In the last entry, I briefly mentioned how the website for the Transgender Day of Rememberance has some black-hat SEO links in its source. I haven't yet heard back from them in reply to the email I sent, but in the meantime I've done a bit of investigating.
Firstly - I've discovered no evidence so far that anything dangerous was added. I didn't think there would be, but you never know. (Of course, "no evidence so far" doesn't preclude the possibility that it exists, but I'm a bit more reassured by this.)
Secondly, I've discovered, by means of the Internet Archive, that the offending links were added to the site between April 18th 2010 and and May 17th 2010, so they've been there quite a while.
The site which was being linked is defunct, though I don't know how long this has been the case. (Presumably, when the links were added in mid-2010, they were active.) The text used to advertise the links refer to buying various Adobe products at cheap prices; I won't repeat the exact text here so as to avoid Google thinking that my journal is spam.
I mentioned in the last post that it was probable that the site was hijacked without the owner realising. I still believe this is the case - more so, actually, because the site is now defunct. While it obviously would be better for the links to have been removed in any case, the fact that they weren't implies that the owner wasn't aware that these links had been added in the first place.
I'm very glad about that, because I really didn't want to have to believe that the site owner was using black-hat SEO techniques on a site which was about remembering those who aren't with us - it would have been abusing the cause.
As it is, I still feel a little nervous about linking the site considering the owner apparently hasn't noticed the additions yet, but as I've so far found no evidence of danger, I'm going to do so anyway, because it's well worth looking at the site and as far as I can see, it's just invisible SEO links that were added.
So, take a look at the Transgender Day of Rememberance site and see for yourself about the number of people who have died because they were trans. It's sad to see. :(
I'm feeling a lot better now than I was yesterday. Thanks to all for the well-wishes; they were appreciated. :)
And on a different subject... today is again the Transgender Day of Rememberance, when those participating remember the trans people of all genders who are no longer with us due to prejudice or hatred.
It's easy to get complacent and think that the world is getting more used to the idea that we exist. According to sources I've heard, however, there were 221 recorded deaths of trans people this year. (I'm not sure where that figure is coming from because the spreadsheet available on the site doesn't seem to back that up, but perhaps that only lists a subset, such as names that the affected friends/families are okay with publicising.)
(BTW, a quick note - normally I'd link to the site itself, but I've discovered that it may have been hijacked without the site owner's permission - the HTML source contains several black-hat SEO links for another site. Based on this, I'm not going to link to it this year, just to keep everybody safe. I don't think there's anything dangerous there, but better safe than sorry. I've emailed the owner to let them know.)
Please remember to let people know that we trans people do exist, and that we're not freaks. Hopefully, some day, being stealth won't be a requirement for anybody - just a personal choice.
Today was the Transgender Day of Rememberance. I forgot about this fact until just now, when here in the UK there's only about 80 minutes of it left, which I'm not proud of. But I wanted to post about it because I know there's still a lot of time left in some parts of the world. And really, even if it's not the 20th where you are, the main aim of TDOR is to promote awareness of the issue, not to get everybody to do something on one specific day.
I, as many of you already know, am transgendered myself; I'm a trans woman. A lot - and I mean a lot - of transgendered people have had their lives cut short the past year. I say a lot even though there are 'only' 27 listed (page lists causes of death and links to articles) because to me, it is a lot, and there are almost certainly a whole lot of others not listed.
None of these deaths were necessary, and they speak to a big problem in this world. We need to be able to accept people; that's all it takes. The fact that we can't even do that makes me really sad. :(
Like my friend rho (who has written her own piece on this year's TDoR), I'm public about my transgendered status. That's not to say that everybody I interact with will know, but that if it comes up or is relevant, I'll tell them about it. That's a personal choice I've made, because in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening, people need to know that we exist, and that we're not freaks; we're just normal people, like everybody else.
But I completely support those who don't want to do that, because some people don't want to be known as 'that girl who thinks she's a guy' or 'the weirdo in the skirt'. And I can't say I blame them - that sort of crap hurts. And, of course, this is speaking from a position of privilege; I have it really easy compared to a lot of others.
Yet even in the privileged world I live in, the threat to trans people is a lot greater than to cis people (cis- being the opposite to trans-). Quite frankly, it sucks in a lot of ways to be trans. No, we are most emphatically not "getting the best of both worlds", and if you think we are, let me know so I can point you to some resources and explain why that isn't the case.
But it doesn't have to be this way. You can help, by spreading the word. Let people know we exist, and explain to them why it's not okay to think of us as freaks. Don't let the deaths of transgendered people in the last year be in vain.
Our time will come.