A Tale of 2 Nations: Does the Prime Minister’s apology to LGBT people represent a true trend?

By Lynnea Urania Stuart

 

We had long desired to hear words like this.  For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at least, they seem demonstrably heart-felt, not just because he said them but because he also took action on behalf of LGBT peoples.  But it will take more than Trudeau to make real change happen in Canada. 

Consider the United States and its longstanding parallel actions with Canada.  The Obama Administration likewise put its best foot forward on behalf of transpeople in its second term.  But with the election of Donald Trump, Evangelical Dominionists have established a clear agenda to reverse all civil rights advances transpeople have secured and return to a policy of ostracism, extermination, and erasure.1

Could we find a similar pattern upcoming in Canada in which apologies and laws become reversed in a similar wave of conservatism?  We may.  The moment we savor now may fade in a reversal of policy in the name of religion much the same way as we found in the Evangelical ascendency in the United States.

 

TRUDEAU ADDRESSES THE POGROMS

Prime Minister Trudeau began his speech to the Canadian Parliament:

 

“One of the greatest choices a person can make in their life is the choice to serve their fellow citizens. Maybe it’s in government, in the military, or in a police force. In whatever capacity one serves, dedicating your life to making Canada—and indeed, the world—a better place is a calling of the highest order.

Now imagine, if you will, being told that the very country you would willingly lay down your life to defend doesn’t want you. Doesn’t accept you. Sees you as defective. Sees you as a threat to our national security. Not because you can’t do the job, or because you lack patriotism or courage—no, because of who you are as a person, and because of who your sexual partners are.

Now imagine, Mr. Speaker, being subjected to laws, policies, and hiring practices that label you as different—as “less than.”

Imagine having to fight for the basic rights that your peers enjoy, over and over again. And imagine being criminalized for being who you are.

This is the truth for many of the Canadians present in the gallery today, and those listening across the country.

This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government. People who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives.

These aren’t distant practices of governments long forgotten. This happened systematically, in Canada, with a timeline more recent than any of us would like to admit.

Mr. Speaker, today we acknowledge an often-overlooked part of Canada’s history. Today, we finally talk about Canada’s role in the systemic oppression, criminalization, and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities.”2

 

These pogroms filled Canadian records during the Cold War era much like they did in the United States for many years.  It began in the 1950’s, a time in which the United States was having enough of the hearing conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy.  According to Gary Kinsman, a retired Professor of Sociology, a clerk at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow was discovered in 1958 to be homosexual.  He was sent home under the expectation that LGBT peoples would be vulnerable to Soviet blackmail.3

Then the murder of a gay sailor led the Canadian government, with encouragement by U.S. officials, to begin a “gay purge” that continued through the 1960’s and well into the 1990’s, decades after Canada repealed its anti-homosexual laws in 1969.  This was the year of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, the flash point of the “gay rights” movement.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Military Police conducted surveillance of gay bars in cities throughout Canada and pressured LGBT peoples to identify individual gays and lesbians.  An estimated 9,000 people so identified lost their jobs and security clearances.  Enabling this practice, the RCMP commissioned a psychologist to build what they called a “fruit machine” as a test of sexual orientation.4

 

BROADER SCOPE

When Stonewall hit, another Trudeau served as Prime Minister:  Pierre Elliott Trudeau.  The elder Trudeau hailed from the liberal wing and so acted.  But his service did nothing to reverse Canadian police practices.  In reality, Canadian oppression of LGBT peoples went far beyond the “gay purge” to include racial oppression.

That includes street violence against LGBT peoples, especially transwomen and transpeople “of color.”  Transpeople, most specifically, have been barred from leadership roles.  These arose from attitudes fostered by colonialist policies that also fostered pogroms against indigenous peoples.  The First Nations often held different views with respect to sex and gender than did those more closely associated with the ruling British.  This all fell under a continuing campaign of heteronormativity that never entirely went out of existence.5

Prime Minister Trudeau attempted to address this broader picture:

 

“The very thing Canadian officials feared—blackmail of LGBTQ2 employees—was happening. But it wasn’t at the hands of our adversaries; it was at the hands of our own government.

Mr. Speaker, the number one job of any government is to keep its citizens safe. And on this, we have failed LGBTQ2 people, time and time again.

It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong. We apologize. I am sorry. We are sorry.

For state-sponsored, systemic oppression and rejection, we are sorry.

For suppressing two-spirit Indigenous values and beliefs, we are sorry.

For abusing the power of the law, and making criminals of citizens, we are sorry…

To all the LGBTQ2 people across this country who we have harmed in countless ways, we are sorry.

To those who were left broken by a prejudiced system; And to those who took their own lives—we failed you. For stripping you of your dignity; For robbing you of your potential; For treating you like you were dangerous, indecent, and flawed;

We are sorry.

To the victims of the purge, who were surveilled, interrogated, and abused; Who were forced to turn on their friends and colleagues; Who lost wages, lost health, and lost loved ones;

We betrayed you. And we are so sorry.

To those who were fired, to those who resigned, and to those who stayed at a great personal and professional cost; To those who wanted to serve, but never got the chance to because of who you are—you should have been permitted to serve your country, and you were stripped of that option.

We are sorry. We were wrong.”6

 

The Prime Minister didn’t just speak to the recent oppression, but to issues running for centuries before there was ever a Canadian government:

 

Discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities is not a moment in time, but an ongoing, centuries-old campaign.

We want to be a partner and ally to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the years going forward. There are still real struggles facing these communities, including for those who are intersex, queer people of colour, and others who suffer from intersectional discrimination.

Transgender Canadians are subjected to discrimination, violence, and aggression at alarming rates. In fact, trans people didn’t even have explicit protection under federal human rights legislation until this year…

And, Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that earlier today in this House we tabled the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act. This will mean that Canadians previously convicted of consensual sexual activity with same-sex partners will have their criminal records permanently destroyed.

Further, I am pleased to announce that over the course of the weekend, we reached an agreement in principle with those involved in the class action lawsuit for actions related to “the purge.”

Never again will our government be the source of so much pain for members of the LGBTQ2 communities.

We promise to consult and work with individuals and communities to right these wrongs and begin to rebuild trust. We will ensure that there are systems in place so that these kinds of hateful practices are a thing of the past. Discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ2 Canadians will not be tolerated anymore.7

 

Prime Minister Trudeau speaks of some genuinely substantial measures.  The Canadian government earmarked 100 million Canadian dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by victims of the “gay purge.”  The Prime Minister also seeks to push through a bill to expunge the records of those criminalized in this pogrom.8

 

THE UNITED STATES BACKTRACKS

Prime Minister Trudeau’s actions are certainly more consistent with those of the latter part of the Obama years.  But the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 brought about a major outcry in the Evangelical ranks, most specifically those political parachurch entities seeking establishment of allied Evangelicals as a theocracy. The 2016 drive in anti-transgender legislation arose from this outrage.

