The Race, Gender, & Violence Trifecta


I  commented on this nexus in an earlier post. The recent case of two African American women beating a transgendered/crossdressing male is being branded a hate crime by some not merely on the basis of the transgender identity, but because the victim is white. I am undecided on how much race played a role in this crime, but would suggest that there’s nothing that tells me a transgendered African-american would NOT have been similarly attacked by these two. I simply don’t see how anyone can be absolutely sure that a TG person of African descent would have gotten treated with any more respect by this pair. However; I also can’t swear that these two girls are without anti-white sentiment.

Another thing I would like to point out about this case is that it just confirms my earlier observation that males are not the only violent offenders. It also proves that the victims of violent females are not always female. This is why I feel that Wayne Treacy should not be singled out simply for being a male attacker. Chrissy Lee Polis went into a seizure after the attack; Josie Lou Ratley went into a coma after her attack.

When I read this statement from Gather.com: “The State’s Attorney, Scott D. Shellenberger, has indicated that hate crime charges may be brought forth against the perpetrators — not because the victim was transgender and the attackers were cisgender, but because the victim was white and the attackers were black.” , I can only conclude that the prosecution is hedging his bets – maybe the anti-bias laws of Maryland aren’t written with trangsgendered folks in mind so what can we nail these girls with? Hmm, let’s see we have a difference in ethnicity, so let’s use that since we have laws to cover it…

It’s only good fortune  and good weather that prevented the attackers from being dressed in more rugged footwear, such as winter or steel-toed boots like Wayne Treacy wore; similarly, it’s a good thing the attackers were brazen enough to commit the crime in the middle of the restaurant in full view of everyone present instead of confining it to the restroom, otherwise Ms. Polis might be dead.

San Francisco Chronicle blogger Zennie62 suggests that the attackers may have been unaware that Chrissy Lee Polis was transgendered, but after hearing the voice, and seeing the body language and physiognomy, I have my doubts.  In fact, Ms. Polis is quoted by UPI as saying: “They said, ‘That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom,’ ” she said. “They spit in my face.” Vernon Hackett, who videotaped the beating was fired soon thereafter seemed to be aware of Chrissy’s TG status – as evidenced in his Facebook postings, so I see no reason to think the assailants were unaware.

I find it interesting that the 14 year old perpetrator is being charged as a juvenile, whereas the 18 yr old is being charged as an adult, while Wayne Treacy, who was 15  at the time, is being charged as an adult.

This case is ripe for multiple interpretations, so I’d like to part by leaving readers a few questions to ponder. Were these girls looking to pick a fight with a white girl?  Would they have attacked an African-American crossdresser? Would you want to be caught in the middle of such a confrontation? What would you do if you were? How comfortable would be having a crossdresser use a public restroom?  Do straight men who want a free peep show get permission to use the ladies room if they’re dressed as women? How can we adequately supervise what goes on in public restrooms without invading people’s privacy?

Similar questions have been raised by posters here. Poster EllenJHunt makes some salient points in response to Maureen Dowd’s article about this here.

Unsuprisingly, TG folks may not be welcome in the public restrooms of Texas –http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=13449895&singlePage=true


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