Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christina and Chrissie

I didn't watch the memorial service or the President's speech, either live or on YouTube. But I got the Twitter version. Lots of good quotes.

The death of Christina Taylor Green is a tragedy. For many reasons, and I'm sure several others have written about it much better than I can, so I'll let them do it (I'm sure you've read about it plenty already, anyway).

It would still be a tragedy even if she were not a cute white girl. A cute white cis girl.

Last night, as most of Twitter mourned the death of Christina, a few voices spoke up to mourn another tragedy: the murder of Chrissie Bates.

She was stabbed to death in her apartment. According to a neighbor, "Chrissie had mentioned that she had recently been sexually assaulted, and that her apartment window was broken. When she complained, management told her she would have to pay for the window herself."

Chrissie was a trans woman. Which the article feels need to be mentioned right up front, along with the name under which she was born. Because we have to point all that out. As @metalmujer said, "They killed her twice in the press."

Why can't she just be a woman? Why can't she just be "Chrissie"? Who cares what her name used to be? That's not what it is now. And there's a reason for that. Respect that.

But I guess it is fitting, in a morbid way, that the media harps on the fact that she was transgender, specifically a transgender woman, since that's the reason why she was murdered. 

I guess, also, that we should be grateful that the media (unlike the medical examiner or the police) is respecting Chrissie enough to call her Chrissie and call her a trans woman, and not a "gay man" as is usually reported. At least this time, they are calling the transmisogyny what it is: transphobia, not homophobia.

Chrissie is not going to get a televised memorial service, or a speech by the President. (She's one of the lucky ones, though... at least her death was reported, and her gender respected. Few trans women victims get that.) But that doesn't make her death any less important, or her murder any less tragic. Please take a moment to pray for Chrissie, for the loved ones she left behind, and for other women like her, so they do not meet the same fate.

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