About the same time that Prime Minister Trudeau delivered his apology, what did the United States do?  The Senate confirmed Gregory Katsas, legal advisor to Donald Trump, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit with a vote along party lines, 50-48.  The National Center for Transgender Equality blasted this move:

 

 “As deputy white house counsel, Katsas helped draft the White House memo formalizing President Trump’s transgender military ban as well as the president’s Muslim travel ban. Katsas has confirmed that he also advised on numerous administration attacks on LGBTQ people, including the February withdrawal of lifesaving guidance supporting transgender students, an aggressive Justice Department brief arguing federal civil rights laws do not protect LGBTQ people, and a brief in the Supreme Court arguing for a constitutional right to discriminate.”9

 

We can look at these trends in 2 different ways.

One the one hand we may look at Canada in terms of homo-nationalism, positing that this apology demonstrates that Canada is more advanced and civilized than the United States.  But ask the indigenous peoples whether this apology gains their trust any more.  After all, attacks upon 2 Spirit people has long been an attack upon native cultures and complaints of indigenous peoples disappearing and sometimes being found murdered in Canada have not gone away.10

On the other hand, we may look at Canada in terms of the continuing ebb and flow of liberalism in politics.  It’s the same ebb and flow we have experienced in the United States, with sharp differences noted since the last presidential election.  The confirmation of Gregory Katsas isn’t just an issue for the Court of Appeals.  The appointment sets him up to be appointed to the Supreme Court as well.

What that means for Canada is that religious inclinations of Canadian Evangelicals may easily echo those of the U.S. Midwest and South, and their anti-transgender disposition as displayed at local levels, most particularly schools, has yet to rise in its full force at the federal level.11

 

READYING THE NEXT CYCLE

The United States may experience some serious shifts in the electorate, possibly as a result of Trump’s tax plan in which property taxes and mortgages no longer may be deducted.  That’s largely directed against the large states, most notably New York and California.12 We may ask who are more likely to be harmed by such a move.  Will it be the GOP that backs the big corporations or the Democrats who have relied upon union ranks over the years?  More likely it’s the latter.  We may easily see population shifts over the next decade in which left-leaning voters move to what are now largely red states, simply because they must in order  to survive.

Another aspect enters the picture:  those mom and pop small businesses that have heavily supported the GOP since the Reagan era.  If these entrepreneurs find themselves disaffected by the GOP, many will probably not remain Republican.  Some may turn Democrat, many more will probably declare themselves Independent.  If the Democrats gain appeal to this segment, we may see a full reversal of many states from red to blue. 

With such a trend should come another wave of liberal thought, most specifically toward civil rights. The Democrats should sponsor a “Civil Rights Restoration Act” or something to that effect in future years, specifically to reverse the civil rights policies of Donald Trump that facilitate human rights abuses.

Should the United States find itself in that zone, where will we find Canada?  It largely depends upon whether religionist Canadians desire to repeat the U.S. experience.  Some undoubtedly will.  But will most?  That remains to be seen.  But we would be naïve to think that Canadians are altogether as nice as depicted in the satirical film Canadian Bacon.13

If Canada finds itself in a reversal comparable to that of the United States, Prime Minister Trudeau’s apology will be deemed a hollow one.  For indigenous peoples and those LGBT, it may seem like déjà vu.  There may have been a settlement.  Records may have been expunged.  But a new wave of pogroms could easily take hold again despite the Prime Minister’s wishes, simply because Dominionists demand to rule the Dominion of Canada like they demand to rule the United States.

______________________________

REFERENCES:

Featured Image: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, official portrait (Wikimedia Commons).

  1. Lynnea Urania Stuart. “The Collapse of Dominionism” Trans Muse Planet (July 22, 2017) https://thetmplanet.com/the-dominionist-collapse-when-transpeople-face-theocracy/.
  2. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, (text of speech delivered to the Canadian Parliament November 28, 2017)
  3. Ian Austen. “Victims of Canada’s ‘Gay Purge’ to Get Apology from Trudeau” New York Times (November 21, 2017, accessed December 2, 2017) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/world/canada/gays-trudeau-apology.html?_r=0.
  4. Ibid.
  5. John Paul Catungal. “Justin Trudeau’s Apology to LGBTQ People Isn’t Enough” US News and World Report (November 28, 2017, accessed December 2, 2017) https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-11-28/justin-trudeaus-apology-to-lgbtq-people-isnt-enough
  6. Trudeau (text of speech to the Canadian Parliament November 28, 2017).
  7. Ibid.
  8. “Trudeau apologises for discrimination against LGBT people” BBC (November 28, 2017, accessed December 2, 2017) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42157806
  9. Mara Kiesling. “Legal Architect of Anti-Trans Attacks Confirmed to nations Second-Highest Court” NCTE (Press Release November 28, 2017, accessed December 3, 2017) https://transequality.org/press/releases/legal-architect-of-anti-trans-attacks-confirmed-to-nation-s-second-highest-court.
  10. Alan Freeman. “The mystery of 1.000 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada” Washington Post (August 4, 2017, accessed December 3, 2017) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/04/the-mystery-of-1000-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-in-canada/?utm_term=.c2bb1ebc99b2.
  11. Anna Mehler Paperny. “Transgender people still not counted in Canada’s hate crimes data” Global News ( April 13, 2016, accessed December 3, 2017) https://globalnews.ca/news/2634576/trans-people-still-not-counted-in-canadas-hate-crimes-data/.
  12. Ed Kilgore. “Trump Tax Bill Hammers New York and California” New York Magazine (November 2, 2017, accessed December 3, 2017) http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/trump-tax-bill-hammers-new-york-and-california.html.
  13. “Canadian Bacon (1995) Plot” IMDb (accessed December 3, 2017) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109370/plotsummary.
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Preserving Our Stories: Today and the Future of the International Transgender Day of Remembrance

By Lynnea Urania Stuart

Of all transgender events, none has brought us together more and none has been more commonly held sacred than this one.  It’s easy to see how the International Transgender Day of Remembrance has made such an impact:  an appeal to conscience, a sense that each of us could be next to be murdered, and now in the age of Trump, a furthering of resolve to survive against a social order that calls for our erasure.

