November is the transgender month of remembrance. It is when we in the transgender community remember those who have been the victims of violent crime. This is a sad month made even worse by the identification of Donna Perry, a male to female transgender, as a suspected serial killer.
The victors in this tragic case are the criminal investigators and evidence technicians who handled the investigations and preserved the evidence. Then, it was the crime lab technicians, who searching databases, came up with a suspect match. The losers are the sex workers who continually are the victims of street crime.
Unrecognized is the victimization of the transgender population. The common perception is that the transgendered individual is some kind of sociopath or sexual predator. This could not be further from the truth.
You must understand being transgendered is not some lifestyle decision. This is a condition you are born with and you try to cope with it every day. It impacts where you live and your ability to get and maintain employment. You face rejection and ridicule wherever you turn. Sixty-one percent of trans people are victimized by physical assault. Sixty-four percent will be the victim of sexual assault. One in 13 will be murdered. None of this would justify you becoming a predator yourself.
Not only were the sex workers on the street the victims of this senseless series of murders. The transgendered are victims as well. This case only reinforces the Hollywood stereotype that the transgendered are predators or sexual deviants. They are simply people like yourself who are trying to find their way in our society.
H.K. (Harriot) Petschel