Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What Is The Point??

My Dearest Sisters,

It has not escaped notice that the majority of you have not yet signed our petition. Presumably there is a reason you are unsupportive of the initiative. A couple of you have contacted me stating misgivings such as "what is the point?" or "what benefit would the trans community get out of this?".

I am actually quite surprised at these questions and the silent resistance that most of you are conveying. I thought "the point" would be obvious, but since it's not, I will do my best to explain.

Question: What is the point of petitioning the only world-wide body which represents peace on earth to recognize you as equal human beings?

1) Violence Against Transwomen is Alarmingly High

Human Rights Campaign claims that 1 out of every 12 transgendered persons in the United States will die by murder. Visibly transgendered sisters have an 8.3% chance of being murdered!!! compared to .0055% chance within the general population. (please bear in mind the statistical validity of this figure is skewed by a very small sample size of the known, visible transgendered population)

Transgender Law Center states that 60% of all transwomen have been subjected to gender hate crimes. This means "the majority" of you will be the victim of violent acts sometime in your life, due to bigotry and hatred of your gender status.

Amnesty International reports grave concern over the number of incidents of police brutality against GLBT in the U.S. Imagine what happens when a transwoman is arrested for loitering, traffic violations, domestic disputes, alleged prostition, or whatever. Is she incarcerated with the female inmates? No.

The crisis is not occurring in the U.S. alone, which is why we need to appeal to a larger body with world-wide influence. In Mexico and South America in particular, transwomen are getting beaten, raped, even shot dead in the streets, usually by police. These stats alone are enough to prove that a serious problem exists. Just imagine all of the unreported cases!!!!!

2.) The United Nations Epitomizes Humanitarian Values

Despite political controversy or deemed ineffectuality, the United Nations is the only body that sets for the standards for equality and proper treatment of human beings around the world. While they have almost zero power to "enforce" these values, they are the key point of reference for all countries whose governments desire to write equal and fair legislation. Policy-makers look to the U.N. for guidelines.

The United Nations sets "the standards", even if only "on paper". For the U.N. itself to utilize gender-biased wording gives carte blanche for any other government to keep such wording intact within their own Charters.

When the U.N. corrects its own gender-bias, the TG community will have "something to hang its hat on" when petitioning local governments to do likewise. Based upon the U.N.'s 2003 "condemnation" of violence against GLBT, it seems the "intent" of the U.N. is recognize "all people" as equal, so they should be called to task about the fact that their very own pinnicle governing document is flawed. What excuse would they have to deny this correction? Therefore this petition has a damn good chance of success.

3.) Recognition by the U.N. Will Shed Light on the Issue

Asking for a revision from "all men and women" to "all people" opens the eyes of the masses who are not aware that anyone other than "men and women" even exist on the planet.

Asking them to include "gender" within the list of attributes for which descrimination is not tolerated, will cause the uninformed to say "what's the difference between gender and sex?", so it will give the opportunity to distinguish between the two. After all, transwomen are not discriminated based on their biological sex (ie male), but rather distain for their expressed gender (ie female).

Note: Rather than asking them to replace the word "sex" with "gender", we are asking them to simply include gender (and leave sex in there too). In retrospect the reason to leave "sex" in there is because genetic women are routinely discriminated based on biologic sex, whereas transwomen are discriminated based on gender. It's best to have both "gender" and "sex" within this definition. The letter has been revised accordingly.

As well, some people may ask "why is the trans community launching a separate petition when GLBT has been working on this for a decade?". The reason is, GLBT are fighting for "freedom of sexual orientation", which does not address the trans issue of "freedom of gender identity". Therefore to have this difference recognized will emphasise to the world that transgenderism is not a sexual orientation (which most uninformed people innocently believe that it is!)

4.) Transgender People Do Not Have A Point of Solidarity

To state the point that "Even those who are neither men nor women are equally human", is something that (I think) all transgendered people and all non-prejudice thinking people could agree upon. What other point would the t-community unilaterally agree upon? We need to keep it really simple, really concise, really obvious.

Although there is much progress being accomplished at a "grass-roots" level (ie: individual efforts within your local communities), the trans community has no world-wide "cause" of its own. It's time to start one. If not by us, then who? If not now, then when?

