The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs tracks anti-LGBTQ violence in the United States and puts together an annual report that builds understanding of both the violence LGBTQ people deal with as well as the difficulties of accurately gauging the widespread problem. Here are three charts from the most recent report that shine some light on this complicated reality.
Breaking Bad: Does anything bad happen after this part?
I'm just not going to make it past episode three of Breaking Bad. You can't talk me into it, because even though it's the most-discussed TV show in America right now, I don't want to watch it. I'm a proud member of the Breaking Bad dropout club and I'm staying that way.
The statistics from the 2011 National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs are grim. Trans people were almost two times as likely to experience injuries than cis people. Transgender people of color were 28 percent more likely to experience physical violence compared to people who were not transgender people of color. And people under 30 were the most likely to experience sexual and physical violence.
2011 was also the year that Shelley "Treasure" Hilliard was horrifically murdered in Detroit. Only 19 years old, Hilliard was an active member in Detroit's LGBTQ youth community, and her death shook the activists, family, and friends around her. But TransParent, a new film, is going beyond the statistics to share the story of Shelley, her mother, and the community around them.
There are two types of cowgirl narratives: Ones with plucky girls whose horses are a symbolic extension of their inner strength (see: Brave, National Velvet) and ones where girls feel unsure in the world and connect with horses who are also healing from some kind of trauma. We talk a lot about how horses help girls with wild hearts, but how is healing a horse like healing a woman?
"Sometimes it was very sexy and sometimes I was attracted to the person and sometimes I had great sex. And sometimes I was just going through the motions and it was neither good nor bad. And sometimes it was really unpleasant and I just got through it."
TRIGGER WARNING: The following story includes a description of a sexual assault.
The decision to continually portray mental illness in pop culture for cheap, scary thrills and to avoid giving motivation for villains beyond "the crazy" has consequences. Those consequences are primarily felt by us, our loved ones, and our communities. When people tell me I'm "reading too much" into the number of times I've seen a mental health condition as the only motive for being a murderer on the latest Crime Drama, I want to ask them if they've ever considered why I don't tell them what my diagnosis is. The only time I see "me" on TV is as a murderer, and that has directly influenced my decisions about disclosing, about seeking mental health services, and about talking to my family and friends about my diagnosis. And in that, I am by no means alone.