"That's a Man!"

In many of the attacks on gay or transgender people, the assailants are total strangers.

They attack their victims on sight, without provocation, simply because they think they "look gay" or because they identify their victim as transgender.

In fact, transgender women must live every second of their lives with the knowledge that if they step outside their homes and walk down the street, they may be confronted at any moment by a total stranger pointing at them and exclaiming in total ignorance and stupidity, "That's a man!" What follows may be limited to verbal abuse or escalate into a physical confrontation. The transgender woman can choose to walk on and pretend that she heard nothing, or she can stop and confront the abuser. If she does, who knows where the confrontation may lead?

What is going on here?
Who are these people who are so angry and hateful that they are ready to verbally abuse or physically attack innocent people that they don't know on sight and without any provocation whatsoever? Or maybe the provocation is that they are actually attracted to their potential victims. It's love or lust at first sight, and they express that love or lust impetuously only to learn a few moments later that the person they thought was a (genetic) cisgender woman is indeed transgender. If they expressed that attraction in front of their friends, then there is hell to pay. They feel humiliated, so the object of their attraction must pay with her life. That appears to be what happened in the tragic case of Islan Nettles, a young transgender woman who was murdered in Harlem a few weeks ago.

How do you live? How do you go about your day if being attractive can put your life in danger? But that is indeed the everyday reality for numerous transgender women whose beauty and femininity allow them to "pass."


Source / Full Text: "That's a Man!" by Dr. Joe Wenke for Huffington Post