People are mourning the tragic suicide of 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi; over in Maplewood, NJ, the young life of another person was taken from this earth as the result of a fatal shooting that should also receive your attention. (Maplewood Patch):
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office reported today that the victim of a fatal shooting in Maplewood on Sunday was Victoria Carmen White, formerly James White. White had legally changed her name to Victoria Carmen following sex reassignment surgery.
The Prosecutor’s Office and Maplewood Police had originally identified the victim as James White. However, as stated in a release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office this afternoon: “Following an examination by the Medical Examiner and further investigation, it has been confirmed that the victim was a post-operative transgender female having undergone sex reassignment surgery.”
Looking at the numerous photos of Victoria, I have to agree with Monica Roberts of Transgriot.
Take a look at the photos of Victoria interspersed throughout this post. Does she look like a ‘man’? When are you peeps going to get it through your heads, especially in the law enforcement and criminal justice communities that genitalia does not necessarily equal gender?
There is nothing indicating that IDing her in that manner is relevant to the shooting. Bird of Paradox:
As ever, we are defined by our documentation. However, what stands out in this case is that, even though Ms White’s documentation and her genital configuration matched, the authorities still insisted on misgendering her. For what reason? That’s not made clear, but if I was a gambling woman, I would wager a shiny penny that it’s to do with anti trans bigotry on the part of the County Prosecutor’s office.
That a society has such contempt for transsexual women that the first thing it does after we die is attempt to impose on us an identity which isn’t even legally ours, let alone one in which we lived, speaks volumes about the depth and intensity of insensitivity and downright hatred which we face each and every day of our lives.
If the authorities – having insisted we jump through all these flaming hoops in order to be considered the women and men we know ourselves to be – can then so casually dismiss everything about us except that we’ve undergone major abdominal surgery, and that we were once assigned identities which weren’t ours, then what hope do we have of ever being accepted as ourselves, dead or alive?
What is heartening about this senseless crime is that there is a great outpouring of support for Victoria was beloved by friends and classmates.
[Erin] Littles, who became friends with White while they attended Columbia High School together, said, “She (White) always encouraged people to be the best that they can be.” Littles says she was shy in high school, and White wanted to get her out of her shell.
White, who was a part of Special Dance and cheerleading at the high school, helped Littles by making her try out for extra-curricular activities. They became more than friends, said Littles-they became family. Littles feels as though she has lost a sister, and the world has lost the heart and soul behind that smile.
Her friend Alanna Carter:
“I’ve never met a more radiant soul. Not only was she extraordinarily strong, she was also beautifully gregarious, kind, sweet, and gentle. I have never known anyone so intent on remaining true to herself. Things were not always easy for her but she never lost sight of the big picture. She loved life and accepted all of its hurdles with grace and understanding. Even though her life was tragically cut short, she cherished every moment, every experience, and perhaps most of all, every single friend.”
There is a touching tribute to Victoria Carmen White here, at Maplewood Patch: