Arguement Seed – Translatinas, State Violence, Security, and the PIC

In 2012, Bienestar L.A conducted research for a report on the Interactions of Latina Transgender Women and Law Enforcement, finding over 21% having experience being assaulted by law enforcement, over 67% reporting negative or negligent conduct when reporting assault, even so, only 44% actually informed authorities when crimes were committed against them. (Bazargan & Galvan, 2012).   Furthermore, as Tran scholars and advocates have pointed out, trans women of color make up 11% of reported hate crimes but over 44% of LGBT related homicides, how are transwomen and transwomen of color particularly vulnerable to state security and the limitations of police enforcement in ensuring safe communities and transjustice (NCAVP, 2011)?

Women such as Victoria Arellano and CeCe McDonald exist at the nexus of laws permitting the criminalization of gendered, racialized, and sexed and sexualized bodies in a particular way through the state and the prison industrial complex.


Furthermore, the extent of this state and (trans)gendered violence is told through narrratives of transwomen of color survivors, prisoners, immigrants, and activists. Victoria Arellano, a Mexican immigrant who in 2007 died from complications from HIV due to ICE neglect during her detention, and CeCe McDonald, who was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to over 2 years in prison for killing her attackers, become representative of the dehumanization and criminalization of transwomen of color bodies and lives as the state and prison industrial complex further categorize and problematize gender non-conformity, transnational experiences, and poverty.

Some questioned I’ll explore will be:

What are the intersections of state violence and the prison industrial complex in criminalizing and further marginalizing transwomen of color due to gender non-conformity, citizenship, sexuality, and race/ethnicity?

What makes trans women of color in the U.S vulnerable to state security and policing, with encroaching standards for immigration and increasing stringency on hate crime legislation? What are the negative or unforeseen impacts of both?

What can transwomen of color learn from the narratives of trans survivors and advocates who hope to complicate dominant narratives of seeking justice for victims, attribute discrimination to sexist or ignorance within communities of color, or further invisiblize the state and interpersonal violence transwomen of color experience?

Secondary Source:

LEARNING FROM THE DEATH OF GWEN ARAUJO?—Transphobic Racial Subordination and Queer Latina Survival in the Twenty-First Century .

Linda Heidenreich. Chicana/Latina Studies , Vol. 6, No. 1 (Fall 2006), pp. 50-86


2 thoughts on “Arguement Seed – Translatinas, State Violence, Security, and the PIC

  1. I’m interested in the similarities of our topics. I’m exploring the femicides in the Cuidad Juarez and how the disappeared and murder bodies are deemed disposable by sexualized and gendered discourses within Mexico and the United States. You mentioned how we can see the dehumanization and criminalization of transwomen of color bodies through the experiences of Victoria Arrellano and Cece Mcdonald. This interests me because i will exploring how the women of juarez are dehumanized. It could be interesting to see what other parallels can be drawn from both of our papers/research .

  2. Hi Migz, I’m very much looking forward to this. What a great topic! It looks as though you’ve begun narrowing your focus two these two women. By choosing case studies you can begin to hint at the broader connections but still be specific in a 7-page paper. It is perfectly okay to begin your research with these questions– just be sure to narrow down the answer in your paper. In other words, you definitley won’t be able to definitely answer any of these in 7 pages (or a book), but you can answer specific contexts, or examples. Does this make sense?

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