The foulest of foul moods

I would like to think that my ill temper – I’ve been shouting at the kettle for not boiling quickly enough – and my inability to get on with stuff were down wholly and solely to the weather, or my swine flu jab. And obviously those are factors.

The fact of the matter though is that this year TDOR affected me very deeply – it was partly that it was closer to home this year, and partly that there were so many deaths to brood on. It was partly the sense of belonging to a community and partly too that we all feel so beleaguered – the silence after the reading of the names and the lighting of the candles may not have been five minutes but it was a lot more than two, and no-one suggested it be that long, we just felt it had to be.

Also, coming back to the press and the blogosphere, and thinking about the Reclaim the Night march the same night, made me think about how the trans community really does have to hang together, because a lot of individual people out in the blogosphere care, and places like Shakesville and Bilerico care.

But everyone in the progressive community, and the LGBT community ought to care – two hundred plus people at least were murdered last year for being trans and that really ought to press people’s ‘They came for the Communists and I did nothing’ button. And yes, Sullivan, I am looking at you.

And where, come to that, are the transphobic feminists on this one? I mean, they may despise us, regard us as not proper women, think we are Trojan Whores of the patriarchy or whatever, but do they not care about our being fucking murdered?

Clearly not. They talk about morally mandating us out of existence, after all.

Let’s make this explicit. I am calling on Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer and Janice Raymond to denounce the killings of trans people, or be regarded as consciously complicit in those killings by their silence.

There is an atmosphere of our being regarded as less than human, as unimportant, and they have contributed to that atmosphere. There is blood on their hands and they need to do something about it.

And the same applies to the tabloid press – and to comediants who make jokes about us – and to television shows that treat us as two-dimensional punch lines. You have helped murderers feel OK about themselves – fix it.

It applies above all to so-called men of god who regard us as possessed by devils, or in a state of grave sin, or as intrinsically disordered. And who talk about their abhorrence of violence in vague terms, sometimes, but do not accept that there is a creeping genocide of trans people that is a far graver sin than anything they believe us guilty of. Transphobia is a crime and what I was brought up to think of as an occasion of sin and not just a scandal, but something which does what the catechism brought me to think of as giving scandal, that is to say, the sort of sin which causes bystanders to think less well of believers for tolerating it.

So, you holy people, why are you standing by while people are bludgeoning us, shooting us, strangling us and stabbing us? While they are chopping us apart and sticking us in the garbage?

Is that your idea of sanctity? Because it looks to me uncommonly like letting cheap thugs rid you of our presence.

Say it loud – No More Killings of Trans People. Or be judged accordingly.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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33 Responses to The foulest of foul moods

  1. cdave says:

    two-dimensional punch lines

    Don’t think I posted this Channel 4’s repsonse to the rant I forwarded them.

    date Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 4:13 PM
    subject Re: Viewer Enquiries Contact Form

    Dear Dave [redacted],

    Thank you for contacting Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries regarding THE IT CROWD.

    We are sorry to hear that you found the confrontation between Douglas Reynholm and the Transsexual reporter to be offensive.

    Please be assured your complaint has been noted and logged for the information of those responsible for our programming.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate all feedback from our viewers; complimentary or otherwise.


    Sally [redacted]
    Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries

    For information about Channel 4 have a look at our FAQ section at

    • steepholm says:

      Re: two-dimensional punch lines

      That’s a pretty crap response. Did you take it to Ofcom? Sounds like an offence under Section 2.3 of the Ofcom code to me, and very much on a par with the Moving Wallpaper debacle of earlier this year (which is still under appeal).

      • cdave says:

        Re: two-dimensional punch lines

        No. I had no idea what a complaint meant. I was hoping for an apology, but an acknowledgement was all I was really expecting.

    • paulathomas says:

      Re: two-dimensional punch lines

      The head of diversity at Channel 4 is Oona King, my former MP, and she is trans aware. I made sure she was.

  2. Thank you for this

    It definitely needs to be said, again and again. Sadly.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully said

    This is exactly what we need to be saying. Those who are silent about this subject are supporting those who murder us. Even the most bigoted radfem or right-wing christian should still deplore the horrible murders that happen time and time again, and those that have the gall to be silent on this subject should be made to understand that they are standing on the side of the murderers in doing so.

  4. Quite right!
    Hope you feel better soon (((((hugs))))) x

  5. snakey says:

    denounce the killings of trans people, or be regarded as consciously complicit in those killings by their silence.


  6. cmcmck says:

    Since I couldn’t put it better myself (angry poetry of a sort I haven’t written since I was eighteen was the best I could do), I’ll link to this from mine if that’s okay?

  7. lovingboth says:

    I can happily say ‘No More Killings of Trans People’ and this is not to in any way diminish the outrageous nature of the killings, but I am not yet convinced that the two recent murders in Brighton and London were ‘for being trans’.

    It’s not as if there are not far too many people who think that doing sex work is Wrong – see Bindel, again, for example – and some of them think it is reason enough to murder.

