Those who think that transgender people have, at least in Western Europe, are safe from transphobic hate-crime, need to rethink their view of the world. Even those places which one would consider most safe are not necessarily as safe as we may have thought. From the ignorant feminist minority insisting that we be "mandated out of existence" to religious zealots and fascists, the presence and expression of these objectionable idologies clearly results in increased hate crime...
The third Transgender Europe (TGEU) Conference in
This turned out possibly to be a false assumption to make.
At least one of the two transphobic (and possibly also racist) attacks on two Turkish delegates outside a restaurant in Bergsgatan was premeditated. After shouting insults at these two transwomen as they went in, the group of 6-7 male attackers were waiting for them when they came out. They were violently assaulted and pelted with eggs. During the attack the women called out to a male passer-by to call the police, he refused to do so. Eventually two young women called the police, who arrived 30 minutes later. The women were treated in hospital and released. However this was far from the end of their ordeal.
When questioned by the police about the incident they were subjected to a host of degrading and embarrassing questions, including questions about what they were wearing and questions in which they were deliberately misgendered. They were also, rather threateningly, asked questions about their visa status. Questions which would not have been asked to a white victim.
This was relevant to what happened to these two women next. The following day, a Friday, they were enjoying themselves in The Crown nightclub in Amiralsgatan, the entry fee to which they had paid. At one point a male clubber slapped one of the women in the face. Rather than retaliate, these women complained to the staff, expecting, as would you or I, that the assailant would at very least be cautioned or ejected. Instead, astonishingly, the two women were thrown out!
Of course, following their previous ordeal with the police they did not want to report this, and so left feeling extremely unhappy. Of course TGEU has protested very strongly and the equality ombudsman, who was at the conference became involved, and another national equality and diversity worker came straight to
The vast majority of us were treated with that respect by everyone we encountered in
So what has changed? The location? Obviously the City of
No, the main other reason for the difference between our two experiences was time. The conference in
In my opinion the atmosphere in
Their perception that the election of fascist MPs renders socially acceptable the emptiness and ignorant egotism of the arrogant, confused and childish chaos which represents the personalities of these sad people. This is what happens when far-right parties get votes.
The reaction from the queer community in
This is a reality check for people who think that everything is hunky-dory and that trans people no longer suffer from discrimination, as has been shown again recently; transgender people are still being murdered at an alarming rate. It would appear that one of the factors affecting whether or not transphobia raises its ugly head is likely to be the presence of political or religious or other organisations which serve to legitimize the kind of across-the-board bigoted attitudes against anyone who is different. It is the presence of Nazis in the shape of the SD which has made at least some people feel that it is now socially acceptable to indulge in bigoted behaviour and hate-crime. As such countering these peddlers of hate, wherever and however they manifest themselves, is an essential precondition for improving conditions of transgender people.