Those who want us to not be remembered regard our blood as cheap.  After all, we’re stereotypically hypersexualized fiends, profligate sinners, and every one a filthy prostitute (despite the fact that only 19%, fewer than 1 out of 5 of us, have had any part in the sex industry whether for money, food, or shelter,1 and most transpeople really do hold positions of responsibility).  It’s a cheapening in the public mind on the basis of stigma, fueling panic defenses in the courts, and leading to reduced sentences upon those who kill us.  But our blood must not be cheapened.  We need the truth to be told.  The Day of Remembrance, for all of what it has lacked, has brought out more of that truth than has been available to previous generations.  Now, we need to take new steps to advance its message.

 

A VOICE AT UNITED NATIONS SQUARE

This writer, in response to an invitation received through correspondence from the Transgender Civil Rights Implementation Task Force and Transgender San Francisco, stood at United Nations Square near San Francisco City Hall on a cold and windy night, November 20, 2000.  This event wasn’t the first Day of Remembrance.  One had been held previously at the Castro District on a drippy night.  That Day of Remembrance was much like any street protest.2

This one at United Nations Square offered the same outrage, but with added dimensions.

Rita Hester and those for whom she stood vicariously in 1999 weren’t the focus of this Day of Remembrance.3 We had a list for a reading of the names and a bell to ring in a public memorial, months before similar traditions of remembrance after the Attacks of 9-11.  That evening we had barely a dozen names to remember.  Today’s global networking for the collection of victims to be remembered didn’t exist then.  Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the event Founder, told that evening’s that the Day of Remembrance will be held every year for as long as our people continue to be murdered in hate crimes.

With those words, we knew something special was happening.  The wind blew fiercely through the urban canyons, blowing out candles, but everyone was eager to offer a relight.  The cold wind threatened our lights like the societal winds of hate threaten us.  Defiance was in our hearts even while we shivered.  We could hear those laughing in mockery as they passed by.  But we didn’t care.  We were witnessing history and affirmed the goodness of the message.

Those of us who went to our homes that night took the event with us.  The Transgender Day of Remembrance spread throughout the country the following year, and thereafter, the world.

 

THE CURRENT YEAR OF BLOOD

This year we’ve seen various news sources speak of 2017 as the deadliest year on record for transpeople.  However, news sources in the United States don’t usually offer the worldwide picture.  They specifically focus upon the United States.  Yes. We have 25 murdered in the United States in 2017 including some you may have known yourself on Facebook or your local support group.

The advantage the U.S. media offers consists of a greater interest in how the victims lived.  The real legacies of the victims emerge in those stories.  Some great societal contributors have been killed including Alejandro Polanco Botero of, Risaralda, Colombia, a known attorney, shot 4 times by a hit man.  Most of us haven’t risen to his status.4

Have we seen sex workers murdered?  Certainly.  But others had higher level jobs.  Sex workers typically have higher aspirations than sex work too.  We include them because they shouldn’t have had to live as sex workers.

Have we seen drug addicts and alcoholics murdered?  Certainly.  But most weren’t addicts.  Most addicts would prefer a better life too.  We include them because they deserved help and often found exploitation and rejection instead.

Have we seen transgender homeless murdered?  Certainly.  But most weren’t homeless.  Those who were didn’t necessarily have addictions or were mentally ill.  More and more of today’s homeless have degrees, even Masters degrees.  This writer has seen evidence of this who also suffered 2 years of homelessness.  More of us have fitfully slept on cold concrete in the presence of rats and vermin than admit.  Anyone, trans or not, who thinks he’s immune from this may well experience a rude awakening.

Too many of us feel compelled to work in the underground economy because of rampant and now legally sanctioned discrimination, often in the name of religion.  Sometimes the same kinds of religionists are clients.  That compulsion doesn’t cheapen their blood, even if others self-righteously think that their non-involvement in the underground economy somehow makes their blood better.  It doesn’t.  Given similar conditions, most of us would probably find ourselves in similar occupations.

What we demand of society instead is to change the status quo that excludes us from opportunities to live in peace, a status quo that heaves us down again and again and again.  It’s a status quo that delights to impose an impenetrable stigma, relying upon lies such as “they’re sick and self-destructive because they’re transgender, therefore they can’t be trusted but should be summarily incarcerated or otherwise destroyed.”

How many have we seen murdered worldwide this year?  Transgender Europe (TGEU) has for many years now compiled lists through the Trans Murder Monitoring Project (TMM) and earlier this week released its list for the 2017 Day of Remembrance.  The number murdered this time:  325, up from 295 in the 2015-2016 cycle.5

Some of the murders are especially outrageous, even gruesome.  Some, including some whose identities remain concealed, had faces ripped off their heads or otherwise disfigured.  Others, like Amna and Meena were tortured in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “packed in sacks and thrashed with sticks” after police arrested them.  Some like Sherlyn Montoya of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, went missing.  Sherlyn’s body was found in a sack with signs of torture.  Vanessa Valenzuela of Nina del Mar, Chile was attacked by 5 people with hammers and sticks while yelling, “kill the fag!”  Kenneth Bostick of New York City was living in a homeless shelter when beaten into a coma with a metal pipe, dying more than a week later at Bellevue Hospital.  Some, like J.R.P. Mangalili of Bulacan, Philippines were disrespected in death, buried in a manner inconsistent with their gender identities.  The body of Rubi Guerrero of La Altagracia, Dominican Republic was found dismembered.   Gwenevere River Song of Waxahachie, Iowa, was non-binary, but shot and killed by their own father.  Others were shot, stabbed, stoned, burned, beaten, decapitated, or some combination thereof.6

 

FILLING IN THE GAPS

325 is an astonishing number.  The number includes those killed from October 1, 2016 to September 20, 2017.  For the official list from TMM, click here.

TGEU has been unexcelled in this kind of service and to them we owe a great debt of gratitude.  Of course, there are some natural limitations to its lists, even apart from reports arriving with little information, sometimes not even a name.  TGEU has in the past published a list a couple of weeks in advance of the Day of Remembrance followed by an update a few days before observances.  More recently they simply published a list.  We’re entering the Day of Remembrance with a month and a half gap which would have to be filled the following year and with little for event organizers to assimilate in barely a week’s time.

Likewise we haven’t regular updates of those being remembered in the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website like we’ve seen in previous years, though it was recently updated for the 2017 event.7  Nor can we reasonably expect it.  It may be that these and other sites dedicated to remembering our dead need a broader base of support and we haven’t given them these sites the support they really need.  That need goes beyond site maintenance.  If you can contribute to site maintenance, by all means, contact the owners.

But with regard to reporting and distribution of information, we should look at what has worked and what still needs to be done.

