So, yesterday was Trans Day of Remembrance.

There’s a vigil in Ottawa (and in numerous other places) every year, but I’ve never been to one before. Typically, I’ve stayed home, lit up my altars, and blogged about death rates and worried about the sex-working, trans women in my extended phamily because that particular demographic is at really high risk for violence[1].

This year, however, my girlfriend and I went down to the Human Rights Monument and joined the crowd of people quietly trying to light candles in a pretty stiff wind[2]. I saw a lot of familiar faces – doing the reading and in the crowd – and was glad to see a group from POWER among them.

A vigil is a pretty straight-forward thing. In this case, people took turns reading the names of hundreds (hundreds!) of the dead – mostly sex-working women of colour, many with “no name reported” listed where their names should have been – accompanied by a fiddler. The Human Rights Monument wasn’t built with acoustics in mind. Between that, the wind, and the busy road beside us, it was hard to hear everyone’s name, but they read them all.

… And then this happened:

This morning – yes, that would be the day immediately following Trans Day of Remembrance – the hosts of The Morning Hot Tub, the drive-to-work show presented by local radio station Hot 89.9, made some transmisogynist comments in response to the apology Kelly Osbourn made after using the word “tranny” in a rant. Specifically, they said that it would be “worse” to have someone cheat on you with a trans woman than with a “regular” woman.

Look. I’m fairly used to the casual sex-negativity that comes from this radio station. It may drive me nuts, but it’s still preaching to the cultural choir in a lot of ways. None the less, the attitudes they were presenting this morning crossed a big line for me.

So I wrote them an angry letter.
Among other things, I said this:

There were 221 trans people, mostly women, murdered in 2011 alone, and the year isn’t even over yet. And, y’know what? Their murders are committed by people who carry the same attitudes that your hosts were so blithely supporting: that trans women aren’t “regular” women and that this, somehow, makes them inferior.

If YOU would like to write them an angry letter, you can contact them at: letstalk@hot899.com

Cheers,
Ms Syren.

[1] Although I will point out that the sex-working, trans women in my extended phamily are (a) white, and (b) doing low-mid volume, indoor, GFE escorting and/or porn, rather than, say, street-based survival sex; which means they’re at much lower risk for violence than a lot of other women in that same demographic.

[2] Actual temperature was about 2 degrees celcius, but the wind chill brought it down into sub-zero without any difficulty at all. My Ghost, always one for gallows humour, says to me, deadpan: “It’s Trans Day of Remembrance, the day on-which we gather together to remember those trans people who froze to death at last year’s Trans Day of Remembrance vigil”.