Bigotry and Hate Crime

(Content Warning – Talking about Transphobia, Bigotry, Hate Crime, Violence, Murder)

When Sophie Lancaster was murdered I felt sick. I felt like she was punished somehow for society deeming it unacceptable to beat up the QUILTBAG and people who weren’t white or practiced different religions. As if hatred and anger cares about respectability. It felt like there was an anger that wanted to be let out so it was focused on someone who looked different.

The thing is we’re all shaped by whatever the media narrative is, more or less, consciously or unconsciously. I say ‘the media’ I mean the narratives shaping around us in who we’re with and what we talk about.

For as long as I can remember trans people were just there. Running the gamut from the straight/bi drag queens who were performers, through to cross/dressers in both private and public all the way to people who actually changed their sex. It was just a thing, when I got involved in LGBT stuff I attended some lectures and workshops but it was this obscure end of the gay world not even part of that subcultural mainstream.

Gender identity as a mutable thing has sometimes made more sense to me than others. Identity generally annoys me because it’s based in this nebulous cloud of your own understanding and how you communicate that to other people or if they accept that communication.

I’ve seen people saying that the trans girl who got killed wasn’t victim of a hate crime because she ‘passed’. I guess this made me think of Sophie Lancaster, because did the guys who beat her up know her or were they just focused on what she looked like? Either way they killed her because they didn’t like goths. So are they going to claim that Brianna Ghey wasn’t killed because she was trans based on random people’s perceptions of her looks? Warrington really isn’t that big. Those kids knew her. The whole concept of passing makes me angry in any case because as soon as people think they’re policing the looks of a gender then it becomes quite clear that very few people actually fit into the perceived boxes.

People are stressed and angry and being shaken up and up and up until it erupts and then it’s whoever is the perceived outgroup at that moment. I do not like how much it’s trans people at the moment at all and I really don’t like the fact that it’s become political. There shouldn’t be legislation about this now when we’ve been coming so far.

But there is and this is where we are because whilst people are talking about trans women as if they’re dangerous (and it’s usually transwomen that people are talking about) it becomes easier for a trans teenager to be killed by her peers.

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