Op-ed recommendation: “Why Straight Men Kill The Trans Women They Love”

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/25/op-ed-recommendation-why-s.html


I really don’t understand how trans panic is usable as a defence*. How many other crimes have a defence where someone says “yes, I did it, and I would do it again” and get a less severe sentence?

* OK, I do understand how it works as a defence. Institutional transphobia. The CPS have the same problem even though trans panic wouldn’t be allowed as a defence in the UK.


Odd how you never hear of a woman doing this.

Also - the violence extends to trans people’s partners and to others from those partners.

Othering has consequences.

“Almonte said Stowe had been arguing with Dickson since the day before but the dispute took a nasty turn after someone whom Almonte described as a transgender woman arrived at the house and went upstairs with Dickson for 30 to 45 minutes.”

Witnesses: Tension, taunts, and gay slurs, and then a rampage that left 3 dead
Updated: MAY 22, 2017 — 5:49 PM EDT"


I admittedly don’t get it. At all. if you are knowingly interested/attracted to a woman specifically because she is trans, there is an issue right there. She isn’t a fetish or an object - she’s a person.

I can fully wrap my head around if you were dating a woman and then after a reasonable time frame (perhaps dating for a few weeks) and then just before things take a more adult/physical turn she then opens up that she is trans - you’d be angry. There would be an argument, heated I am sure. I could see feeling deceived. But honestly, if you cannot handle it, then part as friends. If you really found yourself attracted to her and falling for her, then ask yourself why her being trans matters.

In the end, love is love, attraction is attraction. those emotions do not see color or gender, or a host of other things we are conditioned to put stock in.


I have to imagine that your statement above is connected to what you follow up with :

See that itself is the issue right? The dynamics are pre-complicated before they begin and even reasonable people agree that there should be no trickery else ‘shame on them’. How can a Trans-person (either gender) approach dating with these traps and issues without dealing with the ‘you tricked me’ fallout or starting from a situation where they are very likely to be fetish-ized due to looking for people who on the outset are clear about what they want.

It’s terribly complicated and one of the reasons why anyone who thinks someone would go through it all voluntarily is so wrong (edit - I mean that it’s something you are - still way too many people think that it’s some kind of choice like having a mowhawk)


Anyone at the beginning of a developing relationship keeps secrets. You don’t give someone your entire life story on a first date. My point would be in that case I would understand anger because you feel deceived by this secret coming to light. That is not limited to being trans, it could be anything from as serious as “I have XYZ mental health issue” to the mundane “FYI, my family are all assholes” and anything in between. My feelings there are simply anger and a heated discussion would be understandable…violence is NOT. If you cannot get past whatever the hang up is for you…then part as friends.

I would say there shouldn’t be trickery in any relationship. Anyone who has been lied to by someone they care for knows its awfully hurtful.

In case it isn’t clear I am not someone who thinks it is a choice like a hairstyle. Its just who they are, and no one should shame someone for that.


The edit was for my statement - once posted I realized that it was too vague to leave alone. I agree with the rest of your comment, but also acknowledge that with all of it being said - violence is sadly the default for too many people.

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From the article: "I fantasize about the day when a masculine, straight male celebrity falls in love with a trans woman and embraces her publicly—a man so strong that he simply shrugs off accusations that he’s gay with, “She’s a woman to me, and I love her.”’

I fantasize about a day when “accusations that he’s gay” just wouldn’t happen. When most men and woman will get over this idea that being a “man” means you can’t be sexually attracted to someone with a penis. I don’t think all people will, that is just too much to hope. But I’m hopeful for a majority. A time when it doesn’t matter what gender or biological sex the people in a relationship are as long as they are happy with one another.

A friend of mine, who was living as a man, decided to begin living as who she is. When she told me my first thought was “thank all the gods above and below she lives in Porland now and not Texas.”


sadly is an understatement. this dude just was asked questions, imagine him in this scenario?

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Though one of the coolest trans guys I know does have a pretty rad mohawk. :wink:


Faith in humanity: all points revoked. Please try again.

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“I have different genitals than I lead you to believe” is a wee bit different from “my family are all assholes.”

The author of that piece has a decidedly different definition of Love than I do. To be clear, I have nothing against trans people or those who choose to have relationships with them. The blurb goes on to talk about extremely casual pick ups from cruising personal ads. That’s not love that’s a step away from anonymous sex which seems like something fraught with peril regardless of the gender identities or sexual orientations involved.


Critically important to bear in mind the profound intersectionality of anti-trans violence. Homicide rates among transgender Americans are lower than in their cisgender comparators, unless they are young and Black or Latina and trans-feminine, when their homicide rates are much higher. A perusal of the data set behind Meredith Talusan’s article in Mic on anti-transgender homicides makes that pretty apparent. An epidemiologic treatment of the topic is, as I understand it, forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health.


I do not think that her encounter she described was the one she tied to the title of her piece. I think it was around the account of how Mercedes Williams life was ended by the young man she was dating because he feared the repercussions of being labeled as gay for having been in a relationship with her.


That makes a lot more sense.


All of the things you listed, though, are quite minimal. Misleading someone about your sex isn’t in our society.

Violence is always unacceptable except as a response to itself. So far as I’m aware, this has only ever been used as a mitigating, not an exculpating factor.

I think misleading anyone in a relationship is bad…regardless of the item in question. It is reasonable to say that some items have more impact on the relationship.

I do not think anyone can put a firm weight to what is worse; however, most would agree on one end of the spectrum would be gender identity, marital status, or health condition (mental and physical). and conversely on the other end of the spectrum might be something like career/job info, family history, or natural hair color.

Speaking for myself…I would be upset if someone I was seeing for a few weeks or months very abruptly told me they had a serious mental health condition. It would also upon thinking about it logically, occur to me exactly when is the best time to divulge that information?

What is disturbing about your comment is that you are enforcing your definition of what defines the person’s sex to them. A trans woman is a woman. regardless of what bits she was born with. She is not a man. She is identifies as a woman, she presents herself as a woman. Despite the fact you may feel deceived, there is no deception on her part.

You have a choice to make though. Decide that you cannot continue pursuing the relationship for whatever reason and part amicably; or decide that the emotional connection you have developed is real and important to you and that she is important to you and you continue to pursue it.

Violence is not one of the choices.


I think you’re confusing gender and sex. She presents a female gender, but she is still sexually male. You can argue that the female gender can include those with a penis, but not the female sex.

Since effectively all who present as female, by gender, are also female by sex the former is making an implicit statement about the latter. If you don’t clarify that, and get intimate with someone, you’re doing it without their consent.

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I’m not confused at all about it.