From All Over: GenderNews
  • Saudis Arrest 5 Pakistani TGs
  • Transsexual Scot in Women's Prison
  • Violence in Greenwich Village
  • A Greenwich Village, NY Rally Protests Murders of TGs
  • Confronting Black-on-Black Violence Against Transgender People
  • Smaller TG Presence on NYC Streets

  • Posted
    Sept 28
    1998




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    Saudis Arrest 5 Pakistani TGs

    Copyright 1995-1998 PlanetOut Corporation.

    NewsPlanet Staff
    Monday, August 31, 1998

    Summary: Saudi officials raided a private home in Dubai and took 5 Pakistani transvestites into custody; will they face the lash and deportation as others have?

    Five Pakistani transvestites have been arrested in a raid on a private home in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, according to a local newspaper which printed their photos. The arrests are described as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration which has deported close to a million foreigners since October. Less than a week before, two other transvestites were arrested in Dahran.

    In 1996, 24 Filipino foreign workers in Saudi Arabia were arrested for homosexual acts and 23 of them were given 200 lashes each before being deported, in a case investigated by Amnesty International. Also in 1996, one Saudi man was beheaded for homosexual behavior and another given 200 lashes and a six-month prison term for wearing a dress to a wedding party. Earlier this year, two Saudi men were beheaded for the kidnapping and rape of a boy. Saudi Arabia does not have a written penal code.


     
     




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    Transsexual Scot in Women's Prison

    Copyright 1995-1998 PlanetOut Corporation.

    September 1, 1998

    Transsexual Alexandra (nee Stephen) MacRae on August 31 became the first "biological male" to be placed in a UK women's prison. Authorities believed that she would be in danger regardless of whether she was incarcerated with women or with men.

    MacRae, an attorney, had admitted to embezzlement and been given a deferred sentence in order to pay restitution to her victim, but failed to do so and now faces 15 months with three inmates in the women's wing of the largely male Craiginches Prison in Aberdeen.

    MacRae, a four-time Scottish National Party candidate (both as a man and as a woman), a former rugby prop forward and legal husband, had gender reassignment surgery in 1984.


     
     




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    Violence in Greenwich Village

    Copyright 1995-1998 PlanetOut Corporation.

    NewsPlanet Staff
    September 4, 1998

    Summary: New York's famed gay neighborhood is going through disturbing changes, marked by a dramatic rise in homophobic assaults and gay-related murders in the last few weeks.

    Greenwich Village, New York's historic gay neighborhood, has suddenly been plagued with a rash of violence after years of peace. Although 30 additional police have been posted, take care if you go to visit -- for instance if you're one of the 10,000 expected to turn out for this weekend's annual Wigstock all-day concert and drag celebration.

    There have been at least four separate apparent gay-bashing incidents this week, on top of five murders (at least two of them gay-related) since April, after two years with no murders in the area at all. Police Commissioner Howard Safir is outraged and says his force will not tolerate the violence. While a diminished overall crime rate citywide is one of the proudest achievements of Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration, and bias crimes in general have fallen in the city, apparent gay-bashing attacks have continued to increase. NYPD Bias Incidents Investigating Unit head Deputy Inspector Barbara Sicilia told a September 1 news conference that compared to this time last year, anti-gay crimes have increased by 73% from 40 to 69. Bias crimes overall have dropped by 7.2%.

    Late September 3, four men were attacked on Mercer Street by a pair who shouted anti-gay epithets while throwing bottles at them. Two suspects were arrested soon afterwards.

    In the early morning of September 2, six men attacked a lone victim just two blocks from the police station, yelling anti-gay epithets and punching him in the face.

    Two attacks within the space of less than two hours late August 31 and early September 1 were apparently the work of the same group of three men, who assaulted two New Jersey residents after they left two different gay bars. The first man was heading for the PATH train; he was called anti-gay names, kicked, punched and thrown down a flight of stairs; he required 11 stitches for his head wounds. The second man was attacked after leaving a Christopher Street bar. His assailants grabbed him from behind, verbally abused him, took his wallet, and left him with a stab wound and a broken wrist. Police are still looking for those perpetrators.

