This Year I’m Celebrating NYC Pride By Trying Not To Die
“Do you feel good for ‘deceiving’ men?” a disgruntled young man wielding a metal bat shouted, while gently increasing his pace towards us.
There it was, the sound of low-key intimidation. It was as if he was reading from a script off of the countless articles of trans women being beaten and murdered in the U.S. Like this moment was meant to happen. It was clear that the next 60 seconds would determine if I had a girlfriend to wake up to tomorrow. If we’d be #14 and #15.
“My bullet will reach you faster than the police, pussies!”
How did we get here?
A question that is asked by writers who often misgender victims while in the same breath they’re dumbfounded by how this could happen.
This thought is mourned by mothers and fathers who bury their children in clothes that would make any trans person rather be dead than alive in.
After decades of Jerry Springer and shemale porn sponsored by Grooby, we’re still too fucking clueless to realize why casting Matt Bomer as a trans woman in a major motion picture is another dangerous and lethal move by well-meaning liberals.
I’m not deceiving anyone. We simply exist, breathe and love like any normal human being. But between Hollywood and poorly filed police reports, it gives off that impression. When you’re on hormone replacement for years, your bones become more fragile than cis women. So when someone hits you as if you were a man, it’s a lethal blow. These institutions are complicit for the violence we’re facing.
One of the cops who responded to the scene even admitted rather bluntly, “If he became physical with you and you two fought back, we’d have to arrest all of you.” She followed up by recusing herself, “but you gotta do what you gotta do.” As if being thrown into a rape-riddled men’s prison was a secondary comfort to death.
While thousands of mostly gay white men and the circus of cis-hetero onlookers swarm Manhattan and get shit-faced in the village this weekend, I’ll be attempting to avoid a man on our block in the Bronx who threatened to shoot me and waited outside of my girlfriend’s building until NYPD pulled up. As the private prison investor Wells Fargo blows up their balloons for the march, my FB friend Jasmine Infiniti is having reconstructive surgery on her jaw from a brutal transphobic attack a week prior in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
This is the current state of the queer community. If those more privileged were as concerned about the immediate danger of trans women, especially trans women of color, as they are about two new strips on the Pride flag; maybe a girl like me wouldn’t have the sunrise stolen from her every two weeks in this country.
Like, for instance: healthcare.
Trans people already face a 42% attempted suicide rate. And the rate of trans murders doubled last year. Access to gender affirming healthcare (which most private insurers don’t fully provide) could’ve prevented, not all, but so many of these deaths. Having laser hair removal could be the deciding factor in whether someone clocks you and smashes your skull in with a baseball bat. Same with fair housing, employment and resources.
There is an ever-creeping genocide that to one segment of our population is apparent and ominous. But between the clatter of PBRs and mimosas that decorate the village, the silence of our continued struggle is deafening. I’m not precisely sure how we guarantee the safety of trans women. But I know it begins with putting down our beers this weekend and picking up a banner and a megaphone. Maybe even a clipboard, too.