5) What Benefit Would This Have on the T-Community?

Let's not delude ourselves. The U.N. making this change will not stop the violence. There is no magic wand which will take away these problems overnight. Other than some media attention, the immediate impact on the trans community will be virtually nil. The U.N. cannot enforce these values, it can only exemplify them. Despite any success achieved by this effort, a tremendous amount of progress will still be needed on every front. This is only a starting point. The net benefit of successfully making this change will be the accomplishment of one little baby step in the right direction.

~~~~~

I hope my dissertation has successfully convinced you to lend support to this petition. You are equal human beings. This much is obvious to me, and should be to you as well. For those of you who still withhold your support of this effort, I would like to know WHY? Please elaborate on your reasons, either in the comments section of this article, or to me privately, as I must be missing something.

If your reason is "I don't put much faith in the U.N.", the question is whether your own political views are so strong that you would deny the merits of this cause? If this is the case, I'm not much interested in hearing your reasons for political distain of the U.N., but what I do want to hear is your ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS.

The question to ask yourself is this: "Are transgendered people equal to men and women??" If your answer is "yes", then we will look forward to seeing your signature on the petition.

http://transgenderunity.blogspot.com

With love,
Michele Angelique

5 comments:

naomireis said...

What is the point??
In 1964 the Elliot Larsons act was inacted with wording that was meant to include LGBT people, however because of the wording, we were eliminated from coverage by some self rightous Judge whom said it did not speciffically "include" us with its wording thus we were not afforded the equal rights in extended to many other people. This is why we find ourselfs fighting for rights today. Misswording very well could elminate us here as well.
Though i also can't help but think a link to this page to sign this patition would help dramatically as i thought it was already a "done deal" and did not need any more signatures.
Personally i fully suport what this patition stands for. i just can't figure out where to sign the dotted line. ( yes i am a little puter illiterate)
Thank you,
naomi snyder
Michigan

Karen Reeves said...

This article speaks eloquently and directly to the point as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Justice denied to one is justice denied to all !"

Michele Angelique said...

My thoughts exactly Karen. Although I feel discouraged by the lack of response from so many of our GE sisters, I just think, it's a good thing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn't give up the cause every time an African American person said to him "what's the point?" I'm sure if he had a dime for every time he heard that phrase from one of his down-trodden brothers or sisters, he'd have died a millionaire. Yet he never failed in his resolve. So with or without the vocal support of our sisters, we must push forth this effort...

Why? Because it's the right thing to do and it needs to be done.

Thanks for your support dear!

Lotsa love,
Michele

~Sweet~ said...

Have a little Faith my dear friends. What good is thinking negative thoughts? Is that really helping anyone? Why not think of all the positive aspects of this petition.

This will happen! It might not be tomorrow or even next year. When is does happen though, think of of how proud you will be knowing the two minutes of your life it took to sign the petition helped bring change to the world.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.

~Sweet~

Karen Reeves said...

To Everyone in Gender Evolve, my dear sisters whom I love and respect. I wish to comment further on the petition to the United Nations regarding Transgender Human Rights. On a very important issue of the day I can not remain silent !

Why did I reactivate my dormant membership in Gender Evolve instead of just walking away ? Why did I remain ? This petition to the United Nations on Transgender Human Rights is PRECISELY the sort of reason which drew me back here. What other group on the World Wide Web would be so bold as to assert basic human rights for us, the transgendered, the "Leper Class" of the world to so many ? This is the reason why I returned !

I hate to open up about this and discuss my personal life. I guess it is now or never :-(

Felicia brought forth an article about the violence visited on a TGirl in Miami. The lady was viciously assaulted and what was her recourse ? When she went to the police, sworn to "Protect & Serve" she was demeaned, assaulted, and placed in jail. In effect this lady was assaulted twice.

I am severly handicapped. I have had the same violence used against me. I could not escape. Aftereards I feared to go to the police for the exact same reasons as this lady in Miami. This fear will always live with me.

