Murder statistics of transgender people

Christina here…

I’ve been thinking a lot about trans issues a lot in the past few days, and have especially been considering the disturbing statistics associated with the violence and oppression transgender people face. The statistic that disturbs me the most, which I have now seen on many other websites, was first presented in the comments section of this post on the phrase “Die Cis Scum” (emphasis mine):

Natalie Reed says:

The difference is VIOLENCE.

Go look up how much risk there is for atheists being murdered by Christians. Now how about that one in twelve risk for trans women being murdered by cis people. Or one in eight if you happen to be a trans woman of colour.

My first reaction to this statistic was along the lines of, “ONE (1) IN TWELVE (12)?! Holy FSM, this is fucking horrifying! Trans people have every reason to be freaked out by cis people, not just because of the oppression and discrimination, which is bad enough, but especially if cis people are murdering trans people at this rate. Trans people have every reason to be freaked out if cis people are murdering trans people at all, especially if those murders are based on hatred toward trans people, especially if trans people are targeted for being trans. This has to stop!”

Then the big fat “SCIENCE!” switch in my brain got flicked on, so after my initial horror, I thought: “I’m going to find a primary source for this statistic right now.” Why: Because the statistic is an important one. If I’m going to make a claim, especially a shock-inducing or surprising and/or horrifying one, I had better back it up. Or, if I’m going to file this statistic away in my brain under “transgender issues”, then I want to make sure I verify it.

Naturally, I googled, and found a bunch of websites citing the 1 in 12 statistic, but not linking to any sources. I also spent a good amount of time in the Wash U.  journal library and on Google Scholar.  Here is what I found:

This link, discussing the horrific murder of Alexis King, attributes the 1 in 12 statistic to the Human Rights Campaign, however their link is broken. I searched the HRC website and did not find the statistic, though I did find Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding and the HRC Research Overview on Hate Crimes and Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People. The HRC makes clear that Transgender people face a disproportionate amount of violence and hate, even when compared to other non-trans LGBT people.

This link on parents supporting their transgender teens, says:

Transgender facts

Although social acceptance for transgender people is growing, parents continue to abandon youth with gender-identity issues when their children need them most, advocates say.

49 per cent of transgender people attempt suicide.

Transgender youth account for 18 per cent of homeless people in cities such as Chicago, but researchers estimate fewer than 1 in 1,000 people is transgender.

1 in 12 transgender people in America is murdered.

Transgender youth whose parents pressure them to conform to their anatomical gender report higher levels of depression, illegal drug use, suicide attempts and unsafe sex than peers who receive little or no pressure from parents.

Less than 1 to 1.5 per cent of individuals experience persistent regret after sex-reassignment surgery.

Sources: Guidelines for Transgender Care (2006), Gender Spectrum Education and Training, Families in TRANSition (2008)

Guidelines for Transgender Care (2006) is a book by Walter O. Bockting, Joshua M. Goldberg.  I don’t have access to the book, but I do have access to an online Transgender Health Program by the same authors. I looked at all of the references searching for statistics on murders. I found:

In the Social and Medical Advocacy with Transgender People and Loved Ones: Recommendations for BC Clinicians, I found this information:

One American study of transgender adults found that approximately 50% of respondents were survivors of violence or abuse,(28) and another found that 25% of transgender respondents had experienced hate-motivated physical/sexual assault or attempted assault. 29 In a recent survey of transgender people and loved ones in BC (n=179), 26% reported needing anti-violence services at some point in their life. In examining reports of hate crimes against transgender people, researchers found that 98% of all “transgender” violence was perpetrated specifically against people in the male to-female spectrum; (30) of the 38 murders of transgender people reported internationally in 2003, 70% were women of colour. (31)

Reference 31 is Goldberg (2004). an abstract of that article is here, and an online version of the article should be available here, but the article is not there.

Also within the Transgender health Program is Counselling and Mental Health Care of Transgender Adults and Loved Ones, which says:

It is difficult to estimate the extent of violence against the transgender community as the vast majority of violence is not reported. Tracking mechanisms typically do not differentiate between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals (Goldberg & White, 2004), and there are no mechanisms to track trans-related violence against non-transgender loved ones. Trans-specific studies suggest high prevalence of sexual abuse/assault, relationship violence, and hate-motivated assault across the lifespan (Courvant & Cook-Daniels, 1998; Devor, 1994; Kenagy, 2005; Lombardi et al., 2001). Data relating to trans-specific hate crimes indicate that 98% of incidents were perpetrated against people in the MTF spectrum (Currah & Minter, 2000). Non-transgender significant others, family members, and friends (SOFFAs) are also vulnerable to transphobic hate motivated violence, as evidenced by the murders of Philip DeVine, Lisa Lambert, Willie Houston, and Barry Winchell (Cook-Daniels, 2001; Goldberg, 2005). The extent of relationship violence against SOFFAs is unknown.

Even though none of these articles mention a 1 in 12 murder statistic, I grabbed Lombardi et Al (2001) and read the full article. It says:

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) began to collect data concerning attacks upon trans-people in 1995. While NCAVP documented only 69 such attacks in 1995 (2% of their entire sample), they believe that violence against trans-people is pervasive and grossly underreported (NCAVP, 1995). NCAVP could not draw any definite conclusions because of
the small sample size. However, they did find that while trans-people made up only 2% of their entire sample, trans-people made up 16% of all murder victims. For the most part, these incidents either go unreported or are misreported as anti-gay/lesbian incidents.

There is definitely a disproportionate number of trans people being murdered. This is clear, and horrifying.

The  Gender Spectrum Education and Training, Families in TRANSition (2008) comes from the website genderspectrum.org. I can’t find the actual  citation, but a search of their website offers no information about murders.

This website cites Kay Brown as well, but places the murder rate at 6 times the national average.

This website also cites Kay Brown (apparently the quote below comes from HRC, though I can’t find it on the HRC website:

…one expert estimates that transgender individuals living in America today have a one in 12 chance of being murdered. [1] In contrast, the average person has about a one in 18,000 chance of being murdered. [2]

[...]

1. Kay Brown, instructor for “20th Century Transgender History and Experience” at the Harvey Milk Institute in San Francisco, Washington Blade, Dec. 10, 1999.

2. Based on the FBI’s “Uniform Crimes Reports, Crime in the United States 2000,” showing the murder rate of 5.5 people per 100,000.

I can’t find any information on Kay Brown, except this website, accessed via the wayback machine.

Similarly using the wayback machine, I found an old copy of the dead-linked HRC article mentioned earlier. It says:

Transgender people are often targeted for hate violence based on their non-conformity with gender norms and/or their perceived sexual orientation. Hate crimes against transgender people tend to be particularly violent. Our best estimates indicate that one out of every 1,000 homicides in the U.S. is an anti-transgender hate crime. This estimation is based on data collected by the national organizers of the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Organizers of the Transgender Day of Remembrance track the number of transgender people killed each year in hate-based attacks using media articles, community reports and other publically available data. By this count, they estimate that at least 15 transgender people are killed each year in hate-based attacks, although we believe the number to be higher based on transgender people’s common fear of going to the police and widespread misreporting. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates approximately 14,000 homicides in the country each year. Based on these figures, we can estimate that approximately one out of every 1000 homicides in the U.S. is an anti-transgender hate-based crime

I decided to look at some statistics on murder rates and how they might relate to transgender people. I know that the murder rates are higher in other countries, but for the sake of simplicity (and easy of data-gathering) I’ll focus on the US for the moment.

According to the Williams Institute, .3 of individuals identify as transgender. That’s 1 in 333 (ish).

According to the FBI, people living in the US have a lifetime murder risk of 1 in 240, in 1997. I don’t have current statistics for lifetime murder risk, but from 1997 to  2010, the homicide rates fell from a total of 18,208 (1997) to 14,748 (2010). 

If 14,748 people were murdered in 2010, and 1 in 333 people in the general population are transgender, and transgender people are murdered disproportionately to other demographic groups, then we would expect greater than 1 in 333 murders to be murders of transgender people. So, greater than 44 people.*

According to the Transgender Day of Remembrance, 14 transgender people were murdered in the US in 2010.

According to the Hate Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-affected Communities in the United States in 2010, there were 27 murders of LGBTQH people. 20 of those murders were LGBTQH people of color. 11 were transgender. 6 were transgender women of color.

My brain is beginning to hurt from all of these numbers, but I have not yet found a primary source to back up the 1 in 12 murder rate for trans people. I don’t know if the 1 in 12 statistic is a lifetime incidence, or a worldwide incidence, or based on some other factor, because I don’t know where the statistic comes from.

A lot of these sources point out that crimes against transgender people go under or un-reported, but that still does not explain why I can’t find a source for the 1 in 12 statistic – Someone arriving at such a statistic would have the same limitation of under or non-reporting of crimes.

If trans people are not being murdered at this rate, then I am thankful. I am thankful because people do not deserve to be murdered for who they are. People do not deserve violence and discrimination because they fall outside gender normative paradigms. Even one murder of one person due to their lack of gender normativity is absolutely unacceptable. Murder is vile, and murder out of hatred for people based on their lack of gender normativity is a whole new level of vile.

If I have somehow missed the primary source for this statistic, I will be glad to kick myself squarely in the teeth for managing to overlook it.

Refs:

Goldberg, J. M. & White, C. (2004). Expanding our understanding of gendered violence: Violence against trans people and loved ones. Aware: The Newsletter of the BC Institute Against Family Violence, 11, 21-25.

Kenagy, G. P. (2005). Transgender health: Findings from two needs assessment studies in Philadelphia. Health & Social Work, 30, 19-26.

Lombardi, E. L., Wilchins, R. A., Priesing, D., & Malouf, D. (2001). Gender violence: Transgender experiences with violence and discrimination. Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 89-101. Abstract here.

TL:DR – I read a statistic that 1 in 12 trans people’s lived end in murder, and cannot find a primary source for said statistic. However, trans people are being murdered because they are trans, and the murder of even one trans person is unacceptable.