    • snakey says:

      While we may never know for certain, it is EXTREMELY likely that they were. To quote a friend:

      “There have been 2 murders of trans women in the UK this year that I know of. Let’s assume there is 1 trans woman for every 10,000 cis women (the government thinks there are fewer than that, so this is going to be conservative). At the time of writing, 2 trans women have been murdered in the UK this year.

      If cis women were being attacked and murdered in proportion, that would make 20,000 murders of women in the UK this year. I believe the usual figure is somewhere around five hundred.”

      • Handy stats.

        Please pass my thanks on to your friend.

        (*has been meaning to do a brief statistical comparison with past, more media fluffy, events such as Yugoslavia to give clarity to the usage of “genocide” (I fear without such we’ll be lambasted as drama queens). But hasn’t had the spoons*)

      • paulathomas says:

        I have been hesitating about this. But…

        1. the other risk factor here is sex work.

        2. the numbers are probably too low to be statistically significant.

        Sorry, but I’m also not convinced that either of these cases were transphobic.

  8. jessie_c says:

    This cannot be said too loudly nor too many times. May I link to this to boost the signal?

  9. annafdd says:

    I am sorry I contributed to winding you up. I’ve been grumpy and unhappy all day, too.

    I don’t think you can expect support from the likes of Bindel and Greer. Maybe there was a time when they cared genuinely about the people, but my feeling is that now they care about a cause, and people are only worth as much as they can champion, represent and help the cause.

    • cmcmck says:

      Aye! The cause of privileged middle class second wave feminist theorists. Surprising how many of us aren’t white, educated, middle class, cis, vanilla, lesbian, city based journos, isn’t it?

      Okay, while I’ll admit to two or three of those……….. :o)

      I guess their stance makes about as much sense as the Don van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) statement: ‘There are only seven people in the world and four of them are hamburgers’.

      But as Roz says, if you don’t condemn, you condone :o(

      • astras_brian says:

        As was said in The Sheriff of Huddersfield “Bloody well right!”

        Awesome post Roz

      • maellenkleth says:

        Sacris de tabernac! I counted that list and reckon I score at least 5.5 points on it. And all the same, I am utterly disgusted, nay distressed beyond all kenning, that our lives could, individually or collectively, be regarded as being of so little worth.

        Am mulling over correct (and bloody well effective!) response.

        Yours in solidarity,

    • rozkaveney says:

      Not like I wasn’t a bit intemperate last night myself. (Grins).

    • Their cause?

      Last I noticed they’d long even forgotten what the cause was and only cared for their media careers.

      • annafdd says:

        Even when I try to be cynical, I find that I am too good to some people… 😦

        Seriously – I am just reading a book about self-justification (“Mistakes were made, but not by me”). And probably they rationalize away all this hatred and quite a lot of selling out by convincing themselves that they are fighting the good fight for equality and the wonderful fluffy world of nurturing peaceful loving Womanhood. Or something.

  10. I don’t know what to say, other than that I deplore the treatment transpeople have endured and that I have every sympathy for your rage at it.

  11. jasonelvis says:

    Fucking right on Roz.

  12. Let’s make this explicit. I am calling on Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer and Janice Raymond to denounce the killings of trans people, or be regarded as consciously complicit in those killings by their silence.

    Are they even aware of the statistics?

  13. maellenkleth says:

    Nice way of putting it, Sister. Hope you don’t mind that you’ve been friended by another cyborg harridan harpie from the Colonies.

    • rozkaveney says:

      Goddess, why would I mind? The more the merrier…There are lots of alternate worlds where I emigrated to the colonies and am writing pretty much this, there.

      • maellenkleth says:

        Well, I continue to be saddened to observe that the level of directed violence seems to be much greater in the UK than it is over here (in Canada).

        Then again, I wonder if it’s because transpeople are in some manner more easily identified by officialdom and other busybodies. Maybe the GRC is the point of particular vulnerability.

        What makes it all the more thought-provoking in some sad way is that I had my do over in the UK (at the time it was not done in Canada: we’re talking >30 years ago), and the only official reaction I received upon returning to Canada was “welcome home, Miss” and that was that. End of story.

        [Workplace rape ca. 5 years later, well, that’s another nasty tale, but as one will observe, I yet live.]

  14. fastfwd says:

    Things like this make me heartsick, because I didn’t know so many transpeople had been murdered.

    Transpeople = people. How can a society claiming to be civilized not be outraged at 200 violent homicides just on general principle?

  15. Anonymous says:


    As I mentioned when we spoke on Sunday – and I hope I didn’t contribute to you being bummed out – I came across a very disturbing post a few months back about African-American transwomen. The woman blogging (and, no, I don’t recall where I read this, alas, though her sums should be easy to replicate) had a figure for the number of boys born to the African-American community ever year. She divided this by 10,000 to get a number for how many were likely to be trans. She then compared it with the number of AA transwomen murdered the previous year. The birth rate turned out to be only twice the murder rate. In other words, 50% of AA transwomen could expect to be murdered. If her numbers were correct this is even more appalling than was realised. There may be no conspiracy involved but when the leading cause of death in any group is murder it begins to look more like eradication.

    -Rob Hansen

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