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I was going to make a Real Blog Post out of this but realized I do not have it in me right now to add enough commentary to make it more than a signal-booster--and since I have more LJ/DW friends than blog readers, it seemed more sensible just to post it here.

EDGE Boston reports that a transgendered man was attacked in a restroom on the Long Beach campus of Cal State. The story is dated April 28, 2010, and the attack took place on April 15.

There has been almost no reporting of this incident in California itself that I can find with a quick Google. The LA Times ran a couple of extremely brief stories giving the bare details without any sort of followup. They did manage to use the right pronouns, but the second article emphasized only that the victim was "satisfied" with how CSU officials dealt with the incident, but EDGE Boston notes that not everyone in the QTBLG community at CSU Long Beach feels quite so happy about it.

From here, all I can think to say is why did I only hear about this yesterday? I don't keep up with daily news particularly obsessively precisely because most stories are distressing in one way or another so I have to conserve my emotional energy to those things that I choose to take on. I'd have liked to have taken this on a little sooner--not that there is anything in particular I can do, other than make sure people know that this sort of thing can and does happen even in California cities. The student who was attacked has stated that Cal State felt like a second home to him but he no longer feels safe there.

I kinda wonder how satisfied he can be with the school's response if campus is no longer a safe place for him.

This entry was composed @Dreamwidth and can also be read at http://eriktrips.dreamwidth.org/3079.html

Feel free to comment either here or there.

Comments

expanding_x_man
May. 15th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
Mostly I find it disturbing because it happened in a major West Coast urban area. Stuff happens here, too, of course, but for the most part we like to think we are safe where we live.

I actually have no illusions that living here makes me safer than living elsewhere. Gwen Araujo lived near here and others have as well. I think we have more trans victims here than in other areas of the country simply because we have more out or visible trans people. I was fag baited when I lived in the Castro, as were all the (straight) guys I had as roommates. Why? Because people came there from other places, looking for gay men and assumed we were all gay men since we lived there.

eriktrips
May. 15th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
The relative safety here isn't an illusion. But it is not absolute: it is easy for bigots to find gay and/or transgendered people if we are all in one place, but the overall culture of the urban West Coast is different from that of other cities and strikingly different from that of smaller towns and rural areas in the US.

At least, I don't think my experience in the Deep South versus my experience on the West Coast is entirely due to time passing. I was able to hold hands as a dyke with my girlfriend in Seattle the same year that we would have been openly harassed for doing the same in Atlanta and probably assaulted for doing so in, say, rural Paulding County, GA.

Outside of major cities like Atlanta and Houston, things have not changed much in that part of the country. On a per capita basis and based on my own experience, I'd be willing to bet that looking queer in the Castro is much safer than looking queer in more conservative areas. No place is completely safe, but some places are safer than others.
expanding_x_man
May. 16th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC)
Well, it is interesting that the attack occurred on a University Campus on the west coast. But, as you say, no place is absolutely safe. It will be interesting to see what they find out about this, if they can unravel it.

I feel just as safe in Denver say - as I do here, but Denver is not the deep south. I would agree with you off-hand about the deep south, about it being less safe generally for weird people outside the norm. But, then again, I am not familiar with the area, and this may also be my prejudice at work. On the other hand, any place without a good helping of white hipsters tends to be less safe for queer people, let's face it. So, as annoying as they can be, white hipsters tend to help create queer friendly environments, and ya gotta love'em for that!

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