*There are limitations to looking at population statistics in the way that I have and I totally expect criticism for this math here. Certain demographic groups are murdered disproportionately to other people, and some murders of transgender people might not be reported as murders of transgender people, especially if said murder was motivated by something other than their transgender status.  I know this is not quite the best comparison and sort of assumes people get murdered at random, but the idea is that is 1 in 12 transgender people are murdered and they are murdered disproportionately to other demographic groups by a factor of 10+, we’d expect them to at least be murdered more often then at “random”.

Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

About christinastephens
  • illithid

    If you’re going to post about something as serious and somber as this, then I suggest you wipe that stupid fucking grin off your face.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      Hm. Perhaps I should have two profile pictures: one of me being very srs for srs posts, and the one I usually use for less srs posts.

      There. I changed it.

      Now let’s talk about this.

      • Dee

        Thank you for this very well stated research. I came upon this page in my search for more concrete data on exactly the same question you ask. I really appreciated your very respectful and factual presentation of this potentially sensitive information. I truly can’t comprehend the hate that motivates people to such horrific crimes against fellow human beings and I completely agree that a single trans-gendered person murdered for who they are is a horrific number. The statistics are of no use if they are inaccurate. It seems to me that this, like most hate crimes, starts with ignorance – it is important all facts presented be as accurate as possible in any fight to combat ignorance.

      • Alaska M2F Marine Vet

        Forget ools that make such remarks,,,, they are just another kind of bully.

        Thanks for looking into this….,. HRC and National Gay and Lesbian Alliance did a new study in winter 2011….maybe 2012… with fresh data. There has also been a study about discrimination against TS Vets. You would probably find that on the TAVA [Transgender American Veterans Association] website.

        Also, look for an artical by the Southern Law Center …..DISPOSSABLE PEOPLE

    • carlie

      illithid, that was entirely unnecessary.

      Tracking numbers like that is hard, especially when it gets all circular-citey on sites.

    • http://www.facebook.com/QuantumSinger chrisbryant

      Wow, unstable much? Christina’s reply was far more generous than mine would have been to such unnecessary vitriol.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

        I originally had a much snarkier comment, but then dialed the snark straight down to zero. You can see the result above.

    • andreasschueler

      Hey illithid,
      it´s a picture, not a webcam. Now that you know that, you can apologize for your stupid insult and for wasting everyone´s time.

  • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

    I know that the murder rates are higher in other countries, but for the sake of simplicity (and easy of data-gathering) I’ll focus on the US for the moment.

    Sorry, I don’t think that’s a valid simplification. Given that the statistic given (1 in 12) does not reference the United States, and given also that Natalie Reed (who quoted it to you) does not even live in the US……all your numbers really have absolutely no bearing on the statistic. (Incidentally….did you try e-mailing Natalie Reed to ask where she got the statistic? You don’t mention that, but it seems like the most efficient way to find out.)

    But, while we’re on the topic, let’s talk world-wide. The Trans Murder Monitoring Project has collated data that indicates 539 murders over the past 3 years worldwide. Notice that 424 of those occur in Latin America (so if we were to even limit our scope to the Americas we’d be in a very different situation than in your post.) Notice that this almost certainly underrepresents the true numbers, given the tendency of police in various countries (especially the US, I know for a fact) to mis-report the gender of the murder victim.

    Now it is pretty darn impossible to estimate the worldwide number of trans people. But I think the above demonstrates that when you limit your research to the united states, you end up with extraordinarily skewed results, so imagining that that’s a comment on the plausibility of 1-in-12 in the world is a little odd.

    • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

      Sorry, forgot the link. here is the trans murder monitoring project report for march 2011.

      That’s the one I reference above, but the March 2012 one has, obviously more up to date stats.

      Also, notice an increasing trend (which could be do to better availability of stats):

      The March 2012 update reveals a total of 816 reported killings of trans people in 55 countries worldwide from January 1st 2008 to December 31st 2011. The update shows an exponential increase in reported killings of trans people over the last four years. In 2008, 141 cases were reported, in 2009 213 cases, in 2010 214 cases, and in 2011 a shocking number of 248

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      The 1 in 12 stat is entirely plausible – I just have yet to see any evidence for it happening.

      The 1 in 12 stat is listed for transgender people just as a general statistic on a lot of websites irrespective of country. A lot of them specified America.

      The Globe and Mall article I quoted, specifically, said:

      1 in 12 transgender people in America is murdered.

    • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

      I actually don’t know exactly where I got the statistic. I just saw it a lot and gradually figured it was accepted data. That’s not very skepticky of me, but in general, as I note further below, there’s very very very little good, solid data on transgender discrimination, and so generally, when a conversation demands pointing out to people in real terms how high the risk of violence is, you have to just make the most of what you have, even if it’s messier and fuzzier than I’d like.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

        See, this is why I didn’t email you to ask, because I figured you’d be more than willing to discuss it bloggystyle, based on past interactions.

        ^.^

        • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

          I hope my comment regarding that didn’t sound accusatory or anything…..If so, my bad — I am not familiar with blogging culture, and was merely curious if you’d contacted her and she did/didn’t have a source.

  • http://www.storytellingshrine.blogspot.com/ Valerie C

    It’s important to note that in the US, the FBI didn’t (and couldn’t under a statue) track hatecrimes crimes against the transgender community until 2009 with the Matthew Shepard Act.

  • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

    Also, the original stat was for trans women, and all the stats you found regarding murder etc. seemed to be for both men and women, which is going to mess with your statistics.

  • http://Www.freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd Christina

    I saw the original stat as both “transgender women” and “transgender people”

    • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

      Then clearly someone who quoted that statistic mistyped, because those are very unlikely to be identical.

      And the original quote provided in the OP (which is the claim I’ve generally heard) referred only to transgender women.

      Which makes a big difference, since, for example (from the Hate Violence source in the OP), trans women made up 44% of LGBTQH murders in 2010, will trans *people* only made up 8.6% of the LGBTQH population (and thus trans women made up <8.6%, and likely closer to, y'know, 4.3%)

      • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

        Yeah. Absolutely NO FUCKING WAY is the stat that high for “trans people”. There are barely any men on TDoR AT ALL. Trans women dominate our victims… and more so trans women of colour.

        • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

          Worth mentioning, though, that trans men have a vested interested in glossing over this discrepancy, and very frequently due. I’ll be writing about that either later this week or on Monday.

          • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

            Er… sorry about the typos. “vested INTEREST”, “frequently DO”.

          • Happiestsadist

            Looking forward to it. It’s a very disturbing tendency among some trans men.

          • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

            and there is also a vested interest by transgender people not at significant risk of portraying it as a group-wide risk.

            While for reasons explained below in the longer comment we cannot know for certain how risk breaks down in the community, what information we do have implies that having breasts and a penis is related to heightened risk, that doing in-person sex work is related to heightened risk, that casual dating is related to heightened risk, and that poverty is related to heightened risk. There is also some reason to believe that passing as cis sometimes but not all the time is riskier than passing always or never.

            And yet economically secure, non-body modifying, non-sex working persons who are not dating casually adopt the statistic and similar ones as if it applies just as much to themselves.

            [again, not that the statistic actually applies accurately to anyone, but we're talking about how the statistic is used by those persons not even nominally of the group intended to be covered by these numbers]

            So, yeah. Middle class and wealthy straight dude members of Tri-S who use the stat are every bit as problematic as FtM folk who use the stat and for much the same reason.

            But even when used by transitioning trans women who pass imperfectly and do or have done in-person sex work, the statistic 1-in-12 is problematic for reasons discussed below.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

        Again I reference the Globe and Mall article.

        This one says “people in America”
        http://ccasa.org/documents/GLBT%20factsheet.pdf

        There are mere, pursuant to my googling.

        I’ve heard it three ways:

        1 in 12 transgender women
        1 in 12 transgender people
        1 in 12 transgender people in America

        …and cannot find a reliable source to back up these statistics.

        • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

          The mere fact that the same statistic is quoted for those three populations, which almost certainly have different risks of murder, indicates to me that *if* this began as a real statistic, transmission has resulted in significant information loss.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

            Agreed.

  • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

    I’ve heard the statistic quoted as both 1 in 12 being murdered and 1 in 12 being victims of violent assault (that either does or does not end in death).

    TDoR, by the way, does NOT, near as I can tell, report ALL trans-murders in the United States. In fact, last year I remember noticing that there were a good four murders I knew of that didn’t appear on their list. I think they generally just report widely recognized murders that are directly linked to transphobia.

    Anyway… the trouble with these kinds of things is that very, very little research is actually conducted on these things, and when it is conducted, it is BY DEFINITION going to be a rather inadequate sample size.

    Generally speaking, the only truly reliable source that currently exists on anti-trans discrimination is the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, but given that respondents had to be, well, alive in order to respond, murder rates were excluded from the data.

    So, as much as I’d rather have hard stats on everything, a lot of the time, when talking trans stuff, you just have to cobble together the best you can from what’s available. For instance, we don’t even know how many trans people there are at all. Estimates range from 1 in 500 to 1 in 30,000!!! That’s a lot of orders of magnitude to have as a fuzzy gray area.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      Well, I pretty much agree on everything you said here. Thanks!

      Science is hard. ESPECIALLY population science. Egads.

    • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

      Anyway… the trouble with these kinds of things is that very, very little research is actually conducted on these things, and when it is conducted, it is BY DEFINITION going to be a rather inadequate sample size.

      Yes. Doing statistical analysis on subjects like this is extraordinarily hit-and-miss. Even if a primary source is found for that stat, the probability that it will be statistically significant and valid isn’t high.

      What’s pertinent is that the lack of statistically and scientifically valid studies on this ought to make one suspect that the reality is likely *worse*: violence against trans people is simply not violence that society-at-large is significantly aware of, and it is known to occur without repercussion.

