During the early months of the pandemic I found that some people in groups I’m in were anti-vaxxers. I felt concerned for my safety around them. How could I trust their ideas on something when they don’t trust science? The group had trouble with covid related discussions. Conspiracy theories popped up. Magic healing techniques were discussed. It all seemed so strange that a group that needed science to survive rejected science during a pandemic, to a degree. For mental health reasons the power of community and coming together for a common goal was prioritised. Covid and political chat was tabled. The group stayed together by putting aside their differences.
The fears that drove those discussions possibly remain. While differences were put aside issues were not addressed. Is the idea that by working together as a community we realise that people with strongly differing views are not an enemy? Do our differences naturally fade away as we see what we’ve built?
Is the solution to transphobic, homophobic, racist, xenophobic people to get them together with those they fear and build a seasonal garden? Would that connection help to alleviate fears or would they believe that the people they worked with are the “good ones” that were the exception that proved the rule?
I have people in my life that are transphobic. Do I “cancel” them? When science and evidence isn’t enough to help them see that their fears are unjustified what can I do?
“For reports of transphobic hate crimes, there were 1,292 reports recorded in 2016-17 and 4,399 in 2021-22.” – Transphobic hate crimes have tripled in the past year according to a study by Vice
That’s truly awful. It’s awful because transphobic people will happily tell you stories about all these “men in skirts” in female only spaces doing sex crimes. Yet back in 2015 these things weren’t happening. In 2016 Women’s Rights groups signed a letter confirming that these things are not happening. What is happening is hate and fear is spreading. Hate crime is rising. It’s being documented and there is evidence showing it’s getting worse.
“Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault, …” – UCLA School of Law
It’s distressing to see that these articles are a few years old and yet the fear is spreading and the crime rates are going up. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before I’m attacked. I’ve had upsetting moments with blokes in the past 6 months. What’s to come?