“The UFC was appalled by the transphobic comments made by heavyweight Matt Mitrione today in an interview on ‘The MMA Hour. The organization finds Mr. Mitrione’s comments offensive and wholly unacceptable and – as a direct result of this significant breach of the UFC’s code of conduct – Mr. Mitrione’s UFC contract has been suspended and the incident is being investigated.”
A Washington, D.C. police officer who fired multiple shots into a car with three transgender women and their friends is getting off easy. The officer, 48-year-old Kenneth Furr, was sentenced yesterday “to three years of supervised probation, a $150 fine, and 100 hours of community service,” the Washington Blade reports. The transgender community in D.C. has reacted with outrage.
The D.C. Superior Court Judge, Russell Canan, also sentenced Furr “to five years in prison but suspended all but 14 months of the prison term and credited Furr with the 14 months he already served between the time of his arrest and his trial last October,” the publication reported. The officer was released from jail while he awaits sentencing for his conviction on charges of assault and solicitation for prostitution. Furr was acquitted on the more serious charges of assault with intent to kill with a weapon.
The judge also ordered the officer to stay away from D.C.’s well known areas for transgender prostitution.
“This result is the product of a legal system that constantly devalues trans lives, particularly trans people of color,” Jason Terry, an activist with the D.C. Trans Coalition, told the Blade. “Officer Furr’s defense team actively sought to portray the victims as somehow deserving of this violence, and apparently they succeeded. If roles had been reversed and a black trans woman had gotten drunk and shot a gun at a police officer, the results would be drastically different.”
The case revolves around events that occurred in August 2011. On a Washington, D.C. street, Furr asked one of the transgender woman for sex for money. After the woman refused, Furr followed her to a CVS store and, when he was outside the store, pointed a gun at the transgender woman. After the officer drove away, the group of transgender woman and their male friends followed him, until Furr stopped his car and fired his gun at the car.
Then, “one of the male friends driving the vehicle ducked to avoid being shot and unintentionally rammed the car into Furr’s car, witnesses testified,” the Blade reports. “Furr responded by climbing on the hood of the car occupied by the transgender women and their friends and fired five times through the front windshield, causing three of the occupants to suffer non-fatal gunshot wounds.”
When D.C. police came to the scene, they arrested Furr, who had a “blood alcohol level twice the legal limit under D.C. law,” according to the publication.
The Washington Blade also reports that Furr’s attorney seems to have convinced the jury that Furr was acting in self-defense, which is why he was not convicted on the more serious charges.
While Furr is getting off relatively easy legally, the case will have ramifications for his job. D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump told the Blade that Furr “has been suspended without pay and that the department will follow its standard procedure for dealing with an officer convicted of a felony.” The standard procedure, according to the Blade, is that “a felony conviction, especially one associated with violence, usually results in the firing of a police officer.”
For many years, producers of The Jerry Springer Show & The Maury Povich Show have shamelessly exploited Transgender women on national and international television. We demand they halt all production and re-airing of episodes that include content related to the exploitation of Transgender Individuals.
The Jerry Springer Show often features transwomen who are then ridiculed, called ‘he/shes’ (among other derogatory terms), and verbally and physically assaulted by other guests and audience members. Transwomen are told by stage security that they are not allowed to defend themselves against the vicious physical attacks of cis-gendered women because unlike the cis-gendered women, they are still ‘men’. In many episodes, producers deliberately paint the picture of a man who is ‘tricked’ by a TGirl into having sexual relations with her, and turn him gay. They all end with a grand reveal in which the TGirl admits she was born with male genitalia. These (often scripted) story lines invite the misconception in society that transwomen should be feared because they are some sort of sexual predators. This content also erroneously labels men who are attracted to (or have sexual relations with) transwomen as ‘gay’.