    • Pteryxx

      TDoR, by the way, does NOT, near as I can tell, report ALL trans-murders in the United States. In fact, last year I remember noticing that there were a good four murders I knew of that didn’t appear on their list.

      …Oh gods. Not only is that stomach-churningly horrific, but *even as an anecdote* that’s evidence of major, MAJOR selection bias in the available statistics.

      • A Father

        Do you ever tell the truth? Ever?

  • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    There is no such thing as a representative sample of trans people.
    There is no such thing as a representative sample of transgender people.
    There is no such thing as a representative sample of transsexual people.
    There is no such thing as a representative sample of trans men.
    There is no such thing as a representative sample of trans women.

    when skeptical math said:

    it is pretty darn impossible to estimate the worldwide number of trans people

    what was meant was:

    It is literally and completely impossible to estimate the number of trans people in any given population. Moreover, it’s even “pretty darn impossible” to estimate the number of *out* trans people, given that “out” has many gradations and that being out with one’s best friends and being out in QT community and being out to a random researcher calling on the phone or showing up at your front door are 3 very different things. What is “out”?

    Searching for this statistic in an attempt to validate its “truth” is a fool’s errand. We know that it’s not true in the sense that it represents a well-founded expectation of future murder rates based on properly collected and analyzed evidence. It can’t be because we don’t have specific operational definitions that lend themselves to accurate data collection and yet are generalizable to the larger population either of the US or US and Canada or just the damn world.

    I repeat: you aren’t using critical thinking and you are on a fool’s errand if you think anything else.

    I like Natalie.

    I never use statistics like this.

    If you think about it for half a second, you realize that with no demographic baseline, we have no specific quantity of trans folk and thus we have no way of assessing murder rates which would require certain statistical formulae that use #TransFolk as the value of one variable and/or #TransDeaths as the value of another variable.

    Then we would have to have an accurate and precise number of murders of trans people. The sources you cite are of **reports in the media**. How often do you think that trans murders are reported in the media as trans murders? Imagine collecting data on how often Honda owners are murdered: would owning a car, and of which make, always be reported in a local story about a death?

    Finally, all this would have to be done in a way that allows for teasing out the data related only to trans women. How does one get that data? Are FtM people who still ID as women “trans women”? After all, it’s possible to be female, ID as a woman, and be trans. Who else counts and doesn’t?

    Although it wouldn’t help us much in the case of attempting to get to a specific quantitative answer, this is part of why I hate the way transgender folk came along and worked hard to convince everyone that transsexual and transgender were synonyms, and to the extent that there was a difference, it was simply that transgender was a broader term.

    In fact, there are people that fit quite well into their gender role. They don’t stand out. They are accepted as men or women. They don’t ID as 3rd gender, have a non-standard occupation for their gender, etc. While all persons violate gender norms to some extent, they are clearly within the bounds of acceptable variation for their gender. But they were born with bodies of a sex not associated with that gender.

    In other words, they violate expectations of sex, not gender, and thus transsexual is simply the accurate way to describe this. “Transgender” implies that there is some noticeable breaking of gender expectations going on, which for some persons isn’t true. Now this isn’t to say that during transition there aren’t some violations of expectations of gender. Nor is it to say that the concept that gender role can be reassigned doesn’t violate expectations of gender in its own way. But for some number of post-transition transsexual people, “transgender” is flat out wrong.

    Would such people ID as “transgender” on a survey even if at some point in life they had clearly communicated about their experience of sex/gender conflict to a number of others? Almost certainly not.

    And yet, at the heart of this statistic is the idea that it is MtF transitioning people and transitioned people who do not pass as non-trans (for whatever reason) who are at dramatically heightened risk.

    But clearly – we do not know how to measure that risk because we do not know how to quantify this population.

    I am marginally within this population: I pass as cis quite often, but imperfectly. To the extent that my presentation is seen as unusual by the mainstream, it’s seen as perfectly normal for a dyke in the Pacific NW (whether BC or in the states). **However** I also wear shirts that say, “No one knows I’m a tranny,” or “Transsexual Menace: The Beaver State”. This is not stealth, to put it mildly.

    Yet it is when we are seen as being deceptive that we appear to be at the highest risk of violence. I know that I’ve encountered quite a bit of verbal crap when wearing clothing or buttons that ID me as trans – but it typically comes from people who do not act to change their physical relationship to me: If they were walking by, they spew while still walking the same course and speed, merely turning their faces toward me to direct their hate. If they were motionless as I was walking by, they remain motionless as they comment. If we are in a meeting together, they don’t get up from their chairs and approach me, they direct their hate across the table or room.

    The worst violence I’ve faced has been when I went to a special event and wore a dress (with no political slogans or trans identifiers) and no buttons. While not any less me or any less “out” persons who decided that I was trans have followed me, surrounded me, stalked me home, grabbed me and held me enough to leave minor bruising, threatened me with all kinds of nasty things, hit me, and cut me.

    I am very clear that from my life experience I am in more danger when my life is interpreted as deceptive, as trans but not as up-front, in your face, proud of being trans.

    Is the danger higher because of the dynamic of deception? Hard to know, but I think yes. Is the danger higher because of lack of indicators that I kick ass, I’m proud of my efforts and success in getting to know myself (and the inference that insults will thus be less effective against me)? Hard to know, but I think yes.

    Do I think that any of this can be successfully quantified?

    No.

    FFS no.

    Even if you found an original source for your statistic, you’d easily spot methodological problems if you looked to where a given number was extrapolated to a population. There’s no way that 1 in 333 are trans in the way that is meant by “trans women” in the statistic. And there’s no way that any other number can be confidently assigned to the population of “trans women” within any sufficiently large group (although the population of all trans women living at my address can be confidently assigned, the number living in my city cannot be).

    I wouldn’t use this statistic. It isn’t worth anything as an accurate predictor of how any given group will die. I’ve long since given up using statistics to talk about the need to combat anti-trans violence.

    Such violence is wrong. We should end it.

    In the absence of good operational definitions and good methodologies, the idiographic approach of listening to trans people – and in this case trans women – describe how their lives change and how violence targeting them changes with the circumstances of their lives combined with detailed study of perpetrators of trans violence asking them to explain as best they can why they commit violence against trans folk/trans women is the best we can do in understanding this phenomenon.

    Don’t look for a good statistic. There isn’t such a thing. Listen to trans voices. If you wanna do more, visit a prison and interview those who commit harm against trans persons. Synthesize this. Oppose the causes IDd by both trans folk and their perps.

    If it happens to one person, it’s enough to take seriously. Quantification is a tool for large organizations to assign risk, it’s not a tool for individuals to decide how upset they should be about anti-trans violence.

    If you are using this statistic to communicate some sort of prediction about how likely a given trans person is to be murdered or how likely it is that a certain proportion of a given population of trans persons will faithfully represent the actual proportion murdered:

    science. You’re doing it wrong.

    If you aren’t horrified when a single anti-trans murder is described, if you aren’t horrified when multiple trans people describe facing anti-trans violence simply for existing as trans, if you find your level of horror to be higher when reading “1 in 12″ or “1 in 8″ than you are when reading, “JoAnna McNamara, successful lawyer and valued member of her local LGBT community took her own life after years of dealing with anti-trans hatred and the physical, medical aftermath of a brutal knife attack, took her own life”:

    humanity. You’re doing it wrong.

    • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

      Thanks for editing my statement to something more correct :-)

      I think the point you make is valid. As Christina said in her original post:

      Even one murder of one person due to their lack of gender normativity is absolutely unacceptable. Murder is vile, and murder out of hatred for people based on their lack of gender normativity is a whole new level of vile.

      I think all this focus on a statistic which would be certainly inaccurate even with a primary source is misplaced. Far better to concentrate on lines of inquiry and activism which can be constructively applied to understanding/improving/etc. the risks associated with living as a trans person

      • Pteryxx

        Agreed. What evidence exists all says HUGE FUCKING PROBLEM; and that should be all that’s necessary to educate anyone with a shred of humanity.

      • Sheila

        I ended up on this page because I felt like someone I know deserved punching for what he said about people using gendered restrooms in a discussion prompted by a recent article in the news. I feel like if I can explain things in terms of statistics that my friend would realize he hasn’t thought through the harmful consequences of his ideas. Is this a bad approach? Based on comments in here, it might be. If anyone has advice to share, I’d be thankful.

        Meanwhile, I’m looking for a place where cis people of varying degrees of ignorance can ask questions like this. As a cis person, I want to know how to talk to cis friends and acquaintances about trans issues without taxing my trans friends all the time. I’ve done some googling and have bookmarks to informational sites. If there are any that are particularly recommended, and also any place with good discussions (hopefully moderated), I’d be thankful for links.

    • Robert B.

      I like everything you said about science and statistics. But I regret that what you’re saying is true, because if we could have a reliable murder rate, that information would be important and relevant to politics and ethics. It would help us determine priorities, and what kind of response is appropriate. (For example, I support “Die Cis Scum,” but I’m not running out to make a “Die Straight Scum” t-shirt, because even without precise stats I know the rate of violence against GLB people is significantly lower than that against trans people. Well, and also because if I did that, I’d be stealing and diluting the message of people I have privilege over, but that’s a different issue.) One of the things statistics do is help us tell the difference between an isolated tragedy, and a tragedy that’s pandemic to the whole society. I think a thousand murders really are, and ought to be, more horrifying than one murder.

      That said, though, transphobic violence is a tragedy pandemic to the whole society, and statistics certainly aren’t the only possible way to show that. This is a point we can make without precise numbers. Natalie Reed sure can – such as in this post. I also remember her writing once about, I think, how every trans person she knew had a friend who’d been murdered, but I can’t find the link.

      • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

        I like everything you said about science and statistics. But I regret that what you’re saying is true,

        Sure. I hope no one thought that what I was saying included an implication that the inability to quantify the problem was desirable.