Transgender Europe doesn’t do the Trans Murder Monitoring Project on its own. It partners with other networking organizations, most notably in Latin America.  Among these are:

  • APTN, Covering Southeast Asia, most specifically the Philippines
  • Centro de Apoyo a las Identidades Trans, covering Latin America, primarily Spanish-speaking regions
  • Rede Trans Brasil, covering the Portugese-speaking regions of the Americas
  • Wajood covering the Subcontinent8

Though these networks have provided excellent service year after year, we obviously show gaps with respect to coverage.  We have nothing from the Russian Federation, Central Asia, China and Mongolia, the Middle East, or Africa except meager press reports.  We can expect that the 325 would be a much higher number if we had better, sympathetic coverage.  The Day of Remembrance website has relied upon the press, and so naturally has produced a smaller number to be remembered than what has come through TGEU and its partner organizations.

We need more regional partnerships like them to fill in these gaps, whether connected to TGEU or some other organization with similar service.  Up till 2015 we had a U.S. based site for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) doing work parallel to that of TGEU and purported to open case numbers for follow-up.  When it ran, any subscriber could obtain an update only days old.  However, that site has closed and nothing in the United States has replaced it.

We need to expand the role of support organizations in a way that might not have previously been considered.  They can provide its members a repository for their stories available to others, even if they must be embodied by alternate names in those parts of the world particularly known for religious and political oppression and whose identities must be guarded carefully. By doing so they would gain greater incentive for people to take memberships.  Every officer of a support group could potentially become a liaison to a larger network who could not only report cases of murders, but also tell us how those people lived, what they can teach the rest of us, and possibly to draw patterns as to how to prevent murders in the future.

It is, in a way, a repository of souls.

 

HOW IT MAY WORK

For that matter, murders committed as hate crimes only represent part of the general milieu of calamity that can befall transpeople, each of whose stories could be easily overlooked or expunged. Some of us go missing.  Some become exploited in the underground economy.  Some face incarceration in which a person may or may not be able to communicate with the outside world.  Some cases should become known to law enforcement providing those authorities will not be inclined to inflict harm upon transpeople in the first place.

Part of the responsibility of remembrance rests upon the individual.  Some of us already have written our stories and distributed them to trusted individuals.  Some of us even put them on personal websites and Facebook pages.  These same profiles can be registered with a member of a support organization entrusted with secretarial duties, either to a paper file or to a laptop that could be secured separate from personal computers, especially in politically hostile areas.

Larger support organizations typically register members with 2 naming criteria:  the name to be used for mail and the name the individual prefers to be known in that group.  The reason for this is a matter of security with respect to confidentiality and expediting mail service.  If we know a person as “Sarah” and the post office knows that person as “Thomas”, a post office may at times reject mail as undeliverable because mail to person under a different name would technically be considered a form of mail fraud.  If everyone knows what the deal really is, it hurts nobody and a local postmaster may be sympathetic.  Others demand an ID in the preferred name.  But no support organization can count on postmaster sympathy.  Neither will a support organization want to expose a transperson to a hostile household member unwittingly.  That would go against their mission and ethics.9

An individual needs to make such profiles a part of a system of notifications that can be updated periodically in the same way other vital notifications need periodic updating as part of emergency packages.  They include:

  1. A Last Will and Testament: This document does more than list executors and property to be dispensed. It also addresses the dispensation of other accounts.  Mine, for example, is set up in such a way that updating information is done with attachments clipped to the Will.  These attachments pertain to lists of people to be notified and how to notify them.  They include the most current information on intellectual property with  copyrights and other publishing codes including job numbers, organizations being used in publishing and marketing, usernames, passwords, and current representatives.  They also include Internet accounts with current usernames and passwords that change from time to time, changing frequently after a cyber attack.  By using attachments for this purpose with the Will referencing those attachments, there’s no need to change the Will itself.  That way I don’t have to go through the pain of rounding up a new set of witnesses every time I change a password or marketing service.10
  2. A Living Will: This document directs any medical facility concerning who can make medical decisions for the maker in case the maker becomes incapacitated but remains alive. It does this through a Durable Power of Attorney.  It also provides Advance Directives to that facility concerning life-sustaining treatment and other preferences for medical treatment.  It addresses extreme conditions like coma or extreme brain damage.  It addresses issues of feeding, hydration, experimental treatments, mental illness, transfusions, RFID implants, and harvesting of organs for transplant as well as how closely these directives must be followed.  These advance directives become part of the patient’s Chart and may be the only thing that stands between a decision for no heroic measures in medical treatment and possibly being kept alive for years against the patient’s wishes while draining the patient’s estate.  Some facilities want a notarized Living Will.  Others accept any signed Living Will with 2 witnesses.  Some, like medical centers run by the Veterans Administration, have a particular form for Living Wills.  But even a VA facility may regard a Living Will using a different format as authoritative so long as it addresses the same set of concerns.  Consult your local facility or facilities concerning their requirements, noting that the range of ambulance services for your area might not reach your preferred facility.11

Accompanying these documents I also propose adding a postcard notifying a support organization.  It would work best if the support organization uses a post office box with the card addressed to the “Post Office Box Holder” or “Occupant” if addressed to an office other than that of, say, a physician or attorney.  The card would be marked with a Profile Number connected to a profile previously registered with the secretary and may be the same as a Membership Number.  The card information would be titled, “Vital Notification” or something to that effect.  It might have a brief checklist that includes:

  1. “Deceased”
  2. “Missing”
  3. “Incarcerated”
  4. “Date Deceased, Missing, or Incarcerated”
  5. “Communications Allowed If Incarcerated?” (yes or no)
  6. “New Address of Incarcerated” to be filled in by household representative.
  7. “Does the personal or household representative wish to be contacted?”
  8. “Representative Contact Information (optional)”

A Profile Number not only would be indexed to a registered profile telling the story as a transperson, it would be indexed to other existing information of a member including a legal name and possibly other names used.  It would also be indexed to a document not all support organizations include in their membership rolls:  Advance Notification Directives, a statement on how further notifications may be carried out by that organization.  This would also need to be referenced in a group’s Privacy Statement that should accompany an Application.  In a sense, Advance Notification Directives function much like Advance Directives do to medical facilities to assure confidentiality and follow-up.  If a member is in trouble, how can the trans community help?  Who in the trans community needs to be notified?  Will a liaison need to work alongside law enforcement?  To what extent should information be released to the press?  Do pre-existing threats exist?

You can see how this elevates the purpose of a support organization.  It becomes more than just a group one attends once a month for psychological warm fuzzies.  It takes the proportion of genuinely contributing to the safety or its members, and potentially, society at large.

Specifics concerning these documents need to be addressed by the officers of the support organization in their meetings because they have practical and possibly legal ramifications.  There should also be a designated liaison to communicate with the household representative, law enforcement, or any other interested agency and who understands how to exercise discretion.  That may include investigating circumstances of incarceration, whether justly applied for a crime or unjustly due to abuse of psychiatry.   That may include investigating circumstances behind murder and cooperation with law enforcement helps in advancing good relations with cities and counties.

