On the first all-female jury, I came to a startling realization: That’s how I’m always known

As the first all-female jury in the history of the U.S. is sworn in to hear the Kyle Rittenhouse sexual assault trial, the question on the minds of many is this: What is BIPOC?

How the Gender Identity Played Out in This Previous Rittenhouse Trial

The government’s argument was not that Rittenhouse and Carter misled the two women on their date. It was not that they lied to the women about telling them what happened. Rather, it was that the pair would not inform the authorities about the assault and drag out the sexual assault investigation for fear that an open investigation could stigmatize them as lesbians and cause legal problems for their parents.

“Everyone heard that the people who had this conversation about our families. They did not follow through, and now people are in a gutter,” Carter told the courtroom.

As we watched the verdict, one thought came to mind: I remember from the trial that one of the members of the jury was female and was one of the only members of the jury to question whether it was in the best interest of the court to allow this case to proceed. How many of the 12 jurors who supported Rittenhouse’s defense and acquitted him would now say, “I should have listened to the female juror,” that’s for sure.

Whether because of gender identity or a desire to vindicate Rittenhouse’s reputation or get back at him, Carter and the other woman prosecuting the case against Rittenhouse, Barbara Ledeen, have been labeled BIPOC — using a gender pronoun designated for transgender people.

When I tweeted my dismay this morning, the first two or three responses I got were supportive of my and my allies’ response. Some said they thought the acquittal was a miscarriage of justice and others offered to “condemn whoever made that statement.” However, since then, I have received a constant stream of messages on Twitter urging me not to confirm the tweet — not on the grounds that I am transgender, not because I hate people who don’t agree with transgender people, but because of a pronoun I incorrectly typed in my Twitter bio.

In an article I wrote for The Huffington Post recently, I made no such mistake in my bio (while documenting the many hijinks of my Twitter bio, I mentioned that I is a transgender man, twice), and I also saw a few responses to the article with sympathetic looks, but none were supportive.

I’m worried about what these attacks on transgender people will do to the people who send them and how they will reinforce not just the prejudices they seem to feel, but the fact that there are no powerful opponents of transphobia in our criminal justice system and that they have no serious counter voices.

Whatever labels people choose to put on one another, we need to have people who are in opposition to one another — like gender people, color people, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. — which will make us all stronger and more free.

Reporting by Shaun King

Related Video:

Leave a Comment