Karen Ocamb

Injustice at Every Turn: Video Story of Two Transgender Women

Filed By Karen Ocamb | April 19, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: In The Life - transgender women

In The Life Media produced an insightful video about two transgender women, Ja'briel and Michelle Transgender-woman-study-Michelle-300x218.jpg(a Native American from Los Angeles), that illustrates the findings from a comprehensive transgender discrimination study completed by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

"I went to school and earned a degree, but because of discrimination I'm limited in my employment options, and so it's been very troubling to know that this is an extra burden on me financially and in other ways," Ja'briel. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that respondents experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population. Ja'briel shares her story from Hinesville, Georgia.

"While we were inside the office he reached out and he grabbed, he touched my breast. At that point I didn't think there was anything that I could do and I didn't," Michelle. According to the Survey, over a quarter of respondents reported that they had lost their job due to being transgender or gender non-conforming and half were harassed. Michelle shares her story from Los Angeles, California.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey - which is posted on the ITM website - has a call to action "to make a significant difference between the current climate of discrimination and violence and a world of freedom and equality."

img a screencap from the video, cross posted at LGBT POV

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My rule for guys grabbing my boobs is if they grab my boobs, I break their fingers.

They wanna whine about it, I make sure EVERYONE from thier wives and mamas to the VP at HR knows why I broke his fingers.

Its cost two jobs so far but why should I care if they are unemployed? They earned it after all.

{funny thing, they wont listen to thier wives but will listen to thier mama}

I had a serious incident happen at the Doctors office and I have another TS friend that was raped. It is easy to say I would have done this or I would have done that but you really don't know how you'd react until you've been there. I was believed and made a complaint through the hospital and probably should have but didn't file one through the police. According to my friend the police didn't believe her and wanted her to drive off with the rapist. Both me and my friend froze in her case she didn't expect a strange man to climb in her car and in my case I couldn't comprehend a Doctor could act so horrific. Hopefully there will never be a next time and I no better than to assume how I'll react in every situation or whether if I complain I'll be believed like the last time. When it comes to issues like this I don't judge whether the incident was true or how the person reacted you just don't know. I think all the saying I would or have done this or why didn't you do that is just one more way of victimizing the victim.

Jay Kallio | April 20, 2011 4:28 AM

This video is truly beautiful, with the dignity and longing of it's protagonists giving meaning to dry statistics, telling their stories of struggle with love and transcendence. I hardly ever cry, but this moved me to tears.

It's great to hear people talk about the resilience of oppressed minorities instead of just oppression.

Regan DuCasse | April 20, 2011 5:32 PM

I've met Michelle on a few occasions. I can't help but wonder why the general public resists ALL these opportunities to get to KNOW trans men and women better?
I'm lucky in that I had the sort of upbringing that told me to never fear an opportunity to LEARN something and be with people who actually are rare and NEED to be known, and much as anyone NEEDS to know them.

This truly pisses me off that such a dynamic demographic is so dangerously shut out like this. I know that such isolation breeds survival criminality. And our nation and society should be ashamed of that.
I learned about transgendered folks when I WAS A CHILD. It's not a subject that needs to be learned only by adults. Not only that, it's very telling that there is still a stigma of inferiority and exclusion that men are ONLY fit for certain things, and women only for certain things. When it's the SKILLS in any given workplace or profession that matter, not the gender or intellectual capacity.
I resent the public at large literally being encouraged to be so ignorant and stupid. What does THAT help?