Now two wonderful genetic females here in Gender Evolve formulate the idea of a petition to the United Nations to protect OUR RIGHTS ! Mind you not THEIR RIGHTS (gentic females are already covered under the Declaration) but OUR RIGHTS ! They are doing this for US ! And the result ? Questions are raised about the utility of this course of action and a petition remains short of signatures. How sad !

First a debate commences about the United Nations. Let me be frank. I am one of the greatest critics of the United Nations. Israel is is held out for scorn, Libya is elected to head a commission on human rights, and the "Food For Peace" program did not feed starving Iraqis but instead enriched Saddam Hussein and his vicious regime. Wars have been waged aplenty since the U.N. was founded in 1945. The U.N. is an overly expensive debating society and very often a waste of time.

BUT ! When nations DO ACT wonderful things can happen ! UNICEF feeds millions of hungry children around the world. The World Health Organization has eradicated Small Pox from the face of the earth. Wars, like in Korea, have been stopped.

We should NOT be debating the imperfections of a world organization which member nations refuse to surrrender their own self interest or military power to ! We should NOT be debating whether this petition will succeed or not ! We should NOT be debating whether this course may disrupt our personal lives !

Yes, the U.N. is flawed badly. Yes, the odds are against this petition. Yes, this petition is more "dangerous" to sign and support than not. If this petition was so easy to accomplish it would have been accomplished years ago !

In the Amercian Revolution a group of farmers and malcontents took on the STRONGEST MILITARY POWER in the world at the time. Thru hard work, determination, help from other nations who noticed the strong determination of the Amercian colonists, and sheer luck, the U.S. was born. The rest is history ! Fighting against the odds.

When the handicapped were discriminated against in the U.S. people feared the cost to rectify removing physical barriers, educational barriers, and emotional barriers for the disabled. A group of parents took up a petition drive and letter writing campaign. Public Law 94 - 142 and The Amercian With Disabilites Act were both passed by Congress. Fighting against the odds.

They fought and won for me too :-)

Now Michele and Sweet come forth with a brash and dynamic idea. How about amending the Declaration of Human Rights to protect the transgendered ? The time has come.

I believe only those who are more "mainstream" (ie not trnasgendered ladies) can pull this off. This action is for us and NOT for them ! We can advocate and reaffirm for each other but only when the walls of hate and rejection are washed away by the mighty waters of love and acceptance from those on the "other side" can we truly "overcome".

Will this petition succeed now ? Perhaps not. Many Hungarian young adults were shot down and crushed under the tank treads of invading Soviet tanks in 1956 for seeking freedom and human rights. The hope was sparked ! The faith was kept. The Hungarians tried again in 1989, 1990. and 1991. Today Hungary is FREE ! Against the odds !

Michele and I have had our disagreements in the past. Two strong ladies butting heads I guess. We have made peace. I see in her, and Sweet, the determination to help all of us, and yes myself as well. Over the last few dark months this spark of light and hope has given me hope ! How can I, Karen Reeves, not support this petition ? This is what Gender Evolve, this is what I, are all about.

Michele you referenced about putting in two years here of effort. I KNOW you have helped all of us in Gender Evolve. I KNOW you have helped many Tgirls around the world, many you will never know personally ! You hae made a diffeence. Please keep the faith ! I DO KNOW, Michele and Sweet, that you have helped a HANDICAPPED person who was REJECTED, ASSAULTED, RIDICULED, and EXILED for YEARS over in Connecticut.

Her name is Karen Reeves. I am the one. How much easier it would have been for me if such a declaration had been enacted and followed by all the world's nations. Thank you ladies for making me feel whole, of value to the world, and making me feel my existence means something to someone. No one want to lead a pointless life.

Someday a new generation will win this battle. Perhaps this is the first day of that bright future !

Whether some of you sign this petition or not I will still love you and support you as friends. I will try to understand. I will be disapointed but that is life.

We all only stong in numbers. I implore and I beg ALL of you to sign this petition and encourage others to do so as well. PLEASE my friends go beyond your well founded fears and cynicism. Dream the thoughts of youth ! All is possible ! We can fight the odds ! We can win ! ! ! God Bless You All !

With Utmost Respect, Humility, and Love

~KAREN REEVES~