The information obtained at the local support group level should become linked to any existing report in the local press which may or may not actually identify a victim as transgender.  It may reveal that a transperson not being respected after death through internment as a member of an imposed sex inconsistent with gender identity.  The local liaison notifies a regional networking organization with monitoring of murders in its mission.  The regional network communicates with organizations including TGEU who compile worldwide lists of deceased transpeople.  This can also be expanded to include lists of those being exploited or unjustly incarcerated.  It may even be used to address issues behind suicide, most specifically bullying and doxxing.

 

WORKING AROUND LIMITATIONS

Of course, not all places in the world can operate like this.  While this may suffice for transpeople in more enlightened areas like Johannesburg, Beirut, Shanghai, or Ho Chi Minh City, it may be too dangerous a practice for places like Kampala, Tripoli, Basra, or Bishkek.  Personal information may be too sensitive to entrust to one person and profiles may not be linked to any address in any way at all.  They may not even contain images that can potentially identify an individual not yet deceased.  Wherever transpeople manage to form associations, they need to address how to best preserve safety for one another and exercise discretion; and nobody knows better how to do this in a particular locale than its own residents.

It’s part of what makes a community a community.  Remembering our dead and the lessons of their lives is part of our honoring one another.  When we remember on the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, we must also honor those intrepid gatherings of transpeople whose voices have been squelched by intolerance but still persist:  in counties like Egypt, Turkey, and the Russian Federation who continue to face state-sanctioned oppression.  Their resilience is a lesson to us all, and future networking partnerships may indeed arise from such groups.  We may yet find new ways to communicate instead of standard channels monitored by local or state officials and need to be watchful for networking opportunities with transpeople struggling in those countries and beyond.

It may test our patience, but patient we must be.  While we evolve in response to world conditions we realize afresh with the Day of Remembrance that there are some things that do not change for as long as humans exist:  people are born, they suffer, and they die.  For as long as our people die because of meanness, we remember, with faith in prospects to come of alleviating suffering, and giving greater meaning to the dead.

______________________________

REFERENCES:

Featured Image:  A month of a list of murdered transgender individuals in the current TDoR cycle, sourced from The TvT research project (2017), hereafter cited.

  1. James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality, p. 158.
  2. Theresa Sparks “1st Transgender Day of Remembrance” YouTube (November 8, 2008, accessed November 18, 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-lTsu9SQXM.
  3. (n.a.) “About TDOR” International Transgender Day of Remembrance Website (accessed November 18, 2017) https://tdor.info/about-2/.
  4. TvT research project (2017) “Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) TDoR 2017 Update”, Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide. TvT project website: http://transrespect.org/en/trans-murder-monitoring/tmm-resources/
  5. The site also includes past lists.
  6. Ibid.
  7. International Transgender Day of Remembrance Website (accessed November 18, 2017) https://tdor.info/.
  8. Op. cit.
  9. The author relies upon her experience with the post office and firms that sell post office boxes. She also relies upon her experience with support organizations.
  10. The author speaks from experience. For specifics concerning a Last Will and Testament, plenty of examples can be found on Internet for simple Wills.  For Wills involving complicated estates and other issues, consult an attorney familiar with probate.
  11. The author speaks from experience.  For specifics concerning a Living Will, plenty of examples can be found in Internet.  For help, contact the social worker or chaplain at your local medical facility or an attorney
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The Problem With Cis-to-Trans Fan Art and Headcanons

By Levi van Wyk

Words you may be unfamiliar with:
Canon: Official traits given to fictional characters by the original creators. Example: “Superman has a muscled body”.
Headcanon: Unofficial traits given to fictional characters by fans, usually just for fun or creative exploring. Example: “Superman’s muscles are actually just sponges stuffed into his costume to make it seem like he has a muscled body”.

As an artist myself, I definitely understand the need for creativity and ideas to be applied to works of fiction and its characters. People generally enjoy fictional characters most when they are relatable or convey commendable behaviour. Unfortunately, a lot of fans tend to take their creativity too far by forcing ideas onto creators, their creations and other fans.

Recently, I’ve noticed a rise in artists and fans turning cisgender fictional characters transgender, as part of creative fan art projects and headcanons for fun. While it’s great to see the transgender community being represented in the creative world, it also brings a lot of problems to light.

The “obviously transgender” character

I absolutely loved the idea of taking original fictional characters and drawing them as LGBT individuals for fun. However, I recently noticed that almost all fan art featuring a cis-character-turned-trans, make it blatantly obvious that the character is transgender. Cis male characters are portrayed wearing lipstick and makeup while showing off a fabulous beard and wearing clothing generally found in the female section of a clothing store. While we try to erase gender stereotypes where we can, some things will always be gendered because of society’s way of sorting everything under labels, and the transgender community is very well aware of this. A part of the transgender community constantly asks the “do I pass?” question, while trying to match their gendered clothing, mannerisms, physical appearances and way of living to a gender-type. This may exclude agender and non-binary individuals, as they are more flexible with the previously-mentioned concerns. Unfortunately, to the entire world, gender stereotypes will most likely never be erased.

Fictional characters that seem “obviously transgender” in appearance, insinuates that transgender individuals make use of gender stereotyping to only add to their original traits, such as wearing bright pink lipstick while being unable to help the fact that they still grow beards, if the character is a trans female. I’m perfectly fine with harmless fan art, which is probably what it is, but artists and fans also need to remember that art gets seen by everyone if it’s posted online, and the general public, who probably doesn’t understand much about transgender lifestyles, might get the wrong idea. Not all transgender individuals are “out” to the public either, where the characters in these artworks scream “look at me, I’m transgender!”. More often than not, a transgender individual will not make it obvious that they are transgender to the public, unless if they feel safe to do so. I do feel like cisgender artists and fans need to go out of their way to research transgender lifestyles, join transgender groups online, talk to multiple transgender individuals and ask enough questions to fully understand the transgender community. That being said, by no means am I attacking fans, artists or their creative pieces – I’m simply noticing the problematic aspects of something that could be deemed as “harmless media”.

CIS-TO-TRASN HEADCONS

Harassment and death threats

Whenever there’s drama somewhere on some type of social media website, everyone seems to know about it, except, apparently, for the harassment and death threats people receive from creators of “this cis character is trans” posts, if they disagree with the posts. Personally, I tend to feel annoyed with these types of posts, even though I grant people the right to create headcanons and be creative. I recently asked members of a few transgender Facebook groups what they think about said headcanons, and the majority said they don’t like it or just ignore it. I’ve seen a lot of transgender individuals disagree with these types of headcanon posts, only to be met with a barrage of insults, name-calling, harassment and death threats, usually from the creators of the posts themselves. Ironically enough, after doing some digging, I’ve found that most of the creators of these posts identify as cisgender, but are a part of the LGB communities. There’s nothing wrong with this, however, the problem comes in where transgender individuals state that they disagree with posts relating to their identities and community, and are then immediately attacked and called “transphobic”.

