The Consequences of Your Hateful Rhetoric

Equal rights and equal respect are the least to ask for, yet lately, it seems practically humorous to suggest such a thing.

Art by Evelyn Redfern

As politics become increasingly binary, talking points and imperative rhetoric proves to be more efficient than any debate or discussion in regard to uniting crowds. Yet the consequences of this immense linguistic limitation hurts everyone but the victor, coming down the hardest onto disadvantaged and oppressed groups. This very issue is exemplified by the obtuse fear mongering currently utilised by right leaning idealogues against transgender people, becoming the hot new hate to bash your fist and face into. Matt Walsh’s incessant obsession with insulting transgender women and Jordan Peterson’s crusade on the intellectual poisoning of the trans community come to mind. Yet, to what extent are these individuals held accountable for their proud transphobic rhetoric when actual tragedies against trans people take place?

Brianna Ghey is the most recent trans victim of this hate that many recall, and I don’t mean virtual hate on Social Media, but physically fatal, literal, and undeniable hate. Carried out by her own peers, a sixteen year old English transgender girl was stabbed and murdered to death on the 11th of February. Currently, whether this act was a hate crime is being taken into account by the authorities due to the extreme bullying she had faced in her school life due to her identity. So one must ask, how much of this can be placed on the middle schoolers who held the knife versus the rampant bigotry toward transgender people that the U.K. holds collectively?

The denial of cultural responsibility is clear by the adult trial of these teenagers in this hate crime. Yet U.K. publications have criticised the U.K.’s recent rejection of Scotland’s Gender Bill and Brianna’s facing of transphobia following her death as prime examples of the systematic and social outcasting of trans people in their modern society. Lowly and underhanded coverage of Brianna’s trans identity in reports surrounding her death paired with publications such as The New York Times releasing further reports defending J.K. Rowling and her pursuit against, “the trans agenda”, has left a foul and somewhat questionable taste in the mouths of many.

What is evident here is not just the things that I read, but also observe and personally experience. What I can say is true is that my own identity as a trans person is tainted to strangers by those who will never personally know me, speak to me, or have empathy for me. When myself and many others are dehumanised from a real person to an agenda, whatever middle ground left from the mainstream to the atypical experience is lost. How many more innocent people will be affected by this hate, how many experiences have since gone unrecorded? How many more will be ostracised and punished for earnestness? During Mardi Gras, trans rights are proudly displayed and fought for on paperboard but it seems as though there is so much further to go in the pursuit of equality.

Equal rights and equal respect are the least to ask for, yet lately, it seems practically humorous to suggest such a thing. When an issue of respect and human rights is utilised as a political talking point and an ideological weapon, some meaning is lost in the minds of the general public, including the minds of both  developing teenagers and fully-fledged adults. Danger and hate lie beneath a bare fist or a sharp blade wielded by a child yet also behind the cruel words and malicious intentions of people encouraging such hate against Trans lives. 
When will you take responsibility for your hate?

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