By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist–
It is November, and to a transperson, our thoughts turn to the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is the day when we pay homage to all of those transgenders who have died because of who they are. In this particular column, I will explore two of the causes of why we die.
Most of the transgender people who have died did so at the hands of men who have sex with them. The usual scenario is not what you might think, that the man and the transperson hook up and upon realizing that the transperson has different genitals than expected, the man suddenly snaps and kills the transperson. This is not so. In reality, the man knows that this person is trans and desires to have sex, does so, and afterward something else snaps in the man. What could make him murder his lover? I can’t say for sure, but I believe that it is because the man may think that loving a transperson is unacceptable in society, and that if anyone ever finds out, he fears that he will pay dearly for it.
There are many men who desire to have sex with and love a transperson. I know this for a fact because of the presence of many internet porn sites that offer pictures and movies of transwomen. I’ve personally experienced desires from men, as I am on several internet dating sites and I receive emails from men interested in me. Most of the time these men never even get to the point of asking me out on a date. Sometimes we do set a date, but I get stood up. Occasionally a man will actually show.
Why do these men show interest in me, yet won’t meet me in person? It’s most likely that I am a fantasy for them and nothing more, because they are scared of what others might think. They may truly desire me, but they cannot bring themselves to be with me in public because of fears of their friends and family members finding out that they like a transwoman. They may be afraid of being called gay or a weirdo. Of course there is nothing wrong with having sex and loving a transperson, but currently society still places us into a taboo category.
Now, I am not taking the blame away from a man who murders a transwoman. Make no mistake; I believe that a murderer is a murderer. What I am saying is that a big part of why he decides to kill us after sex is because of the way society views us. He cannot, and will not, accept that he wants to be with us, and he is afraid of the repercussions of society. The easiest way to erase these feelings is to kill us. No one will ever know. He will then be free from the social stigma of having been with a transperson.
The other reason that we die is through suicides. We may grow tired of the way that society looks at us. Imagine, every single day that you wake up, you have to face the reality that you were not born in your correct gender and that you must do things to try to correct these issues. You may encounter stares, looks of disapproval, being ignored by people who don’t want anything to do with you, and then you return home to an empty home because people are afraid of being with you. Oh, you may have many friends, and people may love you, but it’s not the kind of love that makes people want to share their life with you.
Adding bullying, threats and people making fun of you also contributes to your thoughts of suicide. Your parents, children, your ex and your friends may not want anything to do with you. That hurts very deeply and adds to your woes. Then the big one hits you. You get to the point that no matter what you do, you come to the realization that you will never be fully accepted in society as your correct gender. The combination of all of these things may result in you taking your life because you cannot take it anymore.
The bottom line is that until we get society to fully accept us, we will always be having Transgender Day of Remembrances.
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has 3 grown children and works at 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.