    All of these assaults took place after police presence had already been increased by 15 officers in the wake of three murders in the space of a month. Early on August 25, Jose Rivera was shot to death in an altercation between two groups of men who apparently all knew each other. One group of four, two of them in drag, were going to take the PATH train to New Jersey when five other men, at least one of them in drag, pulled up in a car. Four men exited the car, armed with a baseball bat, a box cutter, a hatchet, and a handgun. The two groups argued, the altercation escalated into a fight, and Rivera was shot in the chest. The four assailants were later arrested.

    The previous week, early on August 18, cross-dressing sex worker Fitzroy "Jamaica" Green was stabbed to death in his own Greenwich Street apartment; he was last seen alive leaving the Two Potato gay bar. Eric Carolina has been charged with second degree murder in that incident and is apparently adopting a "homosexual panic" defense, telling police that he thought Green was a woman when they went to the apartment, and was enraged to discover Green's male genitalia. Green was stabbed at least 18 times in the chest, back and stomach. Although police have found no formal link to date, another man leaving the Two Potato suffered serious stab wounds in a Christopher Street assault in April.


     
     




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    A Greenwich Village, NY Rally
    Protests Murders of TGs

    This item is from InYourFace on-line news. For prior press releases, check the GenderPAC website at: http://www.gpac.org

    [New York, NY: 9 Sep 98] A rally was held Friday night at Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village to protest the recent murders of transgender people in the Village and the upsurge of violence against gay men and lesbians throughout New York City.

    Approximately 150 people attended the gathering that was called by City Councilmember Tom Duane and the Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. Speakers denounced the police response to the two recent murders and the rising anti-gay crime rate city-wide.

    Police Commissioner Safir had assigned extra undercover officers to the West Village for the stated purpose of curbing transgender prostitution. Councilmember Duane was incensed at the police response. "I'm really concerned that the police don't recognize the primary issue. Transgender prostitution isn't the problem; the problem is bias-related assault and murder."

    Mr. Duane has scheduled a meeting tonight (Wed, 9 Sep, 7:30 p.m.) at Greenwich House (27 Barrow St.) to discuss the murders and how the city should address the alarming spate of violence against gay, lesbian, and transgender people.


     
     




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    Confronting Black-on-Black Violence
    Against Transgender People

    An excerpt from a GLAADALERT release by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, http://www.glaad.org/. It came to us via Gender Advocacy Internet News(GAIN), at penn45@ma.ultranet.com.

    GLAADALERT - September 10, 1998

    Cei Bell writes in the Sept. 8 Philadelphia Daily News, "I first became aware of my gender difference not by waking up one morning when I was 3 and saying, 'I'm a transsexual,' but by the severe reaction others had to something that was a natural part of myself. ... The first time an adult man tried to murder me for being a sissy, I was 7, and this grown man chased me from 19th and Fitzwater to 21st and Fitzwater but I screamed so much, he gave up." She tells of being robbed by another African-American - and of how the African-American police officer who responded harassed her "for several hours at the police station ... [the idea] that he should have been looking for the criminal who robbed me didn't even occur to him."

    Bell matter-of-factly continues to recount a life pocked by violence and danger: "A dozen times since I was 7, men have tried to murder me for being a 'faggot.' Most were African-American. I and another transsexual counted up all the drag queens and transsexuals we knew who had been murdered and came up with 13." Homophobia, Bell writes, "is not exclusive to black people" but, "Being black makes me very aware of the homophobia in my community. ... I am actually more likely to die from homophobic assault than from AIDS. AIDS prevention is within my control."

    Bell reports that a Pennsylvania crime tracking effort "documents that 16 percent of African-American lesbians and 33 percent of African-American gay men have been assaulted, compared to 11 percent of white lesbians and 28 percent of white gay men." She includes supporting quotes from other African-American lesbians, gay men and transgender persons, including Tyrone Smith, executive director of Unity. Bell quotes Smith as saying, "'At some point every African-American gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person is confronted [with homophobia] and needs to know how to deal with it ... I've been beaten and attacked just because I am a black gay man walking down the street.'"
     