        I think using science-y sounding statistics to make predictions as if it was actual science is very *undesirable*. But having only science-y sounding statistics and not good science around a problem is also *undesirable*.

        I think the correct use of the 1-in-12 and 1-in-8 statistics is (I hope) probably more like what Natalie intended:

        “There are statistics floating around out there, very often quoted and passed along in trans communities, that 1-in-12 in a group of trans women and 1-in-8 in a group of trans women of color will, when they die, die of murder. There is absolutely no way of gauging the accuracy of this statistic, and it cannot be asserted as ‘true’, but it should shake us all to our cores that the response of trans women to these statistics has been to shrug and say, ‘Yeah, that’s probably about right.’ If the situation of trans women is so horrible that most of [them/us] don’t shrug this number off as ridiculous, that [they/we] actually embrace it as eminently plausible and believable, then this itself is evidence of how horrible, relentless, and widespread is anti-trans woman violence.”

        The fact that the statistic feels true to trans women, and feels true across many, many trans women’s communities, is evidence in itself for the current impact of anti-trans violence because the belief that one is very likely to be murdered by a date, partner, coworker, trick or stranger drastically impacts one’s life choices and constrains who we are and who we can become.

        Thus is not a good predictor of whether or not you’ll find me with a bullet in my brain and 7 more in my crotch. It is a good predictor of how much I feel I am able to trust non-trans people.

        • Robert B.

          +1

    • Rasmus

      Yes. How would you even collect the murder data? Victim surveys? Police reports? Some other way?

      You can’t ask the dead if they’re trans or cis.

      Gender identity is often not going to be evident to the police in a way that they would recognize.

      A lot of loved ones and friends would not report their murdered loved one’s trans status to the police (if they even knew about it) because it’s well known that many policemen think of trans people as victims that “should have known better”, kind of like sex workers and drug addicts.

    • John Horstman

      Spot on, and bravo for queering the hell out of assumed-essential-but-in-fact-highly-unstable-and-contested categorical definitions.

      In other words, they violate expectations of sex, not gender, and thus transsexual is simply the accurate way to describe this. “Transgender” implies that there is some noticeable breaking of gender expectations going on, which for some persons isn’t true.

      Unfortunately, “sex” doesn’t even have a particularly good definition (karyotype, genital appearance, hormone levels, “secondary” sex characteristic expression, claimed identity, read identity, etc.), which, as I understand it, was the reason for the move away from “transsexual” in the first place (also the reason behind Queer Theory’s use of “biological gender” in place of sex, as sex is a set of ill-defined and contested biological characteristics asserted as a unitary, cohesive category and/or identity, much like social gender). That said, as I understand it, if sex-gender congruency is taken to be culturally normative (I certainly think it is), then being the “wrong” sex for one’s gender (or “wrong” gender for one’s sex) could be read as either a sex or gender transgression, depending on which category/identification/identity one is using as a baseline or zero-point (or far too often, essentializing). Basically, if having a penis/XY/threshold testosterone levels/etc. is not gender-normative for a woman, then a woman with a penis/etc. transgresses gender norms, is gender-transgressive, i.e. “transgender” (this is a reading of the word as “gender transgressive” as opposed to “transitioning from one gender to another”, as this simultaneously recognizes that binary gender categorizations are culturally-constructed as binaries while still creating space for the genderqueer or trans persons who don’t identify as “man” or “woman”). Alternately, if a feminine/”woman” presentation/identity/performativity is not normative for someone with a penis/etc., then that male is transgressing sex norms. The “proper” description depends on what one identifies as the baseline, stable, or essentialized factor. As a result, I simply default to the catch-all “trans” unless I’m given specific operational definitions of sex, gender, and what’s transitive, transitioned, transferred, or transgressive.

      • Horace

        Couldn’t you at least make an upper and lower estimate of the trans population to get somekind of estimate of the seriousness of the problem ?

        I read that for a long time (this may have changed post-9/11) it was more dangerous to be trans than a soldier.

        • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

          Yes. The upper bound could be 100%.

          The lower bound could be the number of persons confirmed worldwide to have had sex reassignment surgery divided by the number of persons worldwide.

          Does this help us quantify murder rates?

      • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

        Yes, deferring to the catch-all “trans” is much better since it doesn’t presuppose that all transsexual people violate gender norms or that all trans people are transsexual.

        I use trans specifically to avoid asserting someone is transgender when in fact they ID as transsexual and not transgender and/or vice versa.

        I also use it when talking about populations large enough that it will inevitably include both transsexual and transgender people.

        Also, there are other ways in which transgender can be inaccurate for transsexual people. This was just one example. If, however, you agree to NOT apply transgender to people who engage in modification of biological sex without that person’s explicit identification, if you are already using “trans” as the umbrella term, then whether you fully agree with every single reason against the default application of transgender is irrelevant.

        Finally, queer theorists noted that the term “sex” is used carelessly. Therefore they use the term “biological gender”.

        [snark]
        Because no one uses “gender” carelessly or inappropriately, and everyone understands when the term “biological gender” is used that it explicitly references only karyotype, or only phenotype, or only external anatomy, or only the reproductive capacity, or only characteristics secondary to the biological process required to develop fully functioning reproductive anatomy, or only the subset of more than one of these that is intended in constellation or only the total package of all of these.

        Thank goodness that “gender” doesn’t have any connotations attached that might confuse persons when applied to biology! Thank goodness it communicates exactly what queer theorists want it to mean!

        My goodness, this move away from a carelessly used term that is operationally defined differently in different disciplines to a brand new term that subsumes another term that is carelessly used, operationally defined differently in different disciplines, and has confusing, primarily non-biological connotations is brilliant! This will certainly fix all the uncertainty and make queer theory more readable to a general audience.

        [/snark]

        • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

          Awesome snark there, CripDyke. What’s worse is that there already lots and lots of examples of “gender” being used as a euphemistic term for “sex”, which obviously conflates the two separate ideas and doesn’t help the general confusion (a discussion flame war recently held elsewhere on these blogs).

          • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

            @Crip Dyke and Xanthe

            Ah, good points. My sincerest apologies if I’ve used transgender or transsexual in the wrong ways (too broadly, especially) in comments above.

          • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

            It’s cool – CripDyke and I have been using the same terms in this thread to mean different things, and her usages are probably the better ones to go with (unfortunately I can’t go back and edit my posts).

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      Searching for this statistic in an attempt to validate its “truth” is a fool’s errand.

      Well shit, I just wasted a lot of time then, didn’t I?

      =D

      I just wanted to find the primary source for it, and I couldn’t find it. In light of that and other factors, I’m skeptical of the statistic.

      If you are using this statistic to communicate some sort of prediction about how likely a given trans person is to be murdered or how likely it is that a certain proportion of a given population of trans persons will faithfully represent the actual proportion murdered:

      science. You’re doing it wrong.

      Ayup. Hence why I questioned it in the first place.

      If you aren’t horrified when a single anti-trans murder is described, if you aren’t horrified when multiple trans people describe facing anti-trans violence simply for existing as trans, if you find your level of horror to be higher when reading “1 in 12″ or “1 in 8″ than you are when reading, “JoAnna McNamara, successful lawyer and valued member of her local LGBT community took her own life after years of dealing with anti-trans hatred and the physical, medical aftermath of a brutal knife attack, took her own life”:

      humanity. You’re doing it wrong.

      Hrm. Perhaps I am misreading this, but you seem to be saying that if someone is more horrified by an epidemic of murders (1 in 12 would be an epidemic) than they are horrified by one murder, then they are doing humanity wrong.

      This does not make sense to me. An epidemic of murders is definitely worse than one murder (and one is horrifying in itself), so I’m inclined to think that this is not what you mean, but can’t find any other reasonable reading of what you said.

      Help?

      • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

        If you put more importance on confirming numbers than on understanding human experience, then you are not making human connections and are thus doing “humanity” wrong.

        Also, if you really believe what you said about one murder is too many* then the horror of what’s happening shouldn’t depend on the frequency. The frequency (along with the causes) determine how we respond including how we assign resources, but it shouldn’t be more or less horrible.

        But I find the whole point of the OP misguided based on the fact that if you understand statistics you would know whether you find a primary source or not, you’re not going to find a valid prediction of murder rates for any subsection of trans people or trans women.

        So, tracking down the original stat would only help you determine how and in what ways the stat came to be misapplied. It won’t tell you much of anything else. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but from the mad research skills, apparent science literacy, and obvious emphasis on (which would imply proficiency with) original sources, I simply expected you to know that the lack of a defined and quantifiable population would make any sample non-representative.

        Thus I think spending time on the search to quantify a problem that is known to be unquantifiable seems misguided, and to the extent that a person might have used that time to address the problem rather than spending that time fruitlessly failing at quantifying it, it seems like a missed opportunity to actually address the issues already identified.

        I’m not saying that being more horrified by multiple murders than by a single murder or a single person harassed into suicide is doing humanity wrong.

        To bring it back around, I’m saying that prioritizing numbers over people, treating tracking down numbers that – with a little bit of thought one would know – can’t be tracked down as a major priority worthy of significant research and discussion when one could be spending that time on something more productive and beneficial to people is not doing “humanity” well.

        Which, I shouldn’t have to say, doesn’t mean you have no humanity. I just means that this OP and this tracking-down-statistics endeavor shows no humanity. You aren’t convincing me that you care by focusing on numbers over people. That doesn’t mean I’m asserting you don’t care or are unable to care. This particular action is without evidence of human concern and if you are attempting to make human connection through it, you aren’t – at least with me.

        *and i think you do, this is just the appropriate structure for this sentence

        • Horace

          Hi Crip-Dyke,

          posting my reply on this thread as it seems a single debate. You say “the lack of a defined and quantifiable population would make any sample non-representative”.

          If you can say within a range how many trans people there are you can at least start to estimate murder rates. What do you mean by

          “The upper bound could be 100%.” ?

