Jennifer Laude was a transgender woman murdered by a US Marine in the Philippines on October 11, 2014. If you are not familiar with the case, you might want to refer to the following:
- Information about the case: There May Be Justice For Jennifer Laude, Trans Filipina Murdered by US Marine
- About Jennifer: Jennifer Laude ignored haters, fought for dolls, kept poise
- TRIGGER ALERT: Dispelling rumors: Jennifer Laude, hate crimes, and the ‘big picture’
This is a Facebook post addressed to 19 year old Pemberton. I couldn’t have said it better.
This was posted to Facebook on October, 19, 2014.
To PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton:
Why did you think you had the right to take her life? An American solders [sic] job is to stand up for human rights. You failed your job! You have changed peoples lives and not for the good.
Do you know what you have taken from us? Do you know who you have taken from us? You have taken someone’s son, someone’s brother, and yes I guess you have to say someone’s sister, someone’s niece, aunty [sic]. You took away someone’s lover, someone’s fiance [sic], someone’s friend. You took the family breadwinner, her brother’s education. You took away a lover of animals and one of the kindest and most honest people you could ever hope to meet. You took away a beautiful, sweet, vivacious, living, breathing, caring human being. You took away someone who brought joy comfort to those around her. You took away someone we all loved!!!
You did more than that. You betrayed your uniform, your regiment and your country. What about your family? What have you done to them? So again I ask you why? Why did you kill her? Were you so disgusted to find out you just had sex with a transsexual that you felt your only option was to kill her? WHY??? To keep anyone from finding out??? Obviously that didn’t work to [sic] well. No, you didn’t kill her to keep it quiet, you killed her because you enjoyed it! You enjoyed the time you had with her! It was the best you ever had and that scared the crap out of you because you thought it might mean you were gay! It might mean you were gay and you felt guilty for enjoying it. So by God YOU were going to ease your conscience and send a statement to the world : PFC JOESPH SCOTT PEMBERTON WAS NOT GAY!!! Wouldn’t it have been better to just tuck tail and run? Jennifer wasn’t going to tell anyone about you! Just because you enjoyed the sex you killed her? You must have liked it, they found two used condoms. Probably the best sex you ever had, unless maybe one of them was hers???? Oh shit dude!!! And now the whole world knows!!
Well guess what? It doesn’t matter!!! Don’t you get it? As long as it is between two consenting adults and hurts no one, it okay!! Even the Pope says its okay. A real man understands that! You sir are not a real man! You are a selfish homophobic bastard. May God forgive you, I sir can not! Jennifer will though, she will be the first to forgive you. Oh wait…YOU KILLED HER!! She can’t forgive you….she is gone! I know its not good to harbor bitterness and resentment towards someone and that I too need to forgive you, and I will. But not today…and sorry tomorrow doesn’t look good either. Ah hell… who am I fooling? I’ll just have to take the hit. I’m gonna hate you until the day I die. Can someone else here please forgive him? I can’t! I will pray for her family and yes dude I will even pray for yours. I will pray for all of us that are hurting because of your selfish cowardly act.
Everyone is fighting to get you tried and convicted in the Philippines. I don’t care where it happens or who does it. I just want you tried, convicted and sentenced to the most maximum punishment available irregardless of which country does it. No matter what your punishment it will never be enough. I can only hope there is a part of you that realizes how horribly wrong you were and that you are tormented forever by guilt and regret for your selfish actions.
REST IN PEACE JENNIFER
The thing is, there isn’t any evidence that they “had sex” – if there was any sexual contact at all, evidence points towards her having been raped, which makes the story all the more tragic. This woman was not only murdered, but has been slandered by the press, being blamed for her own murder. Transmisogyny at its finest.
- Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties (star-telegram.com)
- A vigil at Union Square in San Francisco, Calif Oct 15, 2014 to honor the life of Jennifer Laude (ireport.cnn.com)
- Marine suspect guarded by US in Philippine camp (cnsnews.com)
- Philippine advocates stage ‘Day of Outrage’ protests over trans murder (washingtonblade.com)
- Palace: Pursuit of justice for Laude continues despite US witnesses’ departure (globalnation.inquirer.net)
*TRIGGER WARNING: Contains descriptions of violence.
… in that it is a concept.
Santa Claus symbolizes the spirit of giving, generosity and all that is good and lives in the hearts of people. So too, does “cisphobia” live in the hearts of people… in the form of hate by the very people who claim to be oppressed by those they actively oppress.
The false construct of “cisphobia” (“cisgender” + “phobia” = the irrational fear of cisgender people, presumably by people who are not cisgender) runs parallel to the false construct of “reverse racism,” which was created by white bigots (the oppressors) to put the onus of oppression back onto people of color (the oppressed.) The entire concept is ridiculous: The only “reverse” of racism is a lack of racism. But what’s one to expect from hateful bigots? Blaming the victim is part of their repertoire.
