Trans-panic defense and coming out/passing

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Trans-panic defense and coming out/passing

oliverHyde oliverHyde
Have any of you ever personally heard the trans panic defense used when someone found out you were Trans and took it badly? Have you ever worried about it happening? Has it ever influenced how much you try to pass and/or when you decide to intentionally out yourself?

It's been on my mind a lot lately as I've just gotten a very, very normal day job in a place that's *barely* gay-friendly.
07/22/2010
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El-Jaro El-Jaro
trans-panic defense?

Never heard of it.
07/22/2010
joja joja
I will try my best to check my privilege, but I can sympathize with you on the level of having to hide your sexuality and/or gender identity in "official" situations. Since I'm from a conservative Christian family, I can't be open around them either. The only people who know I am kinky, genderqueer, feminist, a sex-positive and LGBTQ activist, amongst other things, are my friends.

At work and school, I am usually more open than with my family, but I still hold back a lot. I usually just refrain from talking about these things unless I'm asked, in which case I give a frank and honest truth. Unless you are in a situation where you feel you'd be in danger (even if that danger is of something like losing your job) if you were outed, I'd go with this approach. I've found people to be unexpectedly accepting of me in pretty much every case.

That said, I live in oh-so-progressive Chicago.
07/22/2010
oliverHyde oliverHyde
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
trans-panic defense?

Never heard of it.
The trans-panic defense is an excuse people use to justify violence against trans people.

The argument used is that the trans person's "actual" gender is so shocking and the betrayal of having them "lie" (usually, they weren't actively lying, they were just passing) about their "real" gender is so heinous (usually because they assume they were passing in order to trick them into having sex with them) that they panic and attack the trans person in a state of temporary insanity.

It's very similar to the gay panic defense, except that the trans panic defense still works a lot of the time.
07/22/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
wow...just wow...

That sounds about as plausible as me attaching the counter person at Arby's because their chicken salad has grapes in it and chicken salad doesn't have grapes in it.

I hope that never happens to any trans people I know!
07/22/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Quote:
Originally posted by oliverHyde
The trans-panic defense is an excuse people use to justify violence against trans people.

The argument used is that the trans person's "actual" gender is so shocking and the betrayal of having them "lie" (usually, ...
Yeah, unfortunately I have heard it. In fact, I've heard it from my own family when I tested the waters by bringing up the topic of trans people. It's even MORE accepted in our society than gay-bashing, which is hard to imagine, because people as a collective still feel gender is static and unchangeable. It's pretty sad.

Until you have friends and allies in the workplace that will help you feel safe and supported, I would just be very careful. You know, the normal precautions that any mistreated group has to go through, unfortunately. Women, the poor, and all GLBT people. Just don't be alone out at night, make sure someone knows where you are when you're out, etc.

But if it makes you feel any better, you do have support here! Allies are out there!
07/23/2010
oliverHyde oliverHyde
Quote:
Originally posted by Darling Jen
Yeah, unfortunately I have heard it. In fact, I've heard it from my own family when I tested the waters by bringing up the topic of trans people. It's even MORE accepted in our society than gay-bashing, which is hard to imagine, because ...
Yay! thanks!
<3
It's very nice to know that you guys are out there.
07/23/2010
grrltalk grrltalk
Oh yes, the trans panic defense...

I am less afraid of the trans panic defense, and more afraid of the trans panic. The defense part is only relevant once you're in court, after whatever incident happens, and if I am dead or hospitalized then what the fuck ever... The TPD is a transphobic and homophobic means for people who bash trans folks to get off with minimal punitive repercussions. It's all kinds of fucked up in itself, but I think that the the whole prison industrial complex is just as fucked, so I won't say much more here. I will say that it is scary that trans panic defense works and that it is something that people have, but more scary that prison is such a transphobic and homophobic place with so much transphobic and homophobic violence, that when people go in for bashing, they'll probably come out even more reassured in what they did, not repentant.

I am afraid, however, of the trans panic itself. I am afraid that my trans status will be disclosed and someone will react violently and kill, rape, beat, or otherwise harm me. It's something that I keep in the back of my mind much of the time- as a very out trans woman, it's always a little scary thinking of who could be around and what could happen. I try not to go out at night without friends to walk me or drive me home and I almost never (no matter how bad I want to) flirt or get close to people, unless they are trusted friends. I work in a progressive-minded, trans friendly setting, so I am not worried about reactions at work (also, Vermont has employment anti-discrimination provisions for gender identity), but out in the rest of the world I am often super-vigilant about my safety.
11/07/2010
hjtee hjtee
It just sounds like a lot of bull to me. An excuse to harm people.
I do fear for all my trans loved ones because of it, and overall trans violence.

It makes me sick.
04/11/2011
Maxx Maxx
Quote:
Originally posted by oliverHyde
Have any of you ever personally heard the trans panic defense used when someone found out you were Trans and took it badly? Have you ever worried about it happening? Has it ever influenced how much you try to pass and/or when you decide to ...
Never heard of it but I have been through a lot since I came out and its hard having to go out in public. Not just because you have to pass but because you know that a lot of people are going to stare to find out what you really are. Some people are good at it and some people are not. Our voice is what gives us away.
12/07/2011
Total posts: 10
Unique posters: 7