Transgender Community being Spoiled Rotten by a Coddling San Francisco?

I have taken an interest in the latest news reports that indicate an uptick in violence against a certain part of the LGBT community. However, there is a troubling twist to the way these crimes are handled in San Francisco, politically as well as by the media.

Transgender people are the most discriminated against in American society. Nevertheless, some well-intended reporting is incorrectly using terms like, “Hate crime” “Anti-transgender” or even the word, “Epidemic” in describing what still amounts to senseless acts of violence.

As a homosexual who has been around the block, I find this reporting to give new meaning to the term “gay panic” and the media offers little useful information in attempting to address the bigger picture. Greater education and understanding of a people that are here to stay, thank God, is needed.

Several reports point out that murders against transgender of color citizens across the country have greatly increased in 2015. I have seen pictures of these victims and though there is no denying they all were people of color, to point out that fact is pointless, unless racist of color have declared a truce with all White transgender.

Twenty transgender murders as of September 2015 is no “Epidemic”, as reported. Chicago’s 365 mostly young black male homicide victims, in the same period according to the Chicago Tribune is an epidemic.

In any given year there are more violent crimes committed in San Francisco against tourist, than against transgender. And of the forty murders reported in San Francisco as of September 2015, only one has been against a transgender. This in no way diminishes the uptick in reported violence against transgender across the country, but begs for an explanation of why SF city officials would treat the one transgender murder here as if it were the 39 and treat the 39 other murders as if it were the one in board meetings.

At the urging of one member (a gay man) of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) has coughed-up nearly a million dollars ($985,000.00) in violence prevention grants to the transgender community. But this city agency has only offered up crumbs of violence prevention funding to all other community groups throughout the entire city.

December 2014, a 19-year-old U.S. marine was charged with murder for the October 2014 death of a transgender he met in a local nightclub. The victim’s naked body was found with her head in a toilet, at the Philippines hotel room the two checked into. Why would a young man, who wanted to get laid, knowingly decide it was a good idea to take a transgender to a hotel to commit a murder? Putting her head in a toilet offers a possible motive. I am not trying to justify this killing but maybe he felt tricked by the transgender and flipped out?

A 25-year-old married man told me a chilling aspect of his straying. He said sometimes he wants to be “Touched by a man.” Then he continued to tell me that he enjoyed it but after he has reached an orgasm, he instantly became, off the charts “ashamed and very angry.” He was so fearful that he might become violent after sex with a man that he went on to say that he instructed all who he would hook up with to stop when he felt he was close to orgasm.

Feeling extreme shame and anger after having sex might be justified if you are married. But there is a small but equally important segment of society who are being labeled haters or homophobic when in fact they are not. They are being torn apart by two strong forces. One innate sexual desire, the other a judgmental society that does not approve of same sex relations.

Gay panic or trans panic defense (not allowed in California) is a legal defense, usually used against charges of assault or murder. A criminal defendant using this defense claiming that they acted in a state of violent temporary insanity could be very persuasive with an expert psychiatric witness, jury, or sometimes by a judge when it comes to sentencing.

In 1977, I lived in a basement apartment where the adjacent building was managed by a very good looking couple. I would always see them go up and down the street pushing a stroller with a toddler and the wife was expecting another child. Then one day I came home and the manager of my building was waiting to tell me why he had to enter my apartment.

I had just purchased a waterbed and had not yet christened it with a warm body when I learned police/coroner had dragged a cold dead body of a transgender over it first. It was the only way they could extract this murder victim tossed out of a window landing between the two buildings. Arrested and convicted for this brutal murder was the young husband and father who managed the adjacent apartment building. Three years later he was release from prison.

At times we have all mumbled, “Is that a man or a woman?” If not flat out staring, we take a second, third and even a fourth look at the individual. Our mind races with judgements. Sometimes, the change is so obvious that it even more confusing to those looking at the person. Sometimes, it is too hard to tell. And other times, if honest, we would admit to being totally fooled.

A few years ago while cruising the Castro district of San Francisco late one night, I picked up what I thought was a good looking guy. He was a young and slender, with a well-cropped beard and mustache. As it turned out, she was in transition to becoming a man. When I discovered her secret it was answered with repeated apologies.

I came away from that encounter a bit more educated. But also, a bit more confused. A biological woman, transitioning to become a man, who prefers to have sex with a man, in opposed to what most men prefer… women.

March 4, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a 15-year-old transgender teen admitted to police that he made up a story about being sexually assaulted a day earlier in the boys bathroom at Hercules Middle High School, the same school where another transgender student was involved in a fight on campus a few months prior. Why did this person feel the need to make up a story?