    GLAAD adds this to their report:

    This is an opinion page piece; by definition, its purpose is to spark healthy debate. Please express to the Philadelphia Daily News your appreciation for its providing a platform for a seldom-heard community - because the more sensitive and controversial the issue, the greater the need for such forthright discourse.

    Contact: Morris Thompson, Editorial/Opinion Page Editor, Philadelphia Daily News, 400 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015, fax: 215.854.5910, e-mail: dailynews.opinion@phillynews.com


     
     




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    Smaller TG Presence on NYC Streets

    Reprinted from the New York Blade. Via a September 16 release by Gender Advocacy Internet News(GAIN), at penn45@ma.ultranet.com.

    Crackdown Scatters Transgenders

    Outreach workers note community has been difficult to find since new zoning law enforcements

    By Katie Szymanski

    When Carrie Davis arrived at her regular location last weekend to hand out safer sex kits to transgender prostitutes working on the street, she was met by a fraction of the clients she usually serves. "At the beginning of the summer, I would go there with at least 40 safer sex kits," said Davis, "and come home empty-handed."

    But Davis, an outreach provider for the Gender Identity Project, has noticed a steady drop in the numbers of transgender persons working on city streets. "Last weekend, there were only 18 girls," she said. "It was a beautiful, warm evening and the streets were packed with people working the streets. So where were they?"

    It is a mystery that several organizations and others who do safer sex outreach to transgender people are trying to solve. Following the city's recent crackdown on adult businesses, the murder of two transgender persons in the West Village, and heightened police action targeted toward transgender prostitution, outreach workers said this week they can't find their clients.

    "The transgender population on the streets has scattered," said Jason Farrell, executive director of the Positive Health Project, an organization that does outreach to transgender people. "The city's crackdowns have caused transgender sex workers to change their hours, their locations, and even their home states."

    Many transgender persons who used to make money legally by performing lap dances or other activities in commercial establishments are now working on the streets, said Farrell. And those who have always worked on the streets are facing more police. Farrell said that some of his clients have moved to other states Connecticut or New Jersey, for example to escape police harassment.

    "What this does to outreach efforts, however, is make it extremely difficult to locate a collective community," said Davis. "There are a lot more police out on the stroll, and they like to keep street workers moving around so that it's harder for them to work." And when the community is disrupted, said Davis, the safety of its members is in jeopardy.

    "The problem with herding is, the girls don't disappear, they just have to go somewhere else to work," said Davis. "With this dispersion, they are deprived of their community. Instead of 30 to 50 girls in a neighborhood, it's spread out now. So they're not watching out for each other, and aren't as safe as they would have been."

    There are other dangers, outreach workers said. As street workers continue to disperse, it makes it harder to provide them with health care. "There are a lot of barriers for individuals in this community to access services. They have a mistrust of social service providers and institutional health care providers because of the continued mistreatment and abuse they receive, " said Farrell. "So many times, if we can't reach them, no one will."

    And since many transgender clients seen at outreach programs around the city are HIV-positive, this lack of services could prove deadly. "There are large numbers of HIV-positive transgender individuals who are not seeking medical attention because of these barriers," said Farrell.

    And a large number of those without HIV are likely to contract the virus without access to clean needles. Jayne Jordan, an outreach provider and physician's assistant at the Michael Callen-Audre Lorde Community Health Center, said she considers all the transgender youth served by her organization to be intravenous drug users because they inject hormones. "They're using hormones on the street, which they either get under the counter or from dealers," said Jordan.

    Jordan said she noticed that the numbers of transgender outreach clients was "markedly different" this summer. She said that many transgender persons who have stopped showing up for outreach programs are not receiving food, shelter, clothing, and job training provided by many agencies. "It's a horrible situation all around," she said.

    As agencies struggle to find their clients, they are also meeting collectively to devise outreach strategies in the midst of recent obstacles. "We all work together," said Farrell, who noted that last week representatives from Positive Health Project, Gender Identity Project, Gay Men of African Descent, Health Outreach to Teens, Safe Space, and Harlem United Community AIDS Center met to discuss the situation.

    Jordan said the key is to find a way to reach the transgender community. "We need to speak to clients, and interview them about where people are, and why," said Jordan. "And we need to find out the word on the street."


     
     
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