friends: i have been struggling. a few days ago gender non-conforming icon Ms. Colombia was found dead in NYC. receiving the devastating news amidst the kavanaugh trial was overwhelming. gender non-conforming people like ms. colombia always slip through the cracks. despite the fact that non-binary & gender non-conforming people experience disproportionately high rates of sexual violence (some reports suggest 1 in 2), we are erased in the rhetoric of #believewomen(how about — #believesurvivors ).
despite the extreme physical violence we experience, we are rarely counted in statistics of trans death (especially if we are not on hormones). we don’t have data to describe the conditions of violence we experience because we are almost always misgendered by the reports. this misrecognition is part of a larger project of disappearing us.
they say that “there are only two genders,” but they don’t show you the work they do to eliminate us to create this mirage. when we are acknowledged we are constantly reduced to our entertainment value, rendered into spectacles, hypervisible on the streets & invisible in movements, campaigns. i confronted the reality of our disposability — how it so often feels like no one cares about us. i didn’t want to go outside. i didn’t want to face the harassment. something felt more sinister than ever about people gawking & laughing me. & so i stayed inside and i wept for ms. colombia & all of the unaccounted deaths, and all of the gender non-conforming people who are lost & disregarded by feminism & trans & the world. i wept for the people dismissed as ridiculous, excessive, too much. i wept for the loneliness of having everyone stare at you but no one seeing you. i wept because in the few times that we shared space i felt like ms. colombia saw me. we smiled at each other with a fundamental sense of recognition — like we were in this together. but then today i put on the most ridiculous & most excessive & most me dress. & i did it for them. & I smiled with tears in my eyes at the people who laughed at me.
& i wrote this to say: do not forget about them, do not forget about me, do not forget about us: we who are neither women nor men. RIP 💔💔