People like me are a popular scapegoat, which has amongst other things resulted in our issues becoming a hot potato in UK politics (Picture: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Has something bad just happened? Well, it’s probably because of trans people.

It seems that when anything goes wrong – from shootings in America, to the war in Ukraine and even pollution in the sea, transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people like me are to blame. 

After the recent shooting in America – where 19 children and two teachers were brutally murdered – US congressman Paul Gosar was quick to blame trans people and immigrants, as he tweeted that the shooter was a ‘transsexual leftist illegal alien’.

My first reaction to this was to roll my eyes, as I sadly wasn’t even surprised. It really illustrates how certain people see trans people as enemies, and underlines yet again how much work there is to be done to eradicate prejudice and bigotry. 

To anyone in their right mind, it’s quite obvious that none of this is true, and it illustrates quite clearly how we are constantly used as scapegoats for various things. It seems our lives are easy targets to distract from politics and structural inequalities

This not only does a disservice to trans people, but also the victims of crimes, war and of global warming. 

The bogus shooting conspiracy theory originated from extreme right-wingers on 4chan, who used a random trans woman’s photo to create and push out this dangerous rhetoric that a trans person was to blame, which was then grabbed (and tweeted) by the likes of congressman Paul Gosar. 

Even though Gosar has since deleted the tweet, the damage has already been done. The story had already been shared, and many people seemingly bought into it.

It’s fake news stories like these that continue to fuel the fire of transphobic hate and transphobic hate crimes. A congressman should quite frankly be removed from office for spreading such deeply damaging falsehoods.

It should be obvious that the problem here is lack of gun control in America, which continues to lead to countless deaths across the country.

Another example of trans people being scapegoated is when the invasion into Ukraine began. Right-wing US media commentators were quick to blame ‘wokeness’ and ‘pride flags’ as one of the many reasons for the invasion.

Putin himself has even said that teachings about gender fluidity are on the ‘verge of a crime against humanity’, and ranted about cancel culture, the advancements of LGBT+ rights and other ‘sociocultural disturbances’ in the West – believing all this and then mounting a horrendous invasion into a neighbouring democracy where thousands of civilians and soldiers have lost their lives. 

It’s obvious who’s to blame for this invasion, and it’s not LGBT+ people or training of inclusivity. 

Perhaps one of the most bizarre things I have seen trans people blamed for is polluting the sea.

According to a gender critical environmentalist and eco-activist, trans people are peeing synthetic hormones into the sea that they use for their hormonal replacement therapy (HRT), which is ‘forcibly transing fish’ and damaging crocodiles and alligators.

‘It means we’re destroying the world partially because of the trans ideology,’ she argued, according to PinkNews.

The constant debate over our community is unwarranted and obsessive, and it’s time trans people stopped being used as a distraction to divert from real issues

It goes without saying that this theory is a shockingly misguided reach. Climate change is a serious issue that has already caused devastating damage to our planet, the majority of which is caused by burning fossil fuels, deforestation and farming livestock. In terms of the ocean, plastic pollution plays a part, as well as greenhouse gases trapping more energy from the sun, which absorbs more heat.

We also see these types of mental gymnastics in most debates about trans people – whether it be gendered spaces, male violence or sport.

One of the cornerstones of many anti-trans arguments is that trans inclusion will allegedly lead to more male violence. 

According to a 2018 study, there is no evidence that letting transgender people use public facilities that align with their gender identity increases safety risks. Trans people have been using gendered spaces for decades without it proving to be a problem, so such results aren’t a surprise.

On the contrary, trans women in particular are disproportionately affected by violence, according to research – including domestic abuse and sexual violence. Hate crimes in the UK against trans people have also risen exponentially, so it’s obvious trans people are an incredibly vulnerable group in UK society.

Why are we not focusing on the real and recorded violence against trans people, instead of falsely blaming them for the violence they also suffer at disproportionate rates? 

When we look at all these debates, it becomes apparent that people like me are a popular scapegoat, which has amongst other things resulted in our issues becoming a hot potato in UK politics.

As an example, trans people are now being excluded from a ban on conversion therapy in the UK, despite their own evidence showing they’re more likely than lesbian, gay and bisexual people to be offered it.

The reason? Because we need to be ‘more careful’, as it’s ‘right for medical experts to be able to question’ whether it’s ‘a genuine case of gender identity dysphoria’, according to Sajid Javid.

It’s quite obvious that this is an excuse, as no transition-related care should be based on the idea of questioning and berating people that seek help, but rather to aid, listen, and figure out a path that is best for them.

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If there was a willingness to protect trans people from conversion therapy, this could easily be clarified in law.

It’s time people started to see the pattern, and started realising that trans people are estimated to make up less than 1% of the population – but yet we are deemed responsible for most of the world’s issues. 

The constant debate over our community is unwarranted and obsessive, and it’s time trans people stopped being used as a distraction to divert from real issues – such as the rise of far-right extremism, climate change, political corruption, cronyism and structural inequalities.

It’s time the world started seeing us as the people we are, rather than a topic to be argued over on social media.

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