In a brutal attack, Bay Area transgendered teenager Gwen Araujo was murdered by classmates at a party in her hometown of Newark, 50 miles south of Berkeley.
She is not alone. Hate crimes have significantly risen since September 11, 2001. Violence against transgendered people went up 41% between 2000 and 2001, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
Across the country, and the world, people continue to believe that others– trans or not– are less than human, and that their lives are cheap. Would it be less shocking if a trans person was murdered in Montana or Mexico? Is this murder more tragic than the rash of homicides– approaching 100– in Oakland this year? The transgender revolution fights on all fronts.
People everywhere are struggling against the social demons that get in the way of people living their lives freely. We call for solidarity between people hurt and outraged by Gwen Araujo’s murder and all others. There were thousands of people in the streets of both Fremont and San Francisco protesting Araujo’s death. What if people took to the streets each time somebody was killed, making homicides not just one more aspect of everyday life? Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown’s proposal to put 100 more cops on the streets will only further ingrain violence and repression into the fabric of life. People coming together in the streets send messages of support to survivors of violence and of intolerance to people who think violence is a necessary part of society. It also reminds city administrations that they should focus on the community support, not on community repression.
We respectfully stand up for Gwen Araujo and all others who have been attacked for living true to themselves.