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING irrational about transgender or other non-cisgender people being afraid of cisgender people, as many cisgender people seem threatened by the very existence of transgender people (it seems that trying to explain non-binary gender, agender, gender fluidity, etc. would be like an exercise in futility), and appear to believe that their ignorance and incomprehension gives them tacit permission to commit unspeakable acts of violence against anyone who is not cisgender, white and male, which puts transgender women of color at the highest risk for being raped, tortured, murdered and mutilated by these pre-Neanderthal animals.
“Cisphobia” is not real.
And until cisgender people are preyed upon by transgender or other non-cisgender people due to an irrational fear of cisgender people by non-cisgender people, it will never be real. I find that highly unlikely, at least in my lifetime.
- Dear Piers Morgan, Cisphobia Isn’t Real (And You’re A Jerk) (nyulocal.com)
- Cisphobia (transilhouette.wordpress.com)
- UPDATED: Piers Morgan claims to be a “victim of cisphobia” after Janet Mock perfectly mocks his ignorance on Twitter (salon.com)
- 19 Things Bad ‘Allies’ Say (thoughtcatalog.com)
- cisgender (abagond.wordpress.com)
- Piers Morgan messed up an interview with a transgender rights activist, claimed to be a victim of ‘cisphobia’ – Twitter laughed in his smug, ridiculous face (usvsth3m.com)
- Piers Morgan Interviews Janet Mock: How Not to be an Ally (bluestockingsmag.com)
It was our second date, and he was just as kind and just as funny as he’d been the week before. Dan wasn’t the best looking guy in the room, but he knew his way around a joke, and he never ask me to pay for dinner. I was hooked.
He was a big guy, over six feet tall, blonde hair, and had beautiful hazel eyes. We bumped into each other at the local grocery store one afternoon after I accidentally threw myself under his shopping cart. Since that time, we’d gone to a movie and been to dinner. Our second date was to take place at his apartment where he was going to fix his famous homemade pizza. I’ve never been a big pizza fan, but I liked Dan, and I’d only been transitioning for a few years and at that time, any date was a great date. As long as there wasn’t any wacky sexual expectations, or signs of psychotic mania in the hallway, I was in. I was twenty two, and already completely and utterly desperate.
I was never one of those people in my community who lived a lie. I was Transgender and was never ashamed of it. After a suicide attempt at 16, when I finally found my Trans brothers and sisters, it was the first real breath I’d taken. I felt a huge weight lift off me, and every voice that told me I was insane, or wrong, or headed straight to Hell, was squelched. So I never went around pretending my past didn’t exist. I never purposely deceived people. I wanted to live in this new body I was constructing because for the first time in my life, my reflection was starting to match my spirit. I couldn’t have been happier, and I wanted to tell the world about it.
And so Dan was fully aware of what I was, where I came from, and where my heart was, and he was fine with it.
“I see you. All I know is what I see.”
He told me that within the first twenty minutes, which is why I said yes to the homemade pizza thing. I figured I’d found someone true and someone pure, and I wanted desperately to live with it for as long as he’d let me. And I’d do what I could to keep it going. And that included choking down cooked dough and tomato sauce.
We were sitting on his couch with the Chicago skyline blinking behind us and some Melissa Manchester blaring in the background. We sipped wine, chatted, and as the evening wore on, I suggested we see each other the next week. It was getting late, and taking the El past ten at night was always risky. Dan then looked me in the eye and took my hand:
“I want you to stay.” He said softly.
“Next time.” I said firmly.
I moved him aside and headed for the front door and my coat that was hanging on the brown, three-pronged hat rack in his hallway.
Suddenly, and without warning, I felt his hand on my shoulder. He turned me quickly toward him, and kissed me. The kiss was hard and almost painful. He then put his hands around my waist and pulled me toward him. I tried to get free, but the more I struggled, the tighter his grip became. My heart began to race in a way I’d never felt before, and my body went into a hyper-speed panic that I felt in the pit of my stomach. I knew I was in terrible, terrible trouble.
I put my hand on his thigh, and as he began to slowly release me, I balled up my fist, and hit him square in the groin. He jumped back in pain, and I turned toward the door, sweating and crying. My voice was stuck in me somehow. I couldn’t seem to scream, and my breath became shallow and deep. I also couldn’t really think. I saw the doorknob, but turning it became almost impossible. And as my hand reached for the sleeve of my coat, I was whisked back into the living room, and fell flat on my back. I landed inches from the coffee table, still clinging onto my coat. Dan’s eyes were red and huge and they glared at me with a rage and an anger that filled up the room. As I wriggled and tried to squirm away, before I knew it, he was on top of me, pinning down my wrists and spreading my thighs. And as he came close to me again, with his mouth near my neck, he felt between my legs, and popped his head up:
“You…?!” was all I heard.
His breath got hotter and closer to me, and he flipped me over on my stomach and began tearing at my dress.
I was raped that night.