The Maury Povich Show continues to re-air episodes with titles such as “Man Or Woman?” in which cis-gendered and transgendered women are brought in front of a live audience who calls out “That’s a man!” or “That’s a woman!” judging by her physical or vocal features. After the audience has decided what type of women these guests are, the guests then reveal their gender with signs that read “I’m a woman” or “I’m a man”. These episodes promote stereotypes about Transwomen’s appearances and true gender. They also contribute to society’s invalid belief that gender is defined by a person’s masculine or feminine features.
Make no mistake, transwomen ARE women. We will not continue to suffer in silence while mainstream media uses our vey existence for their amusement, spreading a culture of fear, hate and violence against us at the very same time. We ask our friends, our families and every other member of the LGBT Community to join us as we stand united during the LGBT Civil Rights Movement at large.
Hello CeCe Supporters!The Call-In campaign for CeCe to get her correct dosage of hormones was an incredible success! The prison’s health administration were so “inconvenienced”, they were compelled to clear the issue immediately.CeCe is doing fine and looking fabulous. She is steadily devouring the books that everyone is sending - currently she is reading Angela Davis and is totally inspired.She spoke a bit about the push from some supporters to launch large-scale campaigns to get Gov. Mark Dayton to pardon her, and/or to have her moved to a women’s facility. She talked about how these campaigns would not only not benefit her, but how they exceptionalize her in a way that she doesn’t want.The pardoning process would not only be painful for her, but were she even to get considered, it wouldn’t be until after she served her sentence. She thinks about people incarcerated for much longer terms than she, and for incredibly minor offenses (mostly drug related). Even if the emotional hardship of the process was something she felt up for, and even if the slim chance of it working actually succeeded, the outcome of her getting a pardon while others sat in prison is antithetical to her values and the whole reason she is struggling against this racist system in the first place.As for being transfered to a women’s facility, her thoughts are: Prison sucks. Period. CeCe is not safe in any prison, women’s or men’s. Prisons are not safe for anyone. Period. CeCe asserts (as do we) that incarcerated individuals should be able to decide for themselves where they would be safest within the system. For now, CeCe is fine being in a men’s facility. For supporters to push for her to be transferred from one hell to another only serves the purpose of misdirecting energy away from the real problems of incarceration in america, and the problem of the Prison Industrial Complex as a whole.To sum it up: CeCe does not want supporters to launch long-term campaigns on her behalf that exceptionalize her situation.. Also importantly, these specific campaigns: a pardon from Gov. Dayton and getting transferred to a women’s facility, wouldn’t actually be beneficial to her at all. Short term campaigns such as call-ins to administration, and media blasts, are targeted efforts that let the DOC know that CeCe has widespread support, and it sends a message that we are watching them and will respond to prisoner’s needs - CeCe’s today, and other incarcerated transpeople tomorrow.CeCe sends her love and gratitude to everyone who called-in on her behalf. She wishes that every wrongly incarcerated person had the same incredible support that she has, and prays for a world without bars, a world without cells.Towards Justice,CeCe McDonald Support Committee
Yesterday, on July 24th, the NY Times published an article: “For Money or Just to Strut, Living Out Loud on a Transgender Stage”
The article paints a picture of nightlife on Christopher St. that simultaneously relies on and feeds into stereotypes of trans-women of color as rowdy, hyper-sexualized, trouble-making sex-workers. This is a call to action to hold the NY Times accountable for such reporting and to highlight the reality of LGBTQ youth of color in the West Village with dignity.
Please join us in this effort by writing a letter to the editor.
It is difficult to get a letter to the editor published in the NY Times, which is why we need your help - the more of us who write, the more likely it will be that our voices will be heard.
If you read the article and feel outraged and disheartened, please express it and join us in this effort. Write what you are moved to and if you need support, here are some points to help with your letter:
** Yes, as the article pointed out, Christopher St. and the West Village neighborhood is a historical safe public space where LGBTQ youth of color and LGBTQ youth from all over have come together for generations when ostracized from their home communities. For more than four decades, LGBTQ youth have found a safe haven and affirming community among our peers on the Christopher Street Piers in the West Village.
