Exposing Kent’s ‘Transphobia’: 15 anti-trans comments left on UNIfied articles

Responding to UNIfied’s coverage of LGBT+ related issues, Kent residents have plastered online comment sections with anti-trans hate speech.

Unified have recently published several pro-LGBT articles which have circulate online. While we can celebrate Unified’s growing audience in Kent – we cannot celebrate the rising number of anti-trans comments left on our articles.

To honour Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20), we have compiled a list of ‘transphobic’ comments left by Kent Facebook users in response to our articles addressing LGBT+ issues..

First, what is transphobia?

By definition, transphobia is a ‘dislike or prejudice against anyone transgender’. It can be expressed through emotional disgust, fear, violence, anger or discomfort felt which is then expressed towards people who do not conform to society’s gender expectation.

If a person shows hostility towards another person because they are transgender (including those who are gender neutral/non-binary) – then it is considered as transphobic behaviour.

Is it a criminal offence?

Yes. Hate speech against trans-people comes under hate crime – hate crime is a serious criminal offence.

According to Kent Police: Hate crime is a crime committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.

Hate crime can be identified if a person threatens, bullies, calls a person degrading names or encourage others to commit hate crime against that person.

Online abuse is a type of transphobic hate incident. Any person who commits any form of hate crime can face a fine or prison, or both.

Article: ‘Archbishop of Canterbury: Transsexuality is NOT a sin’

A few months ago, we published an article about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘refreshing views’ on the LGBT+ community, stating that being transgender is NOT a sin in his eyes. One Facebook user took the chance to degrade the word ‘transgender’.

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Article: ‘Canterbury students’ union launches gender badges’ – KentOnline

We recently covered the story of Christ Church students’ union revealing new gender badges. The badges are to determine which pronoun to use when addressing the wearer. The story was picked up by local news outlet, KentOnline – it was posted on their Facebook page which accumulated numerous ‘transphobic’ comments.

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Article: ‘Canterbury students’ union launches gender badges’ – Unified & Canterbury Residents Group

The same story as the one above, it appeared on the infamous ‘Canterbury Residents Group’ where the post quickly turned into a hub for anti-trans comments – with the admin stepping in to delete any responses that is believed to be ‘hate speech’ against the LGBT+ community.

Bare in mind that most of the anti-trans comments have been removed – here’s what remained…

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Other Canterbury residents took this chance to speak up on behalf of the LGBT+ community:

You are entitled to express your opinions, but you are not entitled to discriminate against another person under the pretence that you are exercising your right to ‘freedom of speech’.
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Claisse Opulencia

Editor-in-Chief of Unified. Claisse is a third year multimedia journalism student at CCCU. Amnesty Media Award Finalist 2018, IRN Awards Runner-up 2018 and nominated for two SPA Awards 2018.

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