I never went to the police and I never told another living soul. None of my friends knew, no one I worked with, and no family member ever found out. I kept this in me for almost 20 years. It was 1983, and being what I was, was not only against the law in Illinois, it was unheard of. I remember once, a girlfriend of mine was being chased by her boyfriend who was coming at her with a kitchen knife, and when she found a parked police car; out of breath and near hysterics, told them what she was running from, and the two cops laughed and told her to “act like a man.” So, I knew deep down that going to the police was useless.
In Sweden, where gay marriage is legal and where they lead the world in the pursuit of gay rights and gay legislation, a Transgender woman was raped in front of her apartment complex. The attacker, however, was charged with assault, because the judge claimed that:
“We believe that he wanted to rape… this woman. But as she proved to be a man, his plan [would] never have been possible.”
The judge concluded that the rape was “invalid” because the victim was anatomically a male. Instead, the perpetrator was convicted of assault and will pay just over $2,000 in damages to the woman.
I don’t know the answer to where it is we belong as a community. We’re the “T” on the end of LGBT, and we’re liars when we try and blend into a meeting of feminists. We’re standing on the outside of a lot of windows, and no one’s really championing for us to come in and tell our story. And in our own world, with our own people, there are Transgender men and women who proclaim their gender as the one given to them by whatever doctor they’ve written checks to. If we’re confused about where to go, and who we are, how can we expect the mainstream of society not to be either?
Whatever the answer is, on the way to finding it, on the way to trying to live with each other and be with each other, we have to stand our ground and we have to do it with assurance and power. But we can’t do it alone. We need help. We need other people. And we desperately need each other.
I was raped. I was raped and it took me years to figure out that it wasn’t my fault, that I wasn’t to blame, and that it wasn’t my shame I was carrying around. Whatever it is anyone thinks of me, I was raped. We’ve taken huge steps in the last couple of decades. We’re here and we’re noticed, and we matter. I feel that. I love my community. I’m proud of who we are and where we’re headed, but I sometimes feel that when I step outside my own front door, I’m truly on my own. My country doesn’t have my back.
And as a world — a world of change and newness and brilliance — if we continue to keep our own prejudices and ignorance in the forefront of our jurisdiction and societal laws, we’ll eventually find our compassion and kindness will suffer. And soon, without warning and with total conviction, the silence around us will be deafening. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexandra-billings/a-deafening-silence_1_b_1662968.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices
BEING TRANSGENDER — 1 Butterfly Dead, 2 Women Physically & Sexually Assaulted but Survive… This Time.
Normally I just post news items like these on my Civil Rights pages. But learning about 2 such incidents in a single day got to me…. (To view the Civil Rights page click on CIVIL RIGHTS—duh!—at the top of my blog and select the continent, country and US state—as applicable—you are interested in.)
Thanks to Suzan for bringing these 2 unfortunate incidents to my attention on her blog Women Born Transsexual , and to Lexie, from whose blog The Guerrilla Angel Report the translated version of the Swedish story was copied.
Oh, be sure not to miss the questions I posed at the end of the post; comments welcome and encouraged as always. 🙂
A transgender D.C. woman alleges in a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service that she was improperly placed with male prisoners after a 2009 arrest.
Patti Hammond Shaw of Southeast Washington said she turned herself in to officers at the Sixth District station on June 18, 2009, after she received a letter that stated there was a warrant for her arrest for filing a false police report. Shaw claims that she showed officers her identification that proved she was legally female, but they placed her in a cell in the men’s section. She further alleges that male prisoners “asked to see her vagina, breasts and buttocks.” CONTINUE at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/07/03/transgender-woman-sues-d-c-police-u-s-marshals/
Note: The original of this article was written in Swedish; this translation was obtained from “Lexie The Guerrilla Angel Report.“‘ blog
THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Örebro (Sweden) District Court Judge Dan Sjöstedt acquitted the rapist because the transwoman had no vagina, the planned rape would have been impossible to carry out. [I’m constructing this from a Swedish translation into English]
The attacker brutally beat the victim and ripped off her pants in an attempt to rape her. A witness rushed to the scene and intervened. The police came and arrested the attacker. CONTINUE at: http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/rapist-freed-in-sweden-because-intended-female-victim-turned-out-to-be-transgender/
- Were the actions of the police in the first article right or wrong? Why? Does the fact that Patti provided documentation stating that she is legally a woman make a difference? Why or why not? Does the fact that Patti underwent sex reassignment surgery 10 years before the incident make a difference? Why or why not?
- Assuming the translation was accurate… Was the District Court right’s decision right or wrong? Why or why not? Does the fact that the unidentified victim has no vagina make a difference? Why or why not? What do you think about the concept that rape is not possible without a vagina? Does the fact that the victim is undergoing hormone therapy (and probably has for some time, as her body has likely gone through significant changes, e.g. breast development etc. After all the attacker did mistake her for a natal woman.) make a difference? Why or why not? What if she had not yet started hormone therapy? Would that have made a difference? Why or why not?
- What is a “woman”?
- Go back to your response to #3 and I have a question for you: “Says who?”