Transgender woman fatally stabbed, body left behind abandoned West Side building

From The Chicago Sun Times:

By Alice Yin

A transgender woman who was found dead with stab wounds late Wednesday in the West Garfield Park neighborhood is believed to have been killed by a person she was arguing with, according to a statement from Chicago police.

At 9:28 p.m., the 31-year-old was with a male inside an abandoned building in the 4500 block of West Adams, police said. As a disagreement between them flared up, he proceeded to stab her and then leave her body in the backyard of the building.

She was identified as Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier on Thursday by Casey Callich with the Howard Brown Health Center.

Frazier was pronounced dead at the scene, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy Thursday found she died of multiple sharp force injuries and her death was ruled a homicide.

Area North detectives were investigating.

She was also the second trans woman killed in Chicago in a little over a month. On Aug. 30, 24-year-old Dejanay Stanton was found shot to death in the 4000 block of South King Drive in Bronzeville.

Detectives were still investigating Stanton’s killing as of Thursday night.

LaSaia Wade, executive director of the Chicago trans advocacy group Brave Space Alliance, knew Frazier through Chicago’s ball scene — underground gathering soirees for the black LGBTQ community to dance and compete.

Wade said she frustrated by the lack of progress in both Frazier and Stanton’s cases.

“It feels like we are being targeted,” Wade said. “I’m frustrated and upset with the lack of cases turning around. There is a lack of needs for our safety from police.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 21 other trans women have been killed across the country this year.

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Dear Christine Blasey Ford: you are a welcome earthquake

From The Guardian UK:

It was made at great personal cost, but your brave testimony has had incalculable benefits for the country at large

Mon 1 Oct 2018

Dear Dr Christine Blasey Ford

I am writing to thank you. No matter how harrowing your experience, no matter what the US Senate does in the weeks to come, you have achieved something profound in its power and impact, something that benefits all of us. For there are two arenas in which your words will reverberate – the Senate, and the immeasurably vast realm of public discourse and societal values. Even if your words, like Anita Hill’s, are discounted in the former, they will echo in the latter for a long time to come.

You said at the outset of this ordeal: “I was … wondering whether I would just be jumping in front of a train that was headed to where it was headed anyway, and that I would just be personally annihilated.” Testifying in front of that audience, made up in no small part of hostile, disbelieving supporters of the man you told them assaulted you, may have felt like annihilation. Going into your deepest trauma in front of the nation must have been a harsh ordeal. But you were not annihilated; you were amplified in all senses of the word.

Sexual assault denies a victim her voice, the right to say no and have it mean anything. Your account of his hand clamped over your mouth makes this experience of being silenced a direct assault. A society that then refuses to hear a survivor, that denies her the ability to testify to her own experience, that creates a pervasive hostility that prevents victims from coming forward, erases her and them and us again. But on Thursday you had a voice that rang out across the world, and you used it to defend this country against a man not just unfit to be a judge but antithetical to what a judge should be: honest, reliable, calm, evenhanded, respectful of the rights of others. Your voice may have shaken, but your truth went marching on.

Anita Hill lost by one linear measure: she did not prevent Clarence Thomas from being appointed to a position for which he remains manifestly unfit. But what she did achieve was not merely linear; her impact, like her voice, spread in all directions. She prompted a searching national conversation about sexual harassment that was desperately needed and that had consequences that benefited tens or hundreds of millions of women in this country and will benefit the generations to come as they enter the workplace. She made an adjustment in the unequal distribution of power –not so grand an adjustment that the problem was remedied, but a shift that matters.

She did so by being, like you, a steadfast witness to her own experience. Many in the media and some in the Senate maliciously insisted on treating her – but not Thomas – as a subjective, unreliable, perhaps delusional, perhaps vindictive person, yet she could not be dissuaded by them.

As you must know better than most of us from your profession of psychology, credibility – being considered a person who should be believed – is foundational to one’s standing as a member of a family, of a university, of a workplace, of a society. Anita Hill’s testimony and the Senate response put out in the open how women are stripped of this basic power, right, and equality, or are assumed to be incapable or unworthy of it in the first place.

