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Four years ago I climbed into a stranger’s car, like I had so many times before. I began to direct him toward a crowded movie theater parking lot which provided the privacy and safety necessary to conduct my business. When I noticed that he was deliberately missing turns, I attempted to open the car door while at a red light. It wouldn’t open from the inside. I turned to look at him and was met with a swift blow to the mouth. I looked up to see the barrel of a pistol. I should’ve been afraid, but I wasn’t. This was not the first time a gun had been in my face. In fact, it was the fourth. I’d never been hit and they usually wanted money, sex, or both. However, I was always able to talk myself out of the situation or escape somehow. What I lacked in strength I certainly made up for in cunning. This time was different.“I already had to kill my best friend’s mother tonight over drug money… don’t make me have to kill you too.” He said this in a monotone and shifted his eyes back and forth like a snake. Still not grasping the full extent of the danger I was in I joked that he was good looking guy and could easily get any girl he desired without all this drama. He did not laugh. He only drove. Four hours later, having seduced him, apprehended the gun. and having jumped from a moving vehicle, I was battered and bruised, barefoot and carrying a gun that I later discovered was fully loaded. I was alive and filled with gratitude. Little did I know my victimization would continue.After this ordeal, I woke up in the hospital bed with my arm handcuffed to the bed. Apparently, I’d failed to appear in traffic court for a minor offense. I hardly thought the cuffs were necessary. The SVU detective was standing over me. “Rise and shine,” he said in a condescending tone. Right off the bat, he accused me of prostitution. He said that my injuries must have been the aftermath of a “transaction gone wrong.” They weren’t. In fact things went south before we got to negotiate a price. He mentioned that he was reluctant to pursue the incident considering that, I “was transgender and in a known area of prostitution.” He told me that nobody would believe me and I understood that to mean that they would think I deserved this.

A, Passion reflects on her experiences with violence in “One Black Trans Sex Workers’ December 17th“ on Tits and Sass today (via marginalutilite)