Tag Archives: Hate Crimes

Hundreds Show Twitter Solidarity For Lesbian Who Was Assaulted For What She Was Wearing

Hundreds of people have taken pictures of themselves wearing a tie in solidarity of Helena Martins who was attacked in south London last week.

Martins was yards from her home when she was punched in the face and strangled with her tie in what she believes was a hate crime.

In her Facebook post after the attack, she wrote:

I don’t think I’ll be rocking a tie in the near future. Today, one street away from my home, I was assaulted by a man who just went berserk at me, trying to pull my tie off. I’ve got a scratched and punched face, a sore neckline by all the tie pulling and a very bruised soul.”

Martins, who has lost her hearing due to Ménière’s disease, lost her cochlear earplant, which she relies on to hear, in the assault.

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She wrote that homophobia and transphobia are “still very much alive”, and said:

If you hear or see someone making fun with pub jokes, harassing or bullying of LGBT people, making comments while watching TV or a movie or whatever… Act. Speak out. Some women wear ties, some men wear skirts. Get the heck over it. One thing is true: I shouldn’t be punched in the face for wearing a tie.”

Her experience has now inspired a friend to start #TieForHelena, asking people on social media to wear a tie on Tuesday 15 December in to show their support.

In a blog post, Patrick Smith wrote:

I think that we should show support for Helena by all of us wearing a tie – so we can all rock that look. If you already wear a tie to work, then great, you’re part of the gang. If you don’t, then for one day, please do. You can wear it rakishly, dashingly, with a suit, with slacks, or maybe even ‘Rambo style’ like we used to on the school playground occasionally. However you wear it, please take a photo and upload it to social media with the hashtag #TieForHelena.”

Sarah Moore from Stonewall, who have called on supporters to wear their ties today, said:

We believe that people of all genders should have the freedom to present their aesthetic and use clothing to express themselves in any way they choose, without fear of confrontation. Helena’s bravery and commitment to transforming this awful incident into something positive is remarkable, and we’re honoured that she is choosing to raise money for us.

Our work to end homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and hate crime will continue until everyone, everywhere is free to express who they are and is accepted without exception.”

Thanking those who’ve taken part, Helena said:

I didn’t plan to wear a tie today. Last night while doing wife’s tie knot I felt really uncomfortable, but after seeing all the posts on Facebook and Twitter, I’m feeling the love and joy. Love conquers everything – hate included.”

 

Charity Reports Rise In The Number Of LGBT People Seeking Help After Homophobic Hate Crimes

Galop, the anti-violence charity based in London, has reported that the number of people seeking help from them after homophobic hate crimes has more than doubled.

The charity says 106 people sought help from them between June and August, compared to just 52 between March and May.

Nik Noone, Chief Executive of Galop, told Pink News:

We’ve seen the number of people getting in touch with our hate crime advocacy service more than double in recent months.

Though one person facing hate crime is one too many, we see this rise in people getting in touch as a cause for optimism and are proud of our part in helping empower people to speak up about their experiences and access assistance.”

The National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership is made up of 35 organisations around the UK, including Galop, and reports that other LGBT hate crime groups are also receiving an increased amount of reports.

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of the LGBT Consortium who lead the partnership, said:

From what our members are telling us, it seems that this picture is being mirrored across other parts of the UK.

The message is getting out that LGBT people don’t have to put up with being targeted. We know, however, that service provision is patchy across the

UK and so not everyone can access the help they need, particularly in rural communities.

It’s important that these crimes are reported so that the police have a clear picture and can tackle the issue. There are a number of ways in which

people can do that anonymously, if they don’t feel able to approach the police directly, for whatever reason.”

Living in Limbo – What it Means to Be a Lesbian Family in America’s Deep South

In 2011, when Carolyn L. Sherer started photographing lesbians and their families in Birmingham, Alabama, many chose not to show their faces. They were scared, they said, of losing their jobs or be discriminated against in other ways. Other people she asked to participate refused to be photographed at all.

However, Sherer, who is a lesbian, was determined to make members of her community be less invisible, in part because she hoped that letting others see them would help them become fully recognised and protected citizens.

My wife and I have been together since 1979 and it’s been very painful to me that my family hasn’t been acknowledged as a family unit. So that’s why I wanted to explore what a family is, what a family looks like. I wanted it to be about relationships and how people relate to each other in front of the camera.

I asked the participants to consider their feelings about words. In sequence, they were, ‘lesbian,’ ‘pride,’ and ‘prejudice.’ I got a range of responses,” she said. “Many of the older women in the beginning cried when I said ‘prejudice,’ or even when I said ‘lesbian.’ They said they’d been afraid to use the word or talk about it. Young people were like, ‘Lesbian?! We’re queer.’ ”

Conditions for gay Alabamans, in some respects, have improved since Sherer began her project. However, in March, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the same-sex marriage ban there, and the state still doesn’t have any laws on the books addressing discrimination or hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens.

It’s important for people to understand what’s going on. People need to know we need to have protections.”

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“Living In Limbo: Lesbian Families In the Deep South” is on display at the Stonewall Museum’s Wilton Manors Gallery in Wilton Manors, Florida until June 28.