In the wake of Anita Hill’s testimony, a vast collective conversation about workplace harassment opened up. Those who had not experienced it directly – at least those who were willing to hear – learned how pervasive and insidious it is and why women don’t report it (even recent statistics show how often the consequences for reporting are punitive). Reporting of such harassment increased dramatically, meaning far more targeted women were able to recognize their mistreatment or tried to find remedies.

The seldom remembered Civil Rights Act of 1991 was passed “to provide appropriate remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace”, especially when employers use “a particular employment practice that causes a disparate impact on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”. And the next year the federal election became known as “the year of the woman”, because more women ran for office and won than ever before. The shockwaves of her testimony rippled outward in all directions.

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Tzelem – Trans, Nonbinary, Gender Fluid and Gender Questioning Online Group

From Moving Traditions:

Moving Traditions is now offering national online groups for Jewish teens who identify as transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, or gender questioning in partnership with Keshet. The groups, led by a trans or non-binary group leader, bring together teens from all over the country once a month for two hours via video conference.

Each month the group will focus on topics like courage, friendship, stress, body image, spirituality. We will play games based on the topics, talk about them, explore some Jewish perspectives on them.

For those who are familiar with Rosh Hodesh and Shevet, the group will draw on the best of those programs, except it will be online and have special content for trans, nonbinary, gender fluid, and gender questioning teens.

Participants will get occasional fun packages in the mail with creative activities and supplies to use during the online sessions and to remind you of what you did together.

Groups will begin in September and meet monthly through May, and participation fees are $80 per teen (for 8 sessions). Scholarships are available — no one will be turned away.

Dates and times of meetings will be determined based upon group needs.

For more information go to:

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UK: Transphobia almost cost my daughter her life. I salute the Guides’ inclusivity

From The Guardian UK:

The Girlguiding policy of allowing transgender girls to join them should be celebrated, not criticised

Thu 4 Oct 2018

Last week I received some very sad news. A young trans man ended his life, following a battle with depression and anxiety. He wasn’t known to the charity I run, Mermaids, but his boyfriend is.

I cannot imagine how his family is feeling right now, but I can empathise. As a parent of a (now) young woman, I spent more than three years on suicide watch when she was a teen. Every phone call would strike fear into my heart – this might be the one to tell me that my daughter had been successful in her wish to die.

My daughter is transgender. She told me when she was four that she wasn’t a boy. And kept telling me again and again until I stopped dismissing her feelings and began to listen. It hurts to remember how long that took.

We know that negative media coverage causes great distress to transgender people, and the current environment regarding transgender women and children is toxic. Every day, articles shout about how transgender women are not “real” women, and that trans children do not exist. Parents are labelled child abusers and told they need to coerce their children into being happy with their birth gender. No matter the cost to their self-esteem. Internationally, it is recognised that supporting transgender children to express themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin results in happier children.

In recent weeks we have seen arguments flare up around the Girlguiding’s policies that allow transgender people to join the organisation – one headline said that its stance poses a risk as young people face sharing showers or tents with men.

The deliberately inflammatory statement has no basis in fact or truth. Throughout the piece, transgender girls are referred to as boys. And the tone of outrage at “boys” sharing showers and tents with girls invites the reader to imagine predatory young people stalking girls and abusing them in these settings. What is most worrying is that this will inevitably lead to prejudice against transgender children increasing, despite no evidence whatsoever that trans girls pose a threat.

The truth is that transgender kids are subjected to horrific abuse. According to the Stonewall School report (2017), more than 60% of trans pupils are bullied, with one in nine receiving death threats and 45% attempting suicide at least once. That’s a real risk – why aren’t we talking about it?

It isn’t surprising that when you speak to parents of trans girls, they feel desperately afraid for their children. One parent talked about how she felt that her daughter couldn’t attend camp with her friends because of how the media depicted transgender girls as a danger to others. I spoke to the child – she likes dancing and Spider-Man. By having a body that she feels does not reflect who she is, she is now branded a potential predator.

We need to keep reminding ourselves that this discrimination is illegal for a reason. It smacks of the moral hysteria around gay people decades ago. And it is so very sad. These are children – little girls who just want to be respected for whom they are, and to spend time with their friends.

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