Commonly you hear voices in society shouting that "these people have a victim mentality, everything offends them and they're looking to be offended". This is a flawed interpretation of the victimisation of groups, its an idea reinforced by the language our media uses when talking about those who have suffered injustice based upon who they are. They are referred to as the victim, as the object of the injustice, the crime, as opposed to the focal point being upon the perpetrator of this injustice.
This makes it seem as though those who suffer are the ones determining their suffering by their existence as a victim as opposed to putting the weight of responsibility for that violation upon those who commit it. We need to rephrase the way we talk about these incidents, a racist a transphobe or any other prejudice individual does not get to decide whether they are or aren't those things, their actions determine that. We cannot allow ourselves to go on saying "A trans women was murdered after an altercation that involved slurs" Instead we need to stand strong in our conviction of the obvious, "A prejudice individual murdered a woman for how she was born". For those who still question if the reality those who are different face is truly difficult below are some figures that go a small way to painting the picture of what Trans individuals face:
-70% of women’s shelters aren’t willing to
house trans women.
-54% of trans people have experienced some
form of intimate partner violence.
-47% of trans people have been sexually
assaulted in their lifetime.
-29% of trans adults live in poverty, over twice
the average for cisgender people.
-41% of trans people attempt suicide
Statistics based on the U.S population sourced from the
Human Rights Campaign site: hrc.org
This is not supposed to paint us as the victims, its just the reality people face. We aren’t all suffering, but we are clearly struggling to progress in a system where our very identity is a matter of debate.
The only thing that should be up for debate is the way we address those figures. As the idea of gender is increasingly politicised I encourage you to think what it would be like if your identity, your right to simply exist in society, was something people felt they had the right to question, to argue against, as though being anti-human is a legitimate stance they can take. We aren’t all victims, though we all have challenges to overcome.