the opposite sex, but knew they'd never make it passed the SOC gate keepers they began self diagnosing and taking Internet hormones flying to Thailand and other places for surgeries cutting out the therapist all together. Most never being truly prepared or meant to transition in the first place got stuck somewhere in the middle out of money and without a official diagnosis of Ts they weren't able to get surgery to change official documents like birth certificates. Making it almost impossible for them to find work. This women wouldn't have mis labeled if it weren't for the horn blowing from EQ Maryland but now he's branded with the scarlet letter “ Transgender.” Something I'm sure she's not grateful for. Having had surgery and changed all her documentation she's legally a female and thus entitled to all the rights and privileges that come with being a women in society. PA Laws would do her NO Good as she already has every legal right to be in the womens restroom. EQ Maryland is just trying to co-op her situation for its own political gain and so they can use it to gain rights for non-ops. Trying to make political points off this womens pain is totally discussing and sad. what most who fly that Transgender flag forget is their is a segment of the population made up of TS women of history who after transition melt back into society not wanting to be under their umbrella. Their Identities aren't found in being Trans like so many in the Transgender community their Identities are their own.

Donna said...

@Brandi: You know how I feel about all this post-op/non-op stuff so, as usual, I find your remarks way off base. Whether or not this victim falls into your own definition of trans anything the fact of the matter is that her perceived trans history is at the root of this brutal violence. The question at hand isn't to argue about your definitions or mine, or whether she's pre-op/post-op/non-op, or even whether she was legally entitled to be in that bathroom based on legal status and/or state law. The fundamental issue is that under no circumstances can the violence that ensued be condoned or justified. I hope we can at least agree on that much.

Sophie Lynne said...

I agree- it's a question of the violence shouldn't have happened.

But it did.

So what are we prepared to do about it? Individually and collectively?

sweetbrandigirl2004 said...

Donna We agree that violence shouldn't happen, but it does and will continue to happen as it's a symptom of our society the rest we'll just have to disagree on....lOL

Anne said...

Hi Donna. I think that a closer, UNBIASED examination of the fact will the the attack was initiated by a bully with a criminal history of identical UNPROVOKED attacks. You can visit my blog for LINKS to the actual police report and EARLY UNEDITED versions of actual witness accounts.

From what I can gather, Crissey transitioned in place and despite having undergone GRS, her HISTORY was known to some. I DO agree that her "op-status" is not the issue. However, despite the bigoted statements of the fool that shot the video, it is FAR from clear or evident that this girls status is what provoked the attack.

Based on Teonna Brown's criminal history of unprovoked attacks on attractive white women, I tend to believe Chrissey's assessment that her attackers "were just spoiling for a fight".

I am not trying to discount the obviously transphobic elements in the comments attributed to the dirtbag that shot the video.

However, just like in Nikki Arragus's case, I see the transgenderists' rush to exploit this woman's pain and misfortune for their own selfish agenda driven purposes, to be PREDATORY at best.

Anne said...

@Melissa. Please note that as you requested, I have provided the "proof" in the form of links to police reports and quotes from the local District Attorney.

You can find them in the comments section of your own blog or on mine...

Melissa said...

But in the end, one of the attackers (in the police charging report), and the guy who shot the video (on his Faceboook page), both said she was a dude, or a man dressed as a woman, and the attack was because she used the women''s restroom. So while race may have been a contributing factor, the woman's perceived gender status was at the root of the attack. That is now beyond question.

Anne said...

What ever YOU say Mel.