I feel that if a transgender person states that they do not agree with something transgender-related, which was created by someone outside of the transgender community, they should be respected, instead of attacked. A lot of transgender individuals on these groups mentioned that they usually get attacked by cisgender individuals, and told that they house “internalized transphobia”. To me personally, it makes no sense for someone outside of the community to tell someone belonging to the community that they are transphobic, even while it could be a possibility. Once again, people have the right to be creative and make headcanons for characters, but they shouldn’t attack others for disagreeing with them. It’s fine to say “I think this character could be trans, because-”, but it’s wrong to say “This character is trans and if you disagree with me, you’re transphobic-”, because headcanons are fan-made and unofficial.

Gender identity is NOT an aesthetic

Carrying on from the previous topic, “cis to trans” headcanon posts and art generally have this strange type of fantasy and fairytale vibe to them. Again, this is fine, except for the fact that it makes it seem like being transgender is some sort of aesthetic, a fairytale one can only dream of living. This, of course, is not what being transgender is about at all. Being transgender can be a struggle, even in the smallest of cases. Transgender individuals experience gender dysphoria; fear of passing in gendered public spaces such as restrooms; severe bullying in the form of verbal, psychological or physical abuse for identifying as transgender; depressive and anxious episodes; and so forth. Of course, cisgender individuals experience some of these issues as well, but they’re still very different to what transgender individuals experience. For example, one of the posts featured a character who got bullied a lot because of his nerd-like personality, big glasses and interest in science – a typical trait in fictional universes, given to characters who apparently need to experience “character development”. However, the creator of the post stated that the character is transgender, which is why they constantly got bullied. While this is an interesting theory, it’s highly unrealistic, unless if the character explicitly stated that they are transgender and the bullies knew, but they didn’t, as far as I remember. Again, not all transgender people are “out” to the general public. One of the people who commented on my questions in the transgender groups, said that they feel as though the creators of these headcanon posts make it seem like being transgender is some cute way of living, with the featured character experiencing hardships and then ending up a hero of some sort in the end. Once again, I’m perfectly fine with people expressing their creativity, but research needs to be done, and creations need to be realistic in terms of being transgender, because any creations posted on the internet can be seen by the whole world, and misinformation can be spread extremely easily.

Fan art and headcanon posts also tend to have a strange insinuation that transgender individuals are “special” beings, living “special” lives. While our lives may differ to cisgender lives in a lot of ways, we’re still normal human beings. Once we accept and allow ourselves to live our identity, we live normal lives, with a few exceptions and a few changes. I understand the problem with censorship and being afraid to be creative as an artist, however, if art and creations tell an unrealistic story and have a false sense of what its featuring, it becomes a problem, especially if real-life groups of people are included.

Consumer becomes creator

Those who are familiar with “fandom culture”, will know how problematic it is on its own. Fandom culture is a type of “culture” formed around a certain fandom, where fans usually influence each other’s way of viewing characters, agreements and disagreements arise, unwritten rules are laid down, and strong opinions are generally thrown around. Fandoms can be great, but once fandom culture is implemented, general toxic behaviour and discourses arise from some fans. It does, however, also have lots of positive traits, such as meeting new people with similar interests, sharing ideas, sharing art and humour, and so forth. Unfortunately, people tend to only see the toxic side of fandom culture, and unfortunately, I will be focusing on one of the worst traits fans have developed within certain fandoms: forcing opinions and headcanons on the original creators of a creative project.

Many creators keep an eye on their fan-bases via various social media sites. Creators take note of how characters are portrayed by fans, creative alternate universes for different characters, fan-made relationships, and so forth. Personally, I believe it’s great that creators interact with fans and add certain special traits to characters based on popular opinions from fans. The problem here, is that some fans take it too far. It’s a common problem for creators to have certain traits of their characters set in stone, only to have fans demand a change in those traits. This, unfortunately, includes the fact that fans take cisgender characters and turn them transgender, while forcing others to accept this change. If fans did this for fun, it would have been fine, but unfortunately, as previously stated, things get pulled out of proportion. As a creator and trans male myself, I naturally feel the need to include LGBT characters in my work, but I also know that fans won’t respect the traits I give to my characters. This puts a lot of pressure, not just on me, but on a lot of creators in the world. We want to include more LGBT characters, but we know that fans will just ignore their identities and orientations either way. This goes for cisgender, straight characters as well. It’s very common for fans to take straight characters and make them LGB, or, as discussed in this article, cis characters, and make them trans. Again, this goes for when creators state that a character has a definite orientation or identity. Recently, Wonder Woman has been confirmed to be bisexual, and some fans still insisted that she’s lesbian, while there’s a difference between the two orientations. Thankfully, her orientation hasn’t been changed to please fans, and still remains as bisexual.

Of course, we’re talking about fictional characters here, so a lot of people might wonder what the problem is. While characters are fictional and shouldn’t necessarily be taken seriously, traits such as orientations and identities, should be. The reason for this is that, as explained earlier, everyone who gets introduced to the character, gets introduced to their traits, and if those traits are unrealistic or thrown around to be changed by fans, people will get confused, annoyed, indifferent or ignorant about those traits. In my personal opinion, fans should stop trying to force creators to change their character traits just to please a small amount of fans. There’s a big difference between a “what if” for fun, and a “this is how it is, because I said so”. It’s disrespectful towards creators and communities of people with similar orientations or identities.

The rise in LGBT representation

Personally, I absolutely love seeing more and more LGBT characters included in games and movies, however, there’s a problem with this as well. Because of the high demand of having LGBT characters in media, companies have started to do just that – include LGBT characters in their creative projects. I can’t, however, shake the feeling that this could also just be because of high demand, and that including LGBT characters in creative projects, will make it sell. This doesn’t include all companies, of course, but I feel that people should understand that a rise in LGBT representation will be seen simply because of the demand from the market. While it’s great to see said representation rise, I also feel that characters should be legit. Characters should be made a certain way, because it fits their character, not to please the audience. Of course, this type of thinking will lead to fewer sales, seeing as “audience-pleasing” has been a thing for years, even through thousand-year old storytelling.

