K Travis Ballie

ACTION ITEM: End The H8, Within The LGBT Community

Filed By K Travis Ballie | March 16, 2009 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex

I'm Pissed, I'm Angry And I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore.

Two female-to-male transgender patrons of the Dupont Circle gay bar Fab Lounge told police they were verbally harassed and assaulted by two female customers who denounced one of the men as androgynous...

Jaime told the Blade as many as three women in the bar ran their hands over his chest as they taunted him over his appearance, saying they wanted to find out if he was male or female.

Mitch Graffeo, one of the two trans men attack outside of Fab Lounge said via email:

I want to make our community aware that this hate crime occurred. Moreover, I want to emphasize that this crime happened in a gay bar and that the offenders were from the LGBT community itself."

Let us make the LGBT nightlife scene in D.C. safe again for everyone both within and allied with our community. I am calling for a night for every trans ally to visibly show their support for their transgender kin. As trans allies, as human beings who respect one another, we need to end the H8 that is transphobia in the LGBT community.

"When we were about 20 feet from the club's entrance, one of the lesbians came up from behind and put [Jaime] in a headlock and again began to question his gender," Graffeo said.

Jaime said that as the woman released him from her grip, another woman punched him repeatedly in the head and body, inflicting injuries that included a concussion, doctors told him later.

If the LGBT community is a family, it is incidents like these that make me want to secede from "the community". What kind of "community" are we if we cannot even protect ourselves from each other? That we cannot understand one another, let alone support one another?

We need to end this nonsense. This bigotry. Nothing makes me more angry, not even Phelps, Dobson or Haggard, like witnessing "LGBT community members" who taint our community with racist, transphobic, classist and misogynistic remarks.

Next week, (Week of March 28th) needs to be a week of trans ally visibility such as D.C. has never seen before.

Jaime told the Blade he was treated and released from the hospital after doctors administered a CT-scan and other medical tests. He said doctors told him he had a concussion and a whiplash injury to his neck. He also noted that he has numerous bruises on his body, face and head.

I want people handing out "Trans Ally" stickers at every queer club/bar and locale Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights that week. I want to see us engaging people like never before to attend the upcoming national transgender rights lobby day.

I want action. A swift response is needed. I hope that organizations like the D.C. Trans Coalition, Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence, Equality Campus Style and many others can partner together and take a first step, in whatever form that may be, to combat the H8 within our own LGBT community.

Jaime said in a telephone interview that he was likewise "shocked that anything like this would happen here -- that somebody from our own LGBT community would want to hurt somebody else from that same community.

We cannot achieve social, political and legal equality for LGBT folks if we do not even have equality within our own community.

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 16, 2009 9:52 AM

Travis, thanks for helping to bring this story attention. We definitely need to deal with the many issues that keep us from forming a true LGBT community.

I love the way you formatted the t's. :) Clever.