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07 July 2008

Comments

Michael RS

This story is truly a tragedy. If there is any silver lining, it is the fact that the family is sensitive and is trying to raise awareness.

Henry TW

It's a very ad story indeed, but, one is interesting is that the news report tried to 'humanize' Rodney Whitaker. She really was a very pretty girl and it is uplifting that the station tried, albeit clumsily, to put a story to the name.

A. Ronald

This report does attempt to humanize Ebony, it seems the station realizes their city is under the microscope and they are trying to look 'progressive.' But repeatedly calling a transgender woman 'he' and 'him' is offensive.

Mel Smith

I agree with you all. It's sad and I stand behind Whitaker's cousin one hundred percent. Her(she's transgendered) family did support her. See, society's prejudice will have people turning against their own blood family members. We live in a world full of sick judgemental, and prejudice people.

Abernathy

Mel makes some very good points. The trans community are the most vulnerable people in the LGBT community. They are discriminated against and marginalized, even by gay men and lesbians, and black trans women face the brunt of the bias and stigma. It's bittersweet that the family is supporting Rodney, but it is important to hear their voices.

elg

Several weeks ago, a 33 year old black gay man I knew was murdered in the city where I live. So far, no one has been apprehended.

Several years ago, three young black gay men were walking down the street at night when the occupants of a passing vehicle shouted anti-gay slurs. The black gay men shouted something back. The car drove back around and shots were fired from the vehicle. One of the black gay men was struck by a bullet and killed. An article was written in the local newspaper about the incident but the two survivors were afraid to cooperate with the police. No one has been apprehended. I didn't attend the funeral, but someone who did attend told me the preacher went ranted and raved about "girly-boys".

Call it paranoia or whatever you want but I think a "cleansing" of black gay men and/or transgendered people is taking place all over this country.

BL

ELG, those stories are awful. You may be on to something. It's unfortunate that the black church sends the message that it's okay to gay bash, and, this is reinforced by tv shows, athletes and rappers send the black church.

Derrick from Philly

Very interesting and frightening thought, elg. It isn't organized, but there is certainly a feeling out there that gay people should be "dealt with". And BL is correct in pointing out the institutions in the black commnunity which give the appearance of sanctioning the killing of black gay people. I always say that I don't know what young black gay people do today for fun (those that can put on the "Hiphop thug" look & show...well, I'm talking about he inner-city kids). Where can they go to be safe?

Derrick from Philly

Very interesting and frightening thought, elg. It isn't organized, but there is certainly a feeling out there that gay people should be "dealt with". And BL is correct in pointing out the institutions in the black commnunity which give the appearance of sanctioning the killing of black gay people. I always say that I don't know what young black gay people do today for fun (those that can put on the "Hiphop thug" look & show...well, I'm talking about he inner-city kids). Where can they go to be safe?

Me

I'm hardly new to the life, but I have often wondered why there seems to be a correlation between being transgendered and prostitution. I can think of two instances in my own life where I've seen this: A good friend of mine had a friend who tested positive, and not long afterward he began to make that transition and started turning tricks. Same thing with another friend who had an associate who moved in that direction and began to sell his body. I assume it is because of discrimination on regular jobs and things, but maybe there is a deeper issue. It's very scary and dangerous; there are even stories of DC police forcing them to perform sex acts in exchange for eluding arrest. I fear for them.

And yes, elg has a valid point. I fear for my own safety here in DC, and gay men here have been victims of various crimes. When I first moved up here, a young black gay boy was raped by two dudes in his neighborhood - that scared me half to death. Homeless men have assaulted black gay men too ... so I try to stay on my p's and q's when I'm walking alone. It's all a big reality check, that's for sure.

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