The solution

Instead of taking existing characters and changing their identities, rather make new ones. Fans can easily create new and original characters matching their creative needs. Companies, whether doing it as part of a crowd-pleasing project, or including certain character traits because they really want to represent more communities worldwide, already do this. Examples such as Steven Universe and Overwatch have been doing an incredible job in LGBT representation, and while it sold, it also seemed to be legit – it’s simply how things are in those universes. Anyone can create a fictional world representing different people via different character personalities, nationalities, orientations and identities. I personally believe that it’s better to create complete new characters or worlds when including LGBT characters, instead of simply adding to old and existing worlds where LGBT is unheard of.

In reality, orientations and identities can change, but in the fictional universe, creators have the final say, and it’s best to respect them and how they portray their characters. If an official creator changes a character’s identity, then that’s how it is, but it’s different when fans assume a character has a certain type of identity and then force their ideas on everyone else.

I believe that all orientations and identities should be respected. Fan art and posts for fun and discussion make great additions to fandoms, but those posts and ideas shouldn’t be anything more than creative discussions and “what ifs”.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THIS OR ANY OTHER TOPIC ON OUR SITE, PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON  THE TMP FORUM AND FOLLOW QUANTIFY ART STUDIO.

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Best of Both Worlds

By Sabrina Samone

There’s so many ways to celebrate our duality, being Trans, and why we should. So often we’re faced with the doom and gloom of living in a world that discriminates against us, that causes us to doubt at times our own self worth, but why should we?  We as Trans-people are extremely special in so many ways.

Unfortunately so many words or labels we’ve once accepted, we now quickly discard, due to those who have exploited those terms in derogatory ways. We’ve given those that have distorted the meaning, the power. As a trans-gal babe just starting HRT, how we loathed the word she-male. There was nothing more humiliating. We were more satisfied at the time, with the term Tranny over she-male, yet as time has proved, they’ve made that as ugly and as shameful. Now as a community we’ve discarded that from our vocabulary. One that I will not let them take is; Best of Both Worlds, because we are just that. We’re a unique special two spirited people with a long history in the human race.

Two spirited people: long before the white Europeans stole the land of the Native Americans, two spirited people existed. In this land we call North America there is nothing more traditional than two spirited people. We were considered a third gender, and were a fundamental institution among most tribal people. Male and Female two spirited people have been documented in over a 130 tribes in every region of North America.¹ Two spirits usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and feminine spirit. They were highly respected in their tribe and were considered healers, fortune tellers, matchmakers and to have a child named by a two spirit person was to have a lucky name in life.

In Ancient times we were considered dually-gifted and respected. What we understand as transgender today had often been understood quite differently at various periods in time. In the earliest ages, people who were seen to bridge the genders were often thought to possess wisdom that cis-gender people did not and were often exalted in society for this. Roman historian Plutarch depicts “the Great Mother” as an intersex deity from who the two sexes had not yet split.¹½ Transgender depictions of the Great Mother and her priestesses are found in ancient artifacts back to the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylonia and Akkad. In ancient times there were no words such as homosexuality or bisexuality, most just enjoyed sexuality.

Cybele, mother goddess and known to have transgender priesthood (2)

Today eunuchs or Hijra, as they are commonly referred as in India and other parts of south Asia; perform blessings in the form of dances at birth ceremonies and weddings. Though now, modern bigotry plagues this group as it does transgender people everywhere.

Depiction of Bagoas, known eunuch lover of Alexander the Great (3)

Whether it is two-spirited or eunuchs’, today transgender people are highly sexualized and the classic terminology used in the growing industry of transgender porn is to market us as the best of both worlds. But discarding this phrase regardless how you feel about adult entertainment, is giving them the power over it’s meaning and value to us as a people. We are indeed the best of both worlds, spiritually, physically for many, sexually, and that is something we should not be ashamed of.

It may seem shallow coming from admirers, or in a sexual reference, but it is also a compliment and appreciation for the blessings we offer the universe. By entertaining theses expressions of admiration is really intriguing; cis-gender women who admire trans-men may often say that their masculinity is much more traditional, unstained by guaranteed perceptions of male privilege, and better at connecting with women, most cis-gender men say they admire trans-women for their detail and appreciation of their femininity, something even cis-women feel that women have lost on a quest for equality. Men notice a more tender approach to their male ego.

Also trans-amorous admirers, and allies think of us as brave, strong despite the great opposition we face in society. Transgender people regardless how young or old are known to have thick skin and become very wise, very fast. We could also take a moment to listen to our allies, cause we are stronger than I think we give ourselves credit for at times. While society at large seems to continue the gender war between male and female, and sexual wars of heterosexual and homosexual, we have the wisdom to see all the sides, the negative and positive of both. Those of us that due to the drastic physical changes that we receive from testosterone and estrogen and can resist being servants of Narcissus; a fixation with oneself, many are wise beyond our years, make great loyal trustworthy friends and because of a duality in mental thinking make great artist, writers, politicians, business people, psychologist, because we are all just a little better at seeing all sides of things that are usually missed by cis-gender people.

Of course, I’m not implying we are better or superior to cis-gender people, but given the facts of history, we are an equal contributor to the human race. Equality for third gender people should be the norm, and should not have to be fought for like crumbs in the streets from people who are as mortal as we are, with no more of a supreme right than we have to dictate the meaning of life. Society today is nothing more than left over debris from the dark ages. A time when people thought it best to punish themselves for any personal pleasure, happiness and believed in so many superstitions that made rational thinking of the time nearly equivalent to the cave man era. We are still living off the residue of that era, limiting the imagination of the human race because of medieval beliefs.

We as third gender people, do have a lot to be proud of. For those of us alone and felling there is nothing to live for, these are a few reasons to realize how special you are. We have a spiritual purpose, past and future for mankind. We have attributes that due to our misfortunate birth defects and the way society responds to it, makes us see things in not so rigid ways. A prime example is the bathroom debacle; cis-gender can’t get their minds beyond sexuality and sexual desire. While it is as plain to most of us like the paint on the wall, it baffles many of us why they can’t. I think personally this is part of our gift to the world, our purpose to help all of mankind to transcend to a higher level of consciousness, because we truly are, the best of both worlds.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THIS OR ANY OTHER TOPIC ON OUR SITE, PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON  THE TMP FORUM

 

More supportive scriptures from the Holy Bible supporting the inner beauty of third gender people:

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
    Zechariah 12:1
    “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.”
  • John 7:24:
    Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”

  1. Two Spirit: The Story of a Movement Unfolds; Two spirit — the movement, the societies and the term itself — marks a return to Native American traditions that historically recognized more than two genders. 1.5. Transgender History: Trans Expression in Ancient Times
  2. The myths and legends surrounding Cybele, the Roman goddess of fertility  The worship of Cybele was renown for its bloody and orgiastic ceremonies performed by her transgender, eunuch priests called the Galli.
  3. Personal relationships of Alexander the Great

 

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Auschwitz’s-The Pink Triangle-Never Forget

By Sabrina Samone

I’ve been labeled by some as a nerd and well, I agree. In fact, I’m fabulously in love with being a nerd. Some of my nerd trips are history and geography. How I love history. One thing I’ve noticed about history is that if you are hearing the news 300 years later its relevance is obviously not as strong. How did the Egyptians feel that day the Great Pyramid was complete? How was it to look at the Sphinx in it’s day. I’m sure it’s a lot grander than reading about it 3000 years later, but the beautiful fact remains…we are still reading about it.