Black Community, Does My Black Trans Life Matter?

As we read about yet another young Black transwoman being killed in the united states, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi decided to respond and posted the following powerful and heartfelt article in queerofgender.com, asking the Black community – Does My Black Trans Life Matter?

This article hits home, so please read.

Does My Black Trans Life Matter? An Open Letter to The Black Community: Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

Dear Black Community,

It is with great sorrow that I write to you. Sorrow for my fallen brethren who you too now hold as martyrs in our war against the system of oppression called racism; sorrow for those unnamed cis sisters who never seem blessed enough to warrant your mobilized outrage over their murders; and sorrow for my trans sisters who never seem to warrant even a mention in some of your hashtag tweets.

For the past two weeks as we, the black community, have come together to march in outrage, riot in pain and protest in clarity, one trans woman for each week has been murdered. Killed with barely a mention and mourned only by their families and we sisters of the trans community. I have watched as we have come to our black community time and time again asking for justice for our sisters. I have been there as we have gnashed our teeth and pulled at our hair wondering why we don’t seem to warrant our black leaders standing in solidarity with us and proclaiming “There is a war on trans women of color’s lives”. We have been stunned as some demand we march and mobilize and stand in solidarity with the black movement while the black movement, telling us to “wait our turn”, continues to ignore our existence.

I get it: slavery has done a number on us. We have internalized the fear of extinction for our black men and so whenever one falls, we honor their godhood as if they were our only means of salvation. I know our collective trauma calls us to regard black manhood like a sacred jewel needing to be protected at all cost and fought for without cease. I see how countless black women train their daughters to worship their husbands and brothers without question while demanding they work, even if it meant their deaths, to feed and clothe said men. I have seen countless queens who bow to kings even when they were unworthy of such devotion and I have watched the coping mechanisms of slavery now become the broken chords leading us into fractions of self-hatred, following leaders whose thirst for money and fame causes them to lead us back into chains.

But I say the system wants us all dead; and the solution in beating the system does not lie in the silent compliance of my sisters and I within the movements that mainstream activist cyphers demand I should be a part of. No. Defeating the system lies in our continued fight for justice for all, which includes tearing down these white-washed walls of erasure. Many of these movements call for the solidarity of all black lives, while those within the movement ignore and sometimes promote the extinction of a part of said population: trans women.

I understand that my letter to some may seem as bringing separation when we need solidarity. But I say we cannot have solidarity unless all the pieces of the puzzle are honored equally. I get it: when the colonists came with their white baby jesus, whips, chains and brutality, they enslaved our ancestors, telling them if they forsake us then they will be one step closer to freedom. Some believed to survive they must throw trans-identified folks into the pit of erasure. I know that trans-attracted men are hated for loving us and thus they equip that hatred like a sword and attempt, like the historical white man, to extinguish the heart by extinguishing us. But know this: my understanding is not compliance, and my understanding is not a pass, and my understanding is not going to stop me from having, as my Sister Goddess Lourdes Ashley Hunter says, a Courageous Conversation.

Trans women are not killed by trans women, we are killed by cisgender men. Often cisgender black men. Is this why our black community is so afraid of having this conversation? Trans folk are the greatest embodied form of revolution against colonization. Our very existence spits in the face of all that colonization wishes our black community to hold true: is this why our black community is so afraid to have these conversations? Is it that the poison of colonization has seeped so deeply into the  veins of  the black movement that it is easier to ignore black trans folk and use them as place holders then to honor our existence? We must begin to honor not just our fallen  cis brothers but our fallen trans siblings and cis sisters. We must fight against the notion that we black women must ignore our brutalizers, although many of us are forced to co-exist with them. We demand our black men cultivate spaces that truly honor The Goddess that is black woman, not simply seeing her divinity as a lesser expression of his own and respect the spaces we have created whether they be our bodies, minds, souls or homes. We must face the hyper-masculinity that so many of our black men were forced to adopt and so many of us were forced to mistake as unapologetic expressions of manhood. It is time to look at our brothers and fathers and say solidarity is not a male privilege, but a form of action we should all be honored to receive.

So I leave you with this: It is not enough to weep, wail, protest, riot for and honor the lives of our black men; your women are here, we have bled, we have been beaten, we have been abused and we have been forgotten. Your trans sisters are here and it is not enough to keep us in the closet of your desires and in the misplaced notions of your pleasure. We too deserve love, honor, and remembrance and not just on TDOR. Stop killing us whether it is by erasure, allowance of violence against us,or actually tying the lynching noose around our necks and hanging us. Our spirits require outrage, mobilized movements and black support; for we are all black and if you say black lives matter and it doesn’t include us, then you too are simply doing the slave master’s work.

Written in Love, Clarity, and Oya’s Grace,

Dane 

You can read more at queerofgender.com

TV Viewing 101

What is about gays on TV which can cause such a stir? Last week it was reported that 5 year old actress from ‘Good Luck Charlie’ received death threats after her Disney TV show featured lesbian moms. Seriously??!! ‘Mia, F**king Die in hell! Kill yourself, you deserve to die,’ stated one threat. Hate crime and death threats because we see lesbians on main stream TV. Seriously – get a grip.