October 2015, the San Francisco Chronicle reported a federal lawsuit against the Rockingham County jail in Brentwood New Hampshire was dropped by a transgender, Aja Kennedy who claimed, “She was assigned to a male housing unit despite being classified as a female on her driver’s license. She claimed she was subjected to verbal abuse and harassment by inmates and was sexually assaulted twice.” But again, why would this person feel the need to make up a story? The claims made by Kennedy were false. Her lawyer should have checked jail surveillance before filing suit.

No one likes to be played for a fool and many transgender need to be admonished by an otherwise understanding society, instead of being coddled by these sympathetic of society. There are enough sincere members of society who want to help the transgender live life to the fullest.

For years, I witnessed a certain transgender never able to walk the streets of the Mission district of San Francisco without being subjected to harassment by the pathetic who would make catcalls mixed with laughter that was anything but funny. It was so relentless, I honestly do not know who was fighting back tears more, her or me. The reason I felt so sorry for her was, I never saw this transgender “Asking” for it. There was no flirting or seeking attention to be crowned Miss Drama Queen. Even though from time-to-time when I would see her try and laugh with her tormentors, I knew inside she was fighting off thoughts of homicide or suicide.

The best chance transgender have at being more accepted starts with objective reporting. How else will people know that there is a sincere need? Truth from those who tell their stories and truth from those who live the stories will grab the attention of those who know their calling and how they can lend a hand or even a shoulder.

The transgender who needs a shoulder to cry on will gain strength only if that shoulder is a strong one. That strong shoulder, should, assume all transgender reject pity. And that strong shoulder, should never assume that all transgender are innocent victim.

In November 2015, San Francisco police were summoned to the scene of a fight involving two couples. The whole fight began when Samantha Hulsey, a White transgender women bumped into Dewayne Kemp, a Black man while passing him on the street without offering the courtesy of an apology.

As police procedure, the officers separated all involved, which included a fifth person who tried to intervene. They took statements — hardly a time for either side to make up stories, which is key in the subsequent criminal case. Kemp ‘s companion — who later revealed to a reporter, she was “Bisexual”, hurled coffee onto Hulsey in response to Hulsey calling Kemp a nigger. Hulsey then punched Kemp’s lady in response to being doused with coffee. That is when Kemp started swinging on Hulsey. The end result was Kemp being charged with a “hate crime” by the SF District Attorney for his use of the word “fag”, despite the fact that he is dating a bisexual, never mind the fact that being called a nigger by a White person is asking for a fight.

More troubling is the fact that a deputy at the SF Public Defender’s office, Kwixuan Maloof was criticized by the SF Bay Area Reporter for not referring to the Hulsey as “She” during the arraignment of his client Kemp. An editorial demanded more sensitivity training for the SF Public Defender’s office. Transgender should be referred to appropriately. However, for the head SF Public Defender to make a public apology at the demand of the LGBT community newspaper illustrates indifference toward the Black community and a lack of understanding by the paper for what might have set off this whole event, which was not hate.

The SF Bay Area Reporter, who originally reported on this incident, reported on the apology and also reported on what happened at the preliminary hearing that took a bizarre twist. The victim, Hulsey, showed up to testify. But she left on her own before testifying and was nowhere to be found. Then, both defendants in the matter pled guilty to a hate crime, which is a felony. Mr. Maloof, the public defender for Kemp was outraged and did not agree with his client’s decision to plead guilty. He called the case politically motivated, noting that both the mayor and district attorney commented on the case before the hearing.

Why did both defendants plead guilty? My personal opinion is not because they were guilty of any hate crime charge. As part of the plea deal they were to be released immediately from custody. Imagine that. The female (bisexual) in this case even pled guilty to a hate crime just to get out of jail.

Many might focus on the fact that Kemp has a criminal record and Hulsey does not. However, I am skeptical of Hulsey for the mere fact that this was the second time in the year 2015 she was involved in a fight that was reported by the press. Hulsey was so willing to alert the press to being a victim of a hate crime, but when it came to testifying at a court hearing for all victims of hate crimes she would get cold feet and be unwilling to tell the court her side of the story. What’s up with that?

Mr. Maloof gave a clear answer: This kind of “hate crime” justice, not only points to the fact that transgender in San Francisco are spoiled rotten as I have witnessed, but as Maloof put it, this kind of justice is “Bullshit!”

1983 to 1993 Bible Study teacher at SF juvenile hall. Currently prison reform activist and author of Case Game - Activating the Activist; an autobiography.

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