Living Hell

You would think that discussing a group of people who have literally hacked the code of their own bodies to present in their corrected gender would be pretty fantastic, but transgender people are remarkably mundane. For the most part, we simply want to be left alone to live our lives as we ought to.

For some, however, the idea of people choosing to transition is somehow a great fear, one that they need to blow up to titanic proportions. Left without a real threat, we are stitched into a patchwork of fears, tailor made for all situations.

It is not hard to find some of the stories out there about transgender people right now. They’re not difficult to find between the lines of anti-transgender laws, on right wing media, and on the lips of certain famous fantasy authors and has-been comedians. 

Transgender people are supposedly going through the challenges of transition in a hostile society so that we can claim fame and fortune in women’s sports, perpetuating third patriarchal tropes of male dominance. 

Or we’re going through all this to gain a foothold into women’s restrooms to assault women and girls. Never mind that sexual predators could likely have better success in a janitor’s jumpsuit, nor the fit that such crimes remain, well, crimes. 

Or, of course, we’re all part of a greater conspiracy, forcing people to “mutilate their bodies” as part of larger “great replacement” conspiracies. Our powers are seemingly limitless in the minds of some. 

Just weeks ago, an 18-year-old went to the only market in a largely Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, and shot 13 people. 10 of those shot were killed. Prior to the shooting sprees, the murderer published a rambling manifesto online two days prior. 

The missive, which rambles from white supremacism to his preference in underwear, includes pages outlining his views on transgender people, and claiming that the rise in people identifying as transgender is a Jewish-led “great replacement” plot. 

10 days after the shooting in Buffalo, another 18-year-old entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and 2 teachers while police stood around outside, apparently too afraid to face this teenager’s AR-15 that they let him continue to murder for up to an hour.

In the hours following the killings, a story was fabricated that the shooter, Salvador Rolando Ramos, was a trans woman. Photos of an unrelated trans woman, Sam, were shared on the 4Chan image board website, then later picked up by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as well as right-wing politicians Candace Owens and Representative Paul Gosar. Despite being wholly debunked — not the least of which by Sam herself — the notion that this killer was transgender continue to flow. 

As an aside, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this: An attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood in 2015 by gunman Robert Lewis Dear Jr. led to another round on the rumor mill, claiming Dear was transgender due to a clerical error on Dear’s voting paperwork, listing him as a woman. In that case, it was Senator Ted Cruz who championed false reports from the Gateway Pundit blog.

Meanwhile, transgender people are just trying to live their lives — a task made all the harder given false accusations that a trans person was behind the Uvalde shooting. These falsehoods can make our lives a little living hell. 

A 17-year-old transgender girl identified by the LA Blade by the name Tracy said that she was attacked by four men in El Paso Texas in the wake of the shooting. The attackers claimed that she was, “perverting kids instead of killing them.” 

They also claimed that it was, “one of your sisters who killed those kids.”

El Paso police refused to take a report from Tracy, even when pressed by the Rainbow Youth Project in the area. Apparently, they are as useful as the officers in Uvalde. 

Tracy was just living her life. Her parents kicked her out of her home for being transgender. She found a place as a halfway house. She was heading back there after spending some time at the library, working on her high school homework. It was outside the library that those men attacked her. 

Sam’s photos — the ones that were taken to claim she was the Uvalde shooter — were ones she took to chronicle her own transition. Something she could be proud of. She has since had to post photos to show that she isn’t the shooter, isn’t dead, and doesn’t even live in Texas.