          Most people are not trans by any definition that I know, certainly not the definition needed for a hate crime. Could you explain how/why I am wrong about this ?

          I think that measuring a problem is a start towards solving it. You can be horrified by trans people being attacked but this emotion itself does nothing to solve the problem.

          There are cases when gays sexually assault children and young people; would you say that we should not waste time measuring the occurrence of these cases but simply wallow in our emotions about them ? This could have unpleasant consequences.

          The other interesting thing is that many patriarchal cultures are much more tolerant of trans people than they are of gays. Thailand is like this and in Iran gay acts can get you killed, if you have a sex change though the same act is legal.

          • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

            Horace, how do you know whether you’re cis?

            If that question sounds odd, it should demonstrate that there’s already some ‘cis-normativity’ to the debate. We literally don’t know how many people would identify as trans (i.e. in the ‘everyone who is not-cis’ definition), if society didn’t impose and police gender rôles so completely from birth onward, and if there weren’t extreme risks to coming out as trans, which make it very unlikely that anyone would come out (just for the hell of it) if they didn’t feel that it was personally necessary for them.

            Also, Femke Olyslager and Lynn Conway wrote a 2007 paper as to why you’re probably never going to get a real handle on the prevalence of transgenderism while it is stigmatised: On the Calculation of the Prevalence of Transsexualism (that’s a PDF).

          • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

            Some people have somewhat flippantly-yet-still-at-least-partially-seriously attempted to define trans people as anyone who violates their assigned gender role, in any way, regardless of whether there is associated distress or oppression or impact on life activities.

            Women carpenters, men kindergarten teachers: trans.

            Women who like to wear jeans and t-shirts and don’t like to wear dresses (the first isn’t necessarily enough in US culture, but could be enough on its own in some) and guys who find carrying a purse convenient: trans.

            men who don’t constantly initiate sex, women who do initiate sex: trans.

            The point of this exercise is to have people notice that they themselves break gender rules and to imply that the differences are matters of degree, not kind, between people who are commonly labeled “trans” and commonly labeled “non-trans” or “cis”. This is used as a strategy to increase empathy in order to gain allies and (hopefully) increase the likelihood of non-oppressive treatment towards those more conventionally known as transgender or trans.

            While these proposals are tactical, they are also serious: if we define everyone as trans, then everyone will have a stake in trans liberation.

            Therefore, as I said earlier, how we define the community has a huge impact on how we quantify trans people. At the extreme ends of proffered definitions are those like the above that has been advocated (though subsequently rejected) in the past by Kate Bornstein and is still advocated by some.

            Those definitions would result in 100% of the population being included in the category “trans people”.

            ==========
            now let me address:

            There are cases when gays sexually assault children and young people; would you say that we should not waste time measuring the occurrence of these cases but simply wallow in our emotions about them ? This could have unpleasant consequences.

            Where did I say wallow in emotions? I clearly said that **when it is impossible to find accurate stats** we shouldn’t waste our time on finding inaccurate stats but instead work to change the dynamics that result in violence.

            I’m advocating positive action. This post is advocating tracking down statistics that we know aren’t accurate and talking about why they aren’t accurate when a moment’s critical thinking by someone trained in research methods and a minute’s thinking guided by an astute comment or two by someone entirely untrained in research methods would make it clear that the hours spent on this task are doomed to fail.

            I have never advocated wallowing. I’ve said that our horror at the information we actually have, the stories of real trans people and those who have watched them die, is plenty enough motivation to start doing real work. We don’t have to find out exactly where someone scientifically illiterate first misapplied the 1-in-12 stat to start doing something productive. Nor is it necessary to discover whether the stat was made up out of whole cloth. It’s not reliable. It’s not scientific.

            Let it go and do something. If you need the 1-in-12 to be true in order to start working for actual change, I think that’s very very sad. If you don’t need it, why are we talking about it?

          • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

            Let it go and do something. If you need the 1-in-12 to be true in order to start working for actual change, I think that’s very very sad. If you don’t need it, why are we talking about it?

            I don’t need the 1 in 12 to be true in order to start working for change.

            I’m talking about the 1 in 12 statistic because it is a statistic I heard repeated several times, and I wanted to find the original source (because I am a research scientist, and cannot in good conscience make a statistical claim without citing a reference) and pursuant to being unable to find the original source, decided to blog about it. That’s all.

            As to why we are talking about it: It seems we are both talking about it, so…

            You’d said that my post is misguided, and a fool’s errand, is not science, shows no humanity, and that I am not using critical thinking, and that there are better uses of my time.

            I would like to suggest that perhaps you have misunderstood the intent of my post.

            This post is advocating tracking down statistics that we know aren’t accurate and talking about why they aren’t accurate when a moment’s critical thinking by someone trained in research methods and a minute’s thinking guided by an astute comment or two by someone entirely untrained in research methods would make it clear that the hours spent on this task are doomed to fail.

            I wanted to determine if I could use such a statistic in my discussions of trans issues with other people. I generally take great pains to avoid using untrue or unverifiable statistics in discussions with people, because the use of untrue or unverifiable statistics generally hinders rather than advances whatever cause people are advocating.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

          This is somewhat of an aside but… It’s my blog post and JT says I can do whatever I want, so I’ll aside if I want to. ^.^

          Though I suppose, the the same way, you could say that some of my other posts (I’m especially thinking of this one on Effect Size: http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd/2012/01/03/effect-size-matters/) also shows no humanity.

          I care about effect size because I do research.

          My research is in biomechanics and occupational therapy.

          I do clinical home health as well as research.

          Every day that I do clinical work I walk into the home of a person with health conditions that render them unable (at least temporarily, if not permanently) unable to leave their homes due to said health conditions. Most of these people are understandably lonely, many of them depressed, and all of them non-independent in their daily activities and bothered by said lack of independence such that, at the very least, they’ve got me to try to work out why, where, and how to fix it (if it can be fixed at all). Every day I see people abandoned by their families, mentally and physically tortured and twisted by pain, lungs so wrecked from COPD that they can’t put a shirt on without feeling like they are suffocating, people trapped in their homes because no one bothered to adjust the center of gravity of their wheelchair back far enough so they could go up and down their ramp without tipping over, people trapped inside their own head because a stroke has rendered them unable to communicate, people scared and frightened by the dementia slowly taking over, etc.

          My research in biomechanics is somewhat varied, but right now we’re working on developing a 3-week training program to train people with spinal cord injuries how to use their new wheelchairs in a way which is most effective for preserving shoulder integrity and maximizing independence. I’ve also worked on programs to transplant nerves from people’s backs into their arms to regain arm function, worked on therapy for kids with autism and cerebral palsy, etc.

          We already teach people how to use wheelchairs in rehab, and have been doing so since the dawn of occupational therapy. However our field is moving more and more toward evidence-based practice and science-based medicine, the old doctrines of, “this is how we’ve always done it, now leave me alone so I can teach this guy how to transfer into the tub” aren’t cutting it. We have to quantify our training, show evidence that it works, even if we see that it works. Any method by which we choose to research this topic will have it’s flaws and not give a full picture, yet we do it anyway.

          I care about effect size because it relates to quantifying training programs, and I care about quantifying training programs because I care about the people I help through the rehabilitation process.

          So, the effect size post: shows no humanity. Not directly. The humanity is indirect.

          Same with this post.

          • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

            You’re missing something.

            If it was possible to determine effect size, this would be a useful effort.

            Since it is impossible -

            and since you should know it is impossible, because I give you credit for serious intelligence and education based on the evidence of the form and content of your communication on this and other issues -

            when you say you want to verify the stat before using it, I’m left wondering, “Why would she ever think for more than 3 minutes about using this statistic? Doesn’t she know enough about population research to know it’s impossible to quantify this?”

            It doesn’t show know humanity because it’s searching for effect size.

            The tracking down of data ***we know to be worthless*** is showing lack of humanity.

            Gathering numbers that relate to humanity = useful effort in making it possible to advocate for an efficient division of resources. It’s not directly about helping now, but it is about making sure that our helping resources are assigned where they can be most productive…

            and that DOES ultimately help people.

            So, yay.

            Gathering numbers you know are BS because, in a given moment, tracking down numbers ***even when they will not and cannot possibly have*** any effect either direct or indirect because they are guaranteed to be wrong/unscientific/unverifiable/unfalsifiable:

            That’s a waste of time and resources. And if you want to divvy up resources based on a statistic you know to be wrong? Then you are crating a system that is guaranteed to divvy up resources INefficiently

            and that ultimately HURTS people.

            So the question is, did you know when you did this research that it was impossible for good statistics predicting future murder rates of trans women to exist?

            If you knew that and did the research anyway, that prioritizes numbers we know to be useless and best and harmful at worst over taking action to help right now.

            If you didn’t know that and did the research anyway, that shows admirable concern for trans folk but a complete ignorance of how the scientific process works.

            I was assuming that you have a good handle on the scientific process and didn’t need to see the original study to know that the stat can’t possibly be “true” in the sense of being in any way generalizable to “trans women” rather than just “true” in the sense of being an accurate datum regarding one inevitably non-representative sample.

            You show great scientific facility so I thought presuming an ability to see through this scientific possibility would be easy for you. I’ve been writing as if you had the ability to see the problems with the statistic on your own.

            If that’s wrong, then I’ve been approaching our communication with the wrong strategy. (This also, btw, doesn’t imply general incompetence: you could have been trying to do this with a migraine, on a bad day, while drunk, while a lover was distracting you, whatever: I’m talking about this effort not your general abilities which I don’t know.)

            But even if you really had no clue that it’s impossible to construct a demographic baseline for trans people, then the effort would still lack humanity because it has no possible benefit for people.