However, it is imperative to acknowledge the root causes of why LGBTQ youth are disproportionately on the streets and finding it harder and harder to maintain access and ownership over this historical safe space.
** On any given day, there are almost 4,000 homeless youth in New York City. It is estimated that at least 40% of New York City’s homeless youth are LGBTQ, and an uncounted number “couch surf” or are marginally-housed. LGBTQ youth of color in New York City are often bullied and ostracized within their homes, schools, and communities for a desire to be true to who they are. The lack of domestic or familial stability in many LGBTQ young people’s lives contributes to high rates of school drop-outs, homelessness, unemployment and underemployment. In recent years, the New York State Legislature has cut funding to support homeless youth programs in general by about 70 percent. These circumstances lead folks to use a number of strategies to survive in the absence of shelter and affordable housing and living wage jobs and opportunities for LGBT youth.
** Due to rapid gentrification and increased police presence in the West Village, LGBTQ youth of color face increased racist, transphobic and homophobic violence. This means that in addition to homelessness, identity-based bullying, and a lack of services, LGBTQ youth who are low-income and of color, also contend with acute social isolation, harassment, violence, and poverty.
**LGBTQ youth have been organizing for their right to safe public space for over a decade. From testifying at public hearings about youth homelessness to organizing programming by and for LGBTQ youth on the piers, LGBTQ youth are leaders in creating and maintaining safe public space and holding the city accountable to addressing this epidemic of LGBTQ youth homelessness.
** LGBTQ youth who make use of the piers as a public space have reported sharp increases in police harassment, false arrest and racial and gender profiling - usually for just being in the neighborhood. Transgender women of color are disproportionally targeted for prostitution by the NYPD, which often results in illegal and invasive searches and unjust arrests. In addition, the 6th Precinct is cracking down on “Quality of Life” violations, which give police the authority to treat petty offenses such as panhandling, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, graffiti, and homelessness itself as worthy prosecution.
** The NYPD 6th Precinct in the West Village routinely uses excessive measures such as police sweeps, stop-and-frisk practices, checkpoints, subway monitoring, and street floodlights and security towers, to target and intimidate LGBTQ youth, particularly youth of color, trans women of color and homeless youth in the area. Of the nearly 3,000 stop and frisks that happened in the 6th precinct in 2011, over 76% of those stopped were African-American and Latino. Just 8% of the residents in the 6th precinct are African-American and Latino, indicating profiling of people of color, especially queer and trans youth who hang out there.
** Shame on you NY Times. The cost of such reporting is not only further dehumanization of LGBTQ youth of color but justification for the policing and criminalization of young queer people of color in the West Village.
Please Note: There is a 150 word limit for letters to the editor.
Thus, all talking points won’t fit, which is why the more letters the better! In order for this action to be effective, we’re strongly encouraging you to submit your letter by Friday, July 27th at 2pm! Please do as an individual and/or as an organization. Please spread the word, far and wide!
We would like to track how many letters are being sent, so if possible, please bcc firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you SO much for your solidarity and support!
YEAH … and another thing!
Poverty in LGBT* Community, Joshua Fisher
Yet we are expected to spend thousands on hormones, surgeries, binders, and packers, etc to just exist.
Thanks to KC Newnam for creating such beautiful art work to spread the word about CeCe!
Free Cece! We can not live without our lives!
Graffiti in Oakland.
also, i just bought one of these beautiful Support CeCe posters and you should too! they were letterpressed by beck & diana and it’s a fundraiser for CeCe McDonald, who you should look up if you haven’t been following her case.
I bought one as well!
Democracy Now Interview With : Katie Burgess (Executive Director of Trans Youth Support Network) & Raven Cross (One of Cece’s Best Friends)
tw: trans* hate crime, violent assault, racial slurs/racially motivated crimeAn important video that goes over what occurred the night that Cece and her friends were assaulted. The video gives several details that are important in proving in trial that assault was of racist and transphobic nature. Please watch and share but most importantly, give your support to Cece McDonald & do what you can through the following: