Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Wig and a Shoe

Ah, Buffalo, the butt of dying-city and blue collar jokes! While it does have its problems, much of it isn't a bad place to spend an afternoon. Passing through or going there as a destination, I've enjoyed Buffalo's zoo, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Erie County Botanical Gardens, and sports and rock concerts at the First Niagara Center and Shea's Theater.

So I didn't hesitate to visit the Convention Center recently. The immediate area was parked up, although I couldn't say if it was because of the event we were attending or just the usual parking of people working in the area. We had to walk a half dozen blocks through a neighborhood short of seedy but not especially appealing. It was broad daylight, with nothing to fear.

But the night before, it had been cold and dark and someone had plenty to fear: in the gutter I saw a dark wig with long curls and a high-heeled shoe with its size visible inside the heel, a 12.

There's a story in that debris, and I fear I know what it is. Who wears a wig and a mighty large shoe? Trans women. I watched the news for reports of an assault, but there was nothing. That saddened me further. If a trans woman was walking along minding her own business and was assaulted, or a trans prostitute attacked by either her competition or a (potential) customer, wouldn't that have been on the news?

No. The trans community in Buffalo may have learned the ugly truth of so many cities: trans women need not apply for equal protection under the law. Especially trans women of color.

It made me sad, not just for the person it happened to, but for all the women who are attacked and feel there's nothing to be gained by calling the police.

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