            Of course you, at the time, would be assuming that the effort had humanity, but your assumption and your good intentions doesn’t make the above effort into something that connects or benefits human beings. If, in my well-intentioned effort to make fusion-generated electricity feasible and economically viable I lock myself in the backyard to build a stellar-research spacecraft out of my overgrown lawn’s clippings, I am doomed to fail and my lack of scientific knowledge has led me on an errand which isolates me from other people prioritizing a useless grass sculpture over things that might actually help people.

            If I know it’s impossible to build a grass spaceship, then that changes how one might view me, but it doesn’t change the consequences of my spaceship-building effort.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

            That’s a waste of time and resources. And if you want to divvy up resources based on a statistic you know to be wrong? Then you are crating a system that is guaranteed to divvy up resources INefficiently

            and that ultimately HURTS people.

            I don’t want to divy up resources based on a statistic I know to be wrong.

            So the question is, did you know when you did this research that it was impossible for good statistics predicting future murder rates of trans women to exist?

            If you knew that and did the research anyway, that prioritizes numbers we know to be useless and best and harmful at worst over taking action to help right now.

            I just wanted to know if I could find the primary source for a statistic I heard on the internet, and I was curious about where it came from.

            That’s all.

            From your arguments, it seems like an implication might be that you would also think other organizations who actually attempt to gather statistic are wasting their time as well.

            If you didn’t know that and did the research anyway, that shows admirable concern for trans folk but a complete ignorance of how the scientific process works.

            Sorry, but I disagree that trying to track down a source for a statistic I am curious about shows complete ignorance for how the scientific process works.

            I was assuming that you have a good handle on the scientific process and didn’t need to see the original study to know that the stat can’t possibly be “true” in the sense of being in any way generalizable to “trans women” rather than just “true” in the sense of being an accurate datum regarding one inevitably non-representative sample.

            I was just curious as to whether not not I could find the source for a statistic I heard on the internet. I didn’t need to see the study to know that it “can’t possibly be true”. I was exercising my curiosity about the source of a statistic.

            You show great scientific facility so I thought presuming an ability to see through this scientific possibility would be easy for you. I’ve been writing as if you had the ability to see the problems with the statistic on your own.

            That’s good that you approached it from this way.

            If that’s wrong, then I’ve been approaching our communication with the wrong strategy. (This also, btw, doesn’t imply general incompetence: you could have been trying to do this with a migraine, on a bad day, while drunk, while a lover was distracting you, whatever: I’m talking about this effort not your general abilities which I don’t know.)

            I was just curious about a statistic I heard on the internet and tried to track down where it came from.

            I’ve probably spent more time communicating with you about why you think my time was wasted then I spent on the OP at this point.

            But even if you really had no clue that it’s impossible to construct a demographic baseline for trans people, then the effort would still lack humanity because it has no possible benefit for people.

            No, I did have a clue.

            The benefit might be that other people will read it and go, “oh, so it’s not possible to construct a demographic, and I have been using this statistic in my communication with people, so maybe I should stop doing that now”. but that is up to them.

            I don’t think it’s useful to use a statistic which has no verifiable source.

            The reason I said that *I* would not use this statistic is not really because I thought that I might personally use it – more that I don’t think others would benefit from using this statistic, but I used first-person language lest someone construe that I was telling them how to advocate for themselves.

            The statistic is used by the trans community, but I have no place in telling them they might want to consider not using it. You said yourself earlier that you don’t use statistics like this, which I think is good practice.

            Mostly, the benefit was to satisfy my curiosity about a statistic I heard on the internet.

            This also seems to imply from your arguments that any research on demographics of trans people is a wasted effort. At least I only wasted my time and not funding for research.

            Of course you, at the time, would be assuming that the effort had humanity, but your assumption and your good intentions doesn’t make the above effort into something that connects or benefits human beings. If, in my well-intentioned effort to make fusion-generated electricity feasible and economically viable I lock myself in the backyard to build a stellar-research spacecraft out of my overgrown lawn’s clippings, I am doomed to fail and my lack of scientific knowledge has led me on an errand which isolates me from other people prioritizing a useless grass sculpture over things that might actually help people.

            I can also look at pictures of cats on the internet, which prioritizes cats on the internet over helping other people. I was curious about a statistic and attempting to satisfy my own curiosity.

            If I know it’s impossible to build a grass spaceship, then that changes how one might view me, but it doesn’t change the consequences of my spaceship-building effort.

            It might be impossible to build a grass spaceship, but it isn’t impossible to track down the claim that people have built grass spaceships in the past, and finding no evidence for such claim, conclude that one should have skepticism regarding the building of grass spaceships. Which is more akin to what I did.

          • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

            I can also look at pictures of cats on the internet, which prioritizes cats on the internet over helping other people.

            Questioning effectiveness or usefulness is different than priorities. If your goal is to help the trans community, debating statistics (beyond noting that statistics are useless in this situation) is is pointless.

            On the other hand, looking at LOLcats is incredibly useful if your goal with that action is to either enjoy yourself (most people) or enrage yourself (PZ Myers.)

            I highly doubt that Crip Dyke is saying anything about priorities. I think she’s saying something about how *given a desire to understand trans issues and help trans people*, prioritizing statistics is not useful.

          • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd Christina

            My main desire was that I wanted to know if I could find the primary source for a statistic I heard on the internet, and I was curious about where it came from.

        • http://www.saintgasoline.com Saint Gasoline

          “If you put more importance on confirming numbers than on understanding human experience, then you are not making human connections and are thus doing “humanity” wrong.”

          Confirming numbers is important in knowing how to respond and where the problem actually lies. For instance, if the numbers showed that trans women get murdered at the same rate as anyone else, then that would seem to indicate we should devote resources to stopping murder in general rather than focusing on any one particular group being murdered. (This is obviously a hypothetical example and it seems rather obvious that trans women are murdered at greater rates, though.)

          I also disagree when you say that a single murder is just as bad as multiple murders. A single murder is horrible, to be fair, but multiple murders are worse and I think most people would agree with that, given how people respond to ethical choices in thought experiements like the Trolley Problem, for example (i.e., many people have a sort of naive utilitarianism at work).

          Expecting accuracy in claims is important, especially in the skeptic community. That’s kind of what we’re all about. And desiring to look at claims that support even positions you’d find palatable is a good attitude to adopt.

  • Horace

    Hi Xanthe,

    To get a meaningful number we don’t need to know how many people there are who would be transexual if society was more tolerant; we need to know how many people are identifiable to bigots as trans who are thus in risk of being attacked. I realize that we may not be able to get an exact number, it is worth finding out if the risk of being murdered is in the order of magnitude of 1:10 as suggested above.

    The other thing is that if traditional patriarchal societies are more tolerant of transexuals is it possible that things are actually getting worse as society “liberalizes” ? Are more trans women being beaten up as freedom for women increases ?

    Any ideas ?

    • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

      Hi Horace,

      the quibbling about the meaningful number was owing to the query about, ‘just how many people are trans, so we can estimate murder rates’, to which CripDyke flippantly suggested the upper bound was 100%. (Every fraction needs a denominator as well as a numerator.) Now I don’t think that’s a likely number either – but Oyslager and Conway illustrate firm reasons why the number probably is larger than might be thought, as well as reasons why stigmatisation helps to hid the real prevalence of transgenderism.

      For example, check out the concepts of “stealth” and “deep stealth” in Natalie’s glossary and think of what it would be like to completely cut off every family family member, every person, every tie, every aspect of your identity that you knew from your pre-transition life, in order to hide your status of having transitioned. That’s the sort of stigma this carries.

      As for society, I don’t know how crimes against trans people compare statistically against general crime stats: if Steven Pinker thinks we are gradually becoming less violent over time, then crimes against trans people should generally trend downwards in concert with all other crimes in a given society. However, the transgender portion of the community is statistically small enough to have much larger fluctuations in data, so the attempt to show that sort of correlation is probably impossible. As someone else pointed out up-thread, crimes weren’t even tracked or flagged as having been committed against a trans person until recently.

      I see no evidence suggesting “traditional patriarchal societies are more tolerant of transsexuals” as the conditional statement of your last substantial paragraph.

      • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

        * edits needed to my post above: hide; family family

        I also wasn’t aware of the argument that CripDyke has just given more background to, which is co-opting trans to mean anyone breaking any trivial gender-coded rôles – and which as she said, would extend the trans community to 100% of the population. So I’d like to acknowledge my error in attributing this flippant suggestion to CripDyke, amending that to point out that she’s asserted that other people have argued it, so obviously it is out there as an idea. (That’s the thing I’ve learned for today, anyway)

        • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

          Eh, minor error. And I didn’t make it clear where I’d got it. In fact, in the first use, I didn’t say where it came from at all.

          Just out of an abundance of caution: I think it’s a stupid tactic because if we used trans to descripbe literally everyone, we would still need a word that means the folks whom we currently include in trans. That would result in the coining of yet another word which would then be used by the newly “trans” persons that think of themselves as normal (and, indeed, have their identities and experiences validated as normal) to draw new distinctions.

          “We’re all in favor of liberating trans people,” they might say, meaning themselves, “but golly gee willikers, no one should have to hire one of those gyndros!” they might finish, meaning exactly the group previously known as trans.

          It’s a silly and short sighted tactic. It also trivializes trans experience. I was happy when Bornstein gave up on it. That lost the idea its most prominent proponent, though you still see some people use the idea even today. Typically inexperienced presenters doing some sort of Trans101 who are really, really trying to get the cis folk on their side.

          So, no. Not me. Not what i believe. Not what I think is practical. Not what I think is good strategy.

          But if you’re asking what is the maximal definition of “trans” you can’t get much more maximal than that.

        • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

          Thanks for the info, Crip Dyke – I know Bornstein says some silly things (and some good things too), but wasn’t aware this was one of the very silly variety.

  • Epinephrine

    Of course it matters whether the 1 in 12 statistic is true. For one thing, if we want to see change, it’s important to know what the change is, what the starting conditions are. How do you know if we’re improving the situation if we don’t have a way to tell?

