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Accusations of Same-Sex Hanky-Panky Provoke Bigoted Response, Then Apology, From Florida's Anti-Gay Lt. Gov.

"[B]lack women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that," said Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. But her recent apology can't obscure a worldview shaped by stereotypes.

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These disparities and marginalizations are especially heightened for black women who are, or are perceived to be, queer, transgender or gender non-comforming. Black women who fall outside gender norms face routine police harassment, healthcare disparities, employment discrimination, and lack of access to the basic facilities and spaces where gender is stringently policed, like bathrooms.

At its worst, racial gender policing literally kills women of color who are perceived as not-quite-women or "really" men. Transgender women of color are at staggeringly high risk of serious or fatal anti-LGBT violence; all of the four American trans women who were murdered in April were black.

It's not difficult to connect the dots when the same women who are excluded from "respectable" black woman status are subjected to systematic, disproportionate discrimination and violence. Perhaps the greatest tragedy in Jennifer Carroll's comment is that she clings to a veneer of respectability that unwittingly affirms the rights of others to scrutinize, undermine, ridicule, and ultimately do violence against both her gender and her race.

T.F. Charlton is the social media manager for Barnacle Studios and a Boston-based freelance writer. Her work has been featured in Racialicious, Global Comment and Dominion of New York. Follow her on twitter at @graceishuman.