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Trial notes, day 3 am (15. July 2009) [Trigger Warning]

January 31, 2010

[Trigger warning: Violence against trans women, LGBT people]

NB: As I’m in the process of shifting blogging formats/locations, I’m also reposting some writings that were housed at my previous blog.

Originally posted 15 July 2009

Just some quick notes before I need to head to work for the day:

Prior to the start of the day’s proceedings, Judge Walsh addressed the gallery to express his displeasure with a melee that occurred yesterday. He said that the event was a disgrace to the life and legacy of the victim (using her birth name), who was ‘a peaceful man.’

In testimony from Erica Allison (I’m unsure about the spelling of her last name), one of the prosecuting attorneys asked her about Lateisha Green’s sexuality (using her birth name). Ms. Allison replied that ‘he was a female.’ The prosecutor then attempted to clarify this statement by asking ‘so, he was a man dressed as a woman?’ Ms. Allison answered yes. An identical exchange occurred with respect to Star, a trans woman who was in the car seated behind Mark Cannon and Lateisha Green.

During cross-examination, the defense asked Ms. Allison if Green was ‘dressed as female’ the night of the 14th. Ms. Allison responded in the negative, stating that Green (using her birth name) was wearing a t-shirt, pants, and a head scarf and that his[sic] hair was not done up nice as it often was.

Personally, I’m upset to see the Judge erase Lateisha Green’s identity. This morning’s comments were part of a continuing pattern that I’ve seen from the prosecuting and defense attorneys, as well as witnesses. My blood pressure spikes at the term “man dressed as a woman”, particularly in this context. I understand that transgender and gender non-conforming individuals have diverse ways of vocalizing their identities, and as I’ve previously noted, I never met Lateisha Green. However, I find these exchanges deeply troubling. Lastly, I’m upset about what I see as a trend within the trial that mirrors society’s double standard with respect to trans women and clothing. As other folks have repeatedly elaborated, a shirt and pants is standard dress for many, many women. Expecting trans women to dress in erotic, flashy or “flamboyant” manners, confounding trans identities with homosexual ones, and confounding these identities with offensive stereotypes of gay males is, well, offensive.
I need to run, and won’t be at the trial again until tomorrow. I assume TLDEF will post a thorough summary of the proceedings tonight.
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