Thursday, November 12, 2015

LAPD’s Public Relations Dept. Seeks to Unethically Co-opt Trans Day of Remembrance

Nov. 20th is the annual Trans Day of Remembrance where we honor the lives of transsexual and transgender women and men who lost their lives due to male violence, transphobic bigotry, state violence/police brutality and/or domestic violence, most of whom are trans women of color.

In a flagrant disregard for this sacred memorial, the LAPD has announced a distasteful public relations campaign where they plan to dishonorably co-opt our community’s annual ritual into the corrupt law enforcement establishment by unbelievably manufacturing a “LAPD Hosts the Transgender Walk of Remembrance” stunt to be carried out on November 19th.

 Needless to say the majority of L.A. trans leaders, anti-police brutality activists and social justice advocates are rightfully appalled. More importantly, people who have had trans family members and close friends tragically murdered are deeply offended or even traumatized that for what is in essence a ‘funeral’ is being inappropriately used as a PR gimmick by the marketing department of the LAPD – especially when the male brutality and state violence many police officers in L.A. are guilty of is equal to the male brutality and state violence which has cost countless Black and Latina transsexual or transgender women their lives.

The way the LAPD seeks to use our dead as an opportunity to clean up their public image is not only unethical – it is an act of violence due to the pain it’s inflicting on so many who have lost loved ones due to both police brutality or transphobic hate crimes.

Being an "ally" does not mean distastefully hijacking a funeral of which you're not invited - it means asking the community what THEY want and need and act accordingly

What actually would make sense would be if the LAPD did a march to honor all the unarmed women and men killed by law enforcement, not only would this be a way to show the residents of Los Angeles their compassion for the loss of human life at the hands of police officers – it wouldn’t be infringing on an already established ritual of mourning without the stakeholder’s (the local trans community and the families of deceased trans women) consent.

Is it too much to ask that the LAPD not use the loved ones we have as props in some disingenuous political campaign?