    I really appreciate Christina trying to source the statistic. If the figure turns out to be off, it doesn’t mean that efforts aren’t warranted to make the situation better, just that we have a starting point from which to measure.

    • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

      No, you’re missing the point.

      Of course it matters whether the 1 in 12 statistic is true.

      It isn’t true. It is quite obviously *not true*. That’s what we know for a fact within a few seconds of being offered it.

      Having dealt with that, it still doesn’t really matter. The violence against trans people, particularly women, is horrific enough to warrant action regardless of this statistic.

      For one thing, if we want to see change, it’s important to know what the change is, what the starting conditions are. How do you know if we’re improving the situation if we don’t have a way to tell?

      Yes, having an accurate metric would be useful. But it is simply not possible in this situation: we have no means of accurately measuring the trans population. Not everything in this world can be statistically measured.

      I really appreciate Christina trying to source the statistic. If the figure turns out to be off, it doesn’t mean that efforts aren’t warranted to make the situation better, just that we have a starting point from which to measure.

      This figure *is off*. Try to read at least some of the comments. There is no way to measure this, searching for a source is functionally meaningless. Anyone who claims to have arrived at that statistic has had to do some serious guessing to even approach it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

        Anyone who claims to have arrived at that statistic has had to do some serious guessing to even approach it.

        I agree. In a way, this was my point.

        • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

          In what way? According to your own summary, your conclusions from the post were that you couldn’t find a primary source for the statistic, but nonetheless trans murder is horrific. Both true points. But not really relevant to any point regarding the impossibility of every having arrived at such a statistic in the first place.

          • http://Www.freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd Christina

            I was trying to make that point without explicitly coming out and saying it in part becuse I didn’t want to offend anybody who had used that statistic in the past.

    • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

      TL;DR version of various arguments by the trans women commenting on this thread: there are major, major problems with having any confidence in a statistic like this one. Having said that… one in twelve doesn’t sound totally unbelievable. If it’s wrong, it may not be by very much.

  • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

    I know that this kind of off-topic, but it does relate to a conversation in the comments between Crip Dyke and Christina above (here).

    I think a useful point here, when it comes to using mathematics, is that the mathematics used must be relevant the problem trying to be measured/solved. Probability theory (and hence statistics) are enormously useful in certain situations, but their prevalence in the hard sciences has led to them being applied in social sciences (sociology, anthropology, what have you) even in areas where they are useless. Hence, trying to find a statistical measurement of violence against trans people.

    But this is pointless, as mentioned above frequently, and maybe we should instead seek alternate methods of structurally representing trans violence. For example, graph theoretic representations of the social dynamics of domestic abuse victims has the potential to tell researchers *so much* about how domestic abuse works and how to structurally discourage it than just statistics (obviously, statistical analysis has been huge there also, I don’t mean to say it hasn’t). Maybe instead of trying to figure out how many trans people there are, we can apply other ways to understand, abstractly, how society structures itself around trans victims of violence. This might allow us to have a useful metric (change in structure) without relying on incomplete statistics.

    (I should note that applied mathematics in social sciences isn’t my field, so perhaps this couldn’t be applied to trans people for some reason I’m not familiar with.)

    • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

      Replying here because it will avail me of a slightly wider column width, but upthread you asserted about the murder statistic, “It isn’t true”, or even more baldly, “It is quite obviously *not true*.” How do you know that? You don’t. Certainly the lack of definition in what group 1 in 12 refers to is a problem. But as has been thoroughly documented by CripDyke and myself, you can’t even begin to construct a plausible baseline demographic to be able to look at all deaths of trans women in an actuarial sense that would allow any statistical confidence about any statistic, and there is substantial evidence that violence against trans women up to and including murder is massively under-reported and mis-reported, erroneously attributed to other causes than the victim’s identity association. So far from being a question where you can make a truth claim, it would be far more honest of you to say, “we dearly hope this isn’t true… but we have such abysmally shitty data that even attempting to establish the size of the confidence interval for what the real statistic might be is hopelessly optimistic”.

      • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

        Replying here because it will avail me of a slightly wider column width, but upthread you asserted about the murder statistic, “It isn’t true”, or even more baldly, “It is quite obviously *not true*.” How do you know that? You don’t.

        I was reiterating it perhaps too strongly in response to Christina’s repeated insistence that she wanted to verify it before using it. Thus, I argued that we already know it isn’t true, in the sense that the chances of that particular statistic just happening to be correct are so low, that we can relatively safely assume that those particular numbers are not correct.

        Certainly the lack of definition in what group 1 in 12 refers to is a problem. But as has been thoroughly documented by CripDyke and myself, you can’t even begin to construct a plausible baseline demographic to be able to look at all deaths of trans women in an actuarial sense that would allow any statistical confidence about any statistic, and there is substantial evidence that violence against trans women up to and including murder is massively under-reported and mis-reported, erroneously attributed to other causes than the victim’s identity association.

        I agree with all of this. And I think I’ve said as much in comments above, but in case I misspoke, allow to to say: yes, absolutely. I am aware of and agree with all of this. My saying that 1-in-12 is not true was, I suppose, strictly speaking wrong. We can’t determine truth or falseness. I was responding to Christina’s claim that what she wanted to do was verify the statistic, to my mind, an impossible task, given how unlikely it is that that statistic could even possibly be true.

        So far from being a question where you can make a truth claim, it would be far more honest of you to say, “we dearly hope this isn’t true… but we have such abysmally shitty data that even attempting to establish the size of the confidence interval for what the real statistic might be is hopelessly optimistic”.

        When I said it wasn’t true, it wasn’t from the standpoint of trying to argue that reality is nicer than that. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the statistic were worse. So I hope it didn’t come off as an attempt to sidestep the issue of violence against trans people.

        But yes, you’re right. It is impossible to make an absolute truth-claim. I thought that, in context, my point (that it is so extremely unlikely to be true, given the fact that it had to simply be a guess) was clear, but since it was not, I apologize for that. Like you say, I should have noted that it is impossible to make a valid truth claim one way or the other.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

          Christina’s repeated insistence that she wanted to verify it before using it. Thus, I argued that we already know it isn’t true, in the sense that the chances of that particular statistic just happening to be correct are so low, that we can relatively safely assume that those particular numbers are not correct.

          We can’t determine truth or falseness. I was responding to Christina’s claim that what she wanted to do was verify the statistic, to my mind, an impossible task, given how unlikely it is that that statistic could even possibly be true.

          While it might (really, is) impossible to verify a statistic such as this as true, it’s not impossible to verify that this statistic has some sort of source based on some sort of quantifiable (albeit probably flawed) data or study. i.e. a primary source.

          That’s what I was trying to do. So maybe we’ve been talking past each other in a way.

          It was more like a, “huh, where did that statistic come from? Let’s see if we can find it” than a, “huh, can we reasonably construe this statistic as true?”

          Granted, the two are surely related, but not quite the same thing.

          Though I suppose you could ask, “why the hell would you want to even find it if you didn’t want to see if it were true?” which is surely a reasonable question, the answer if which is: I’m not sure if we can see if it’s true, but I at least wanted to see if I could find the source.

          I (obviously?) don’t think trying to source a common statistic heard on the internet is a waste of time. Several other people here do, for various reasons. Maybe my efforts can be deemed a waste of time, but fuck peeps, do you have to keep drilling it into my head? Honestly, I’m trying really hard not to feel* belittled.

          ^.^

          *Yes I know, fuck my feelings. There are more important things than my fee-fees and I perhaps should not have them to begin with – hence why I am trying not to have them.

    • http://en.gravatar.com/xanthecat Xanthe

      Hi skepticalmath, my point simply is that “not true” and “don’t know whether it’s true” are not the same thing, and the uncertainty in the latter case leads to some other inaccuracies:

      Thus, I argued that we already know it isn’t true, in the sense that the chances of that particular statistic just happening to be correct are so low, that we can relatively safely assume that those particular numbers are not correct.

      This is erroneous: indeed the chances of the statistic being correct are low. The chances of the statistic being accurate (albeit with large error bars) on the other hand are strong; accuracy and precision are different measures. I’m well aware the error bars on the statistic would probably be huge even if it were computable, but when a lot of people are telling you the number feels like it’s quite plausible, then calling it “not true” or “not correct” is also evading the argument.

      By the way Christina, I’m very sorry if you feel trans people like myself are harping on this unnecessarily, since I am sort of disappointed that the discussion (this applies rather more to the other discussion on DCS, where I was appalled and disgusted at for example, how Anna was treated by some of the commentariat) has to focus on proving whether we are oppressed, or whether there are problems getting reliable data – the two are unfortunately deeply intertwined and in the case of the murder stat, you rapidly find yourself disappearing down the rabbit hole.

      • http://skepticalmath.wordpress.com skepticalmath

        Yes, sorry, I was wrong to say that it was not true. You are correct.

  • Raquel Velasquez

    The information in this article is important, but if you’re really concerned about the well-being of trans people, please don’t do it in such a triggering light-hearted. These are our lives you’re talking about. These are active dangers and trauma we walk with as a daily price of existing in public. I wish I could link some of my trans friends to this article, but it was near impossible for me to get through it, and for my friends who have experienced even great violence than I, this is guaranteed to send them into a PTSD trigger. Tracking these numbers are important, but don’t treat it like some kind of fucking game.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      I’m not treating it like some fucking game. I also don’t know why you think it’s “light-hearted” – could you please point out the phrases or sentences that make you think that?

      Could you offer suggestions on how to re-word it?

  • Eve Alas

    Christina thank you for this.

    I was attacked and anti “gay” gang raped in the U.S. Army, lucky the soldiers could not kill me because I was a soldier.

  • Pingback: Why I Stood Up to a Bully « Graphic Policy

  • Pingback: On Remembering Our Dead « transmedic

  • Pingback: Transgender Day of Remembrance « Sex with Timaree

  • Pingback: Iceland to ban pornography. - Page 25

  • Sheila

    I found this post while searching for information on assault, murder, and mortality information for trans and trans* populations. The post and the comments on the near impossibility of trying to capture the information have been really insightful. Does skepticalmath has a bog? The link to skepticalmath’s username doesn’t go anywhere.

