The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Transgender Victimhood Narrative Update

Posted on | January 17, 2019 | Comments Off on Transgender Victimhood Narrative Update

Dana Martin, 31, was found shot to death in Alabama.

The New York Times has important news of nationwide significance:

An Alabama woman has become the first known transgender person killed this year in the United States.
Dana Martin, 31, identified by advocacy groups as a black transgender woman, was found shot to death in a vehicle in Montgomery, Ala., on [Jan. 6].
Ms. Martin, who lived in Hope Hull, Ala., about nine miles southwest of Montgomery, was well-known in the transgender community of Birmingham and Montgomery, said Meta Ellis, the director of Montgomery Pride United, an L.G.B.T. advocacy organization in Alabama.
“Our community is devastated because the murders going on especially of trans people of color — are just happening more and more often and very little is being done about it,” she said. . . .
It is still unclear why Ms. Martin was killed.
There have not been any arrests in the case and there aren’t any suspects or known motives, said Capt. Regina Duckett of the Montgomery Police Department, which is investigating the crime.
“At this point, the circumstances of Dana Martin’s homicide are unknown,” Captain Duckett said on Friday. “The death is confirmed as a criminal homicide.”
Ms. Martin’s body was discovered when the police and fire medics responded to a vehicle crash on Brewer Road on Sunday around 11 p.m., the police said. Emergency workers found Ms. Martin in the vehicle, which was in the ditch line. Ms. Martin, the driver, had a fatal gunshot wound, the police said, and it appeared as if the shooting had occurred near the vehicle.
Based on their review of legal documents and a forensic examination, the police did not identify Ms. Martin as a woman in their news release, Captain Duckett said.
How a homicide victim identifies is “a personal matter that becomes relevant to our investigation only if it is determined to be a reason the victim was killed,” Captain Duckett added.
In Alabama, changing gender identity on a driver’s license requires gender-affirming surgery, Ms. Ellis said, something many transgender people don’t find necessary or are unable to afford.
At least 26 transgender people were killed in 2018, the majority of them black transgender women, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In 2017, advocates reported at least 29 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means.

Notice that this business of the national media reporting the annual number of transgender murders began with the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. This is a crucial aspect of the Transgender Victimhood Narrative, i.e., the suggestion that Trump’s election signified the onset of a “climate of hate” which is to blame for violence against “transgender women of color” and other “marginalized communities”:

Many people have asked if the current regressive political climate legitimized by the language and policies of the Trump administration and others could be contributing to the rise of hate violence. Our answer is yes. . . . Over and over, President Donald Trump and his administration have attempted to erase, demonize and discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.

This week, CNN provided a fresh update on the “climate of hate” theme:

Despite an all-time high in trans-visibility, with celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox now mainstream media stars, violence against the community is getting worse, community advocates say. . . .
Activists say anti-trans rhetoric stigmatizes the community and raises the risk of violence. . . .
Tillery, of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, feels that Trump has created a “really scary time for the whole LGBTQ community.”
“Every week, there is another news event that is equally triggering and terrifying, that leaves people not knowing where they can be safe. They are left with an uncertain future in this country,” Tillery said. “When you dehumanize people and try to erase them completely from existence, it emboldens those who hate this community, and no one is really stopping them, aside from the community rising up.”

Thus, the murder of Dana Martin is not just another unsolved crime, it’s part of the anti-Trump political narrative, which makes it a subject considered worthy of national media coverage. However, analysis will show that (a) there has not really been a “surge” of violent crime against transgender people, and (b) none of these killings have been inspired by Trump or by “anti-trans rhetoric.”

After the media began promoting this theme two years ago, I repeatedly debunked the Transgender Victimhood Narrative:

What anyone may discover, by careful examination of news accounts, is that most of the victims of “anti-transgender violence” were drug addicts or working as prostitutes, and were killed in circumstances related to their habitual association with the criminal subculture. The activists who compile the inventory of these homicides are just counting numbers of victims, and the national media generally fail to do follow-up reporting when suspects are arrested and the motives for these crimes determined. The obvious reason for this absence of follow-up reporting is that the facts do not corroborate the media’s “climate of hate” theme.


Consider the case of 24-year-old Dejanay Stanton. After Stanton was found shot to death on the South Side of Chicago last year, the pro-LGBT activist group Human Rights Campaign said that this homicide showed the “urgent need to address the epidemic of violence against the transgender community across the U.S.” But an arrest was recently made in the case and I think everyone will agree that this news is not helpful for the Transgender Victimhood Narrative:

A 17-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting a transgender woman last year in a secluded area on the South Side was ordered held without bail Sunday.
Tremon T. Hill was charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 13 slaying of Dejanay Stanton, a 24-year-old trans woman escort he was in a sexual relationship with, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Stanton received a text from Hill the morning of her killing asking her to meet him in a lot in the 4000 block of South Calumet Avenue in Bronzeville, Assistant State’s Attorney Britt Steinberg said at a bail hearing Sunday in the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
Just after 11 a.m., Hill is alleged to have shot Stanton in the head and left her lying on the ground outside of her car, which was left with its doors open and a purse and cellphone inside, according to Steinberg. Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert at that location and found Stanton, who died minutes later, Steinberg said.
Text messages between Hill and Stanton revealed that their alleged sexual relationship began in July, when they arranged to meet at a South Side hotel after Hill indicated he was 18-years-old, Steinberg said.
The pair continued communicating, sending each other more than 400 messages, in which Hill allegedly expressed he was interested in having sex with Stanton but not with a transgender person, Steinberg said.
Over multiple texts, Hill urged Stanton to delete photos of him from her phone, which she later did, Steinberg said. Hill also told Stanton that their sexual relationship had caused him to become suicidal, Steinberg said.

Chicago authorities have not released a mug shot of Tremon Hill, “a lanky Phillips High School student who . . . played on the school’s basketball team,” but it seems highly unlikely that he is a Trump supporter influenced by “anti-trans rhetoric,” as activists might wish us to believe. And I suspect that the national media will ignore this latest development in the Dejanay Stanton case, because hooking up with high-school boys is not exactly helpful for the Transgender Victimhood Narrative.

(Hat-tip: Kirby McCain on Twitter.) 





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