What will it be like in 2945 when they acknowledge Auschwitz a thousand years from now? Hopefully they will remember it being one, if not the most disgustingly, horrible display of the depths of evil human beings were capable of. Hopefully they will remember the Pink Triangle.

Auschwitz was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. The concentration and extermination camps would be where countless torturous medical experiments would take place along with the hellish torture of millions of Jewish and TBLG people. Some of the experiments ranged from experiments on twins, bone, muscle and nerve transplanting, head injury experiments; and freezing experiments with the intent of discovering means to prevent and treat hypothermia. There were 360 to 400 experiments and 280 to 300 victims indicating some victims suffered more than one experiment. One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to five hours.

When the war was over World leaders met in France to what is called the “Paris Peace Treaties”. Never again would the world stand by and permit genocide like the Nazi regime’s extermination of six million Jews during World War II. This also led to the creation of NATO.

In 2015, on January 10th the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality unveiled a monument to commemorate members of the TGLG community who were persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Why is it important to remember? Today, nations like Russia, Uganda, and now Kazakhstan, among other small nations have adopted anti-lgbt laws that have spread hate, caused harm, and shown remarkable resemblance to the type of laws Hitler began issuing regarding the Jewish people shortly before World War II. Nazi anti-Jewish policy began functioning on two primary levels: legal measures to expel the Jews from society and strip them of their rights and property, while simultaneously engaging in campaigns of incitement, abuse, terror, and violence of varying proportions. There was one goal: to make the Jews leave Germany. On March 9, 1933, several weeks after Hitler assumed power, organized attacks on Jews broke out across Germany. Two weeks later, the Dachau concentration camp, situated near Munich opened. In the current case of Uganda, Russia, and Kazakhstan’s current anti TBLG laws the only difference is the establishment thus far, as far as we know,  of concentration camps.

The world, NATO, and those nations that signed the Paris Peace Treaties should be appalled, but nothing is being done. They sit quietly just as they did when Hitler slowly came to power and began his rage. It wasn’t until January 27, 1945 that the entire world stood horrified at what had taken place.

Would have been worn by someone who classified themselves or were falsely accused of being Gay, Bi, or Transgender
  • The Nazi’s used a system of classifying their tortured human experiments:
    Single triangles 
  • Red triangle—political prisoners: social democrats, socialists, trade unionists, Freemasons, communists, and anarchists.
  • Green triangle— “professional criminals” (convicts, often working in the camps as Kapos).
    Blue triangle—foreign forced laborers, emigrants.
  • Purple triangle—primarily Jehovah’s Witnesses (over 99%), and members of other small religious groups.
  • Pink triangle—primarily homosexual men, as well as sexual offenders including rapists, paedophiles and zoophiles.
  • Black triangle—people who were deemed “asocial elements” (asozial) and “work shy” (arbeitsscheu) including
    • Roma (Gypsies), later assigned a brown triangle.
    • The mentally ill
    • Alcoholics
    • Vagrants and beggars
    • Pacifists
    • Conscription resisters
    • Prostitutes
    • Drug addicts

  • Brown triangleRoma (Gypsies), primarily men. Previously wore the black triangle with a “Z” notation (for Zigeuner > “Gypsy”) to the right of the triangle’s point.
    Uninverted red triangle — an enemy POW (Sonderhäftling – “Special Detainee”), German spy or traitor (Aktionshäftling – “Activities Detainee”), or a military deserter or criminal (Wehrmacht Angehöriger – “Service Member”).
  • Double triangles
    Double-triangle badges resembled two superimposed triangles forming a Star of David, a Jewish symbol.
    Two superimposed yellow triangles or a six-pointed star, the “Yellow badge”— a Jew. The word Jude (“Jew”) was often inscribed in faux-Hebrew-looking letters inside the center of the badge.
    P Letter “P” on a red triangle for Polish Christian Political Enemy (first in Auschwitz)
  • Red inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish political prisoner
  • Green inverted triangle upon a yellow one—a Jewish “habitual criminal”
  • Purple inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jehovah’s Witness of Jewish descent
  • Pink inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish “sexual offender”
  • Black inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—”asocial” and “work shy” Jews
  • Voided black inverted triangle superimposed over a yellow triangle—a Jew convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a Rassenschänder (“race defiler”).
  • Yellow inverted triangle superimposed over a black triangle—an Aryan (woman) convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a Rassenschänder (“race defiler”).

The attack on Germany’s gay community began in 1933 when the Prussian Ministry of the Interior adopted a radically conservative social policy and authorized “Operation Clean Reich.” As a result of the ministry’s new orders, the gay bars and clubs that had been so plentiful around the turn of the century were closed or destroyed. Around the same time, gay prostitutes were detained and held in “protective custody” throughout Germany by the regime’s paramilitary forces.

We may assume the recent anti TBLG laws will eventually work themselves out, or someone will rise and take care of them but eastern Europe has proven within one lifetime (only 70 years ago), that they are willing and capable of eradicating an entire group of people.

Before World War ll there were no documented sex change operations, but it is safe to assume that many of the “thought to be” gay, effeminate men, and butch women were early transgender.

Transgender SRS history that can be traced back to World War ll


Magnus Hirschfield was an early German physician and sexologist. He is considered the first outspoken LGBT activist. He was associated with the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, where they were studying the way to change sex, until it was closed down by the Nazi Party. It was Magnus Hirschfeld who coined the term transexualism, identifying the clinical category which his colleague Harry Benjamin would later develop in the United States and a standard by which all transitioning transgender persons follow to this day.

We owe it not only to ourselves to remember for the sake of the future Trans culture, but we also as humans owe it to ourselves to remember the Pink Triangle so that no nation disregards human life as did the Nazi’s.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THIS OR ANY OTHER TOPIC ON OUR SITE, PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON  THE TMP FORUM

The Novel The Pink Triangle on Amazon

  1. Originally published as part of a series on the rise of fascism two years ago on our blog, Transmuseplaent.blogspot.com:

A)  Are we witnesses to the beginning Genocide of the LGBT in Russia and Uganda? 

B) Uganda and Transgender Rights…it’s time!

C) Auschwitz’s TBGL : Never Forget The Pink Triangle 

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