  • Jenna M

    The facilities involved have to follow privacy rules. The source of Data can not always be public without infringing on the privacy of this minority. Some of the things you seek about TG people are not on the net.

    The largest thing I came away from you publication with is the idea no one actually knows the statistics, so, there couldn’t ever be an actual source for them? I am TG and I’d like to know too? But, I don’t think its possible to know?

    It is fact that most TG people do not report being a victim of violence, that is the principle that makes it impossible to know your answer?

    Sorry man, thanks for caring:)

  • Pingback: I Hate Hate | Killers Without Conscience

  • Northern Free thinker

    Trouble is, the definition of “gender” is very akin to the definition of “god”. There is no scientific evidence for neither. Abiding by transgender claims (MtF) to access systems we have developed to protect and promote females in this patriarchal world. Any death is sad, women typically die at the hands of their male life partner, whether married or not. Death is sad. When transgenders die it is equally sad. But there is no agreed evidence-based definition of gender, it is no more than a religious concept. In essence, “transgender” rights belong at the ridiculous office of religious freedoms, sense they are defined solely on the basis of ‘personal experience’. Unfortunately scientists who speak out on this matter get called bigots, but scientists need to speak out more often, we need to stick to evidenced based logic and rational when legislating on access rights, and minority advancement programs. If transgenders are to come under a “minority promotion” program, it must be their own, not women’s.

    • Andrew Kohler

      I am not sure to what Northern Free thinker is referring with “systems we have developed to protect and promote females in this patriarchal world,” and I don’t have time to comb through the voluminous commentary on this post to see if this is in response to something in particular, but I take exception to the general idea here.

      It is true that gender identity is based on personal experience, just like sexual orientation: there is no scientific evaluation to determine whether someone is trans- or cisgender, or otherwise gender-queer, or where someone falls on or off (in the case of asexuals) the Kinsey scale. We have to take people at their word. The question here is how do people *identify.* The better-written anti-discrimination laws and policies say that “real or perceived” sexual orientation is a protected category, as is “gender identity or expression.” This is because it does not matter whether or not a person can be proven to be gay, transgender, etc. Rather, people should be entitled to be treated decently regardless of how they identify, with whom they have consensual sexual and romantic relationships, or how they *express* their gender. How people act and identify is scientifically ascertainable by observing them. I suppose one can’t prove they’re not just putting on an act, but to assume that cisgender people set out to deceive others into thinking they are transgender (which must be an extremely rare phenomenon–I would say nonexistent, but then again some people will do anything) is a violation of Occam’s razor and frankly insulting to the transgender community. Similarly, people should not face discrimination for their religious beliefs and practices (although some religious practices should not be tolerated as they involve harming others–genital cutting, denying medical care to children, stoning non-chaste family members, etc.). In this case, it doesn’t matter that religious beliefs have no grounding in science, just as it doesn’t matter that you can’t scientifically measure a person’s gender identity.

      Religion and gender identity really are not analogous, however. Even though I’m sure we could debate the degrees to which gender identity is a biological phenomenon versus a social construct (I do not pretend to have the qualifications to make such a judgment), it is clearly something that is very deeply seated. It is a reality for everyone. And once again, the same is true for sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter to what extent these things are nature and to what extent nurture: I repeat, they are real, intrinsic components of the human experience. Religious belief is not like that. It is very deep-seated and essential in many people’s lives, but it is possible to change one’s mind about beliefs after debate and discussion. LGBT people can choose whether to be out or closeted, but it is not possible to have a discussion about homosexuality and then decide “Well gee, I guess it is against God’s will–I’ll stop being attracted to people of my own gender now!” Well, one can decide that, but one can’t make it so. In summation: gender identity and sexual orientation are a component of who you are, beliefs are what one thinks. To place transgender rights (using scare quotation marks, no less) with what you call a “ridiculous office” is dismissive and, truth be told, comes across as rather callous to trans people.

      “Any death is sad, women typically die at the hands of their male life partner, whether married or not.”

      I assume you do not mean that this is true for all women in long-term heterosexual relationships. I do not know the statistics in deaths from male-against-female domestic violence, but I do know that, while such domestic violence is a very serious and far too common problem, it is hardly “typical” for people to be murdered in any circumstance. (“All too common,” yes, but fortunately still quite a small percentage of the overall population, while “typical” implies that it is the norm.) Perhaps you mean that this is the typical gender makeup in a case of death by domestic violence? That sounds far more plausible. I believe that domestic violence services must be open to all victims: male, female, intersex, gay, straight, bisexual, polyamorous, transgender, cisgender, etc. We can, and must, recognize that male-against-female violence is the result of patriarchy and resolve to eliminate the deleterious mindset that allows it to exist, but we can, and must, realize that domestic violence extends beyond those parameters. I gather you are also referring to the question of MtF transgender involvement in women-only organizations and events: I know that there has been controversy about this in the past, and the exclusion of trans women doesn’t sit very well with me. Then again, I don’t consider myself terribly well qualified to render an opinion about this matter. Which brings me to:

      “If transgenders are to come under a “minority promotion” program, it must be their own, not women’s.”

      There are certainly compelling reasons to have programs specific to transgender people, I agree, but I remain skeptical of such a rigid division between cisgender and transgender within women’s issues. Just as with LGB and T issues, there are definite differences between the two categories, but they are in other ways interwoven. I would be very glad to hear what others have to say on this subject, of course!

  • A Father

    The Stat 1 in 14 killed is a brazzen lie–see “culture bound syndrome” and you can double check the stats. Check also Adovocate–truth, they are not at any where near the risk they assert. Like a total of 14 last year. WOW do these people exagerate

  • Pingback: A Journalist “Outs” a Trans* Person, Gets Eviscerated Online: How we are missing the point

  • Shauna Marie O’Toole

    The statistic of 1 in 12 was originally published by HRC, but has been removed. As I recall, it was attributed to the FBI as its source. The statistic was not only hate crimes, but included ALL murders against the Trans community. Most states allow for us to be fired for simply being who we are. As a result, there is a large percentage of us living in extreme poverty ~15% according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. About 16% of us are forced to work in the underground economy to survive. (same survey)

    How many murdered prostitutes are trans? What about murdered drug dealers? How many of us have been killed, but their gender hidden by an embarrassed family?

    The bottom line is that we do not have good numbers. It wasn’t until this year, 2013, that the law was changed to include tracking of murders & hate crimes against transgender people.

  • Pingback: LGBT Community On Alert After Transgender Woman Found Dead

  • Pingback: Trackback

  • Pingback: Trackback

  • Pingback: Trackback

  • Pingback: Found In Philly | A Light in the Distance

  • Pingback: Google

  • Pingback: Trackback

  • Pingback: Trackback

  • Pingback: How To Deploy

  • Pingback: {viagra oral jelly sildenafil|kamagra oral jelly forum|apcalis manufacturers|apcalis in pattaya|apcalis oral jelly sx|kamagra oral jelly image|kamagra oral jelly import}

  • Pingback: Treatment for Anal Skin tags

  • Pingback: Trading Strategies

  • Pingback: mobile gadgets

  • Pingback: aftonbladet

  • Pingback: {augmentin prescription dosage|augmentin et acnпїЅ|augmentin 875 is used for|soon does augmentin start working|what is the dosage of augmentin for a uti|augmentin bid ilaпїЅ|augmentin price egypt}

  • Pingback: aftonfelet

  • Pingback: backlinks

  • Pingback: {ciprofloxacin after expiration|ciprofloxacin cranberry pills|ciprofloxacin pyelonephritis dose|info on drug ciprofloxacin|allergic reaction to ciprofloxacin symptoms|ciprofloxacin ear drops in children|role levofloxacin uti}

  • Pingback: {ceclor 375mg preпїЅo|distaclor cefaclor la 375mg|cefaclor bei lungenentzпїЅпїЅndung|cefaclor therapeutic class|cefaclor пїЅ bom para sinusite|cefaclor vitamins|ceclor pediatrico posologia}

  • Pingback: Flight Deals

  • Pingback: {gabapentin help ms|600 mg gabapentin safe|gabapentin tablets strength|neurontin 600 tabletas|gabapentin extended release gabapentin|when to take neurontin for sleep|gabapentin to relieve pain}

  • Pingback: {viagra in the waters chords|sildenafil from sigma|viagra effekt kvinner|differences between viagra levitra cialis|who can prescribe viagra|original viagra deutschland|viagra rapp}

  • Pingback: Going green business

  • Pingback: {ticlid supplied|ticlopidine hcl wikipedia|ticlopidine dvt|ticlopidine protocol|ticlopidine hydrochloride side effects|ticlid platelets|ticlopidine hcl side effects}

  • Pingback: Hard wood floors Concrete floors

  • Pingback: buy real twitter followers

  • Pingback: Watch a Bollywood Movie online free

  • Pingback: {medicine inderal propranolol|propranolol online no prescription|propranolol and liver disease|inderal fda approved|propranolol ulcers|inderal pulmonary hypertension|propranolol oral solution infants}

  • Pingback: {cymbalta dark circles|actors in cymbalta commercial|cymbalta off label|can take cymbalta lisinopril|cymbalta 60 mg how strong it is|avelox cymbalta|dosage for cymbalta depression}

  • Pingback: log buildings

  • Pingback: log sheds

  • Pingback: log sheds

  • Pingback: forms

  • Pingback: 20 человек на жигуле

  • Pingback: {erythromycin chemical name|erythromycin underarm|production of erythromycin by streptomyces erythreus|erythromycin overdose symptoms|difference between erythromycin and erythromycin ethylsuccinate|what is erythromycin is used for|ciprofloxacin erythromyc


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X