I know that this is not an area that I typically write about or discuss. However, with my many allies, friends within the LGBTQ+ community. I find myself sitting here, thinking about TDOR 2019. What does that look like from the Philippines vs the United States? How other countries view transgender women? Is there more harmony between the LGBTQ+ community and the “status quo”?
My employer has a strong inclusive policy for all people. I am currently in the Philippines and within my office alone. We have several transgender folds that are open, loved, and welcomed within their community. This got me to think about my home in Nebraska, United States. This is what I found out, and honestly, it was a shock. Please note that I am only basing this off of what I was able to locate on the Internet; and part of what I have experienced/witnessed in person.
Last year alone in the United States; there were 26 transgender women murdered. This is quickly becoming an epidemic in the United States. So far this year, we are at 22 murders and the year is not even over with. Let this soak in for a minute, as these are real numbers. Imagine every month, 2 people murdered just for being who they are. This is very interesting if you think about it. Why does a country that boasts about being so advanced in technology, military, quality of living, financial wealth? Show so much hate or disregard to anyone that is different than the status quo?
When I started to look into the Philippines as to how they treat the LGBTQ+ community; especially transgender women. I was totally and utterly shocked by the difference. I actually thought that the murder rate would be much higher. In fact, it is not. The only transgender murders I could find between 2015 and 2019 were 2 women. Yes, you heard me. Just 2 transgender women were murdered. One was murdered by a US Marine in 2015 and is serving prison time. This is unheard of in the U.S. for murdering a transgender woman. The most recent one was this year; on September 17th. She was out with her coworkers and sister. When she went out to get cigarettes; and never returned. The article I read, stated that this is so unheard of, that it sent shock waves through the LGBTQ+ community.
As I sit here upon the eve of the 2019 TDOR. I can’t stop but think why the United States murder rate is significantly higher than in the Philippines? Don’t get me wrong, as I love the Philippines and their culture. They are lovely people and will miss my time spent here. However, if the U.S. is so superior to a country. Why is it that we are so self-destructive, full of hate, and want to destroy what we do not understand? We, Americans can learn a lot from the Philippine culture and how they treat each other. No matter who they are.
I leave you with this. Just love, accept and embrace each other for who they are. We all are unique and have much to offer. But these 22 Americans and 1 Philippine woman will never fulfill their dreams-because of hate.