Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2014 — Reno, NV, USA

Today, I was in Reno, NV for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2014. The central event is a solemn reading. Volunteers from the audience line up and when it’s his or her turn, the person at the head of the line walks to the stage, reads what’s on the teleprompter and walks off the stage.

The teleprompter shows the information for one transgender person’s killed in a hate crime … her name, her age, how she was murdered and the location. It’s grim. Some of the volunteers could barely hold back the tears for long enough to keep reading, Anti-transgender violence is typically brutal, e.g., stabbed 33 times, beaten to death with an iron bar, shot in the face, set on fire … often the assailant is furious at the t-girl. Why? Often, a common thread is: homophobia.

As general awareness spreads as to what it means to be homophobic, such crimes become more and more ludicrous.

Let’s pick on a sample homophobe, Mr. X. His macho attitude is a desperate attempt to hide his own insecurity. He hates gays and yet he is also personally a repressed gay. When he is finally confronted with the self-realization that he’s gay, he’s overwhelmed with self-loathing. Rather than doing a premise check, he lashes out at whoever inspired his realization — often, a t-girl whom he found arousing. He blames her for his condition. Sometimes, a homophobic killer is heard to say “I can’t be gay, I can’t be gay” as he bludgeons his transgender victim to death, as if erasing her will make his own mental anguish be erased. It makes no sense, but that’s how the homophobic mindset functions.

As for me, I’m spreading the word that for a homophobe to be a homophobe, he has to be gay to a significant extent — otherwise he wouldn’t psychologically collapse so dramatically when he realizes that his hatred of gays includes himself.

So, homophobic violence is an immediate self-outing announcement. Please spread the word, folks. This is how justice gets done. The most terrifying fear of the homophobe is to be outed. And if he’s initiated violence, then public humiliation, by his own demented standard, is what he so richly deserves.

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