Stochastic terrorism of ts, trans and non-binary communities 2020


Stochastic terrorism is defined as "the public demonisation of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted". Psychological studies have revealed that the more that a meme is circulated, even if it is entirely false and unjustifiable, the more that it will be subconsciously accepted as truth - even if it doesn't hold to even the slightest scrutiny. TS, trans and non-binary people find themselves in a very difficult position in the UK, where politicians and the UK media proliferate such memes, and are complicit in the demonization of trans, ts and non-binary people. When faced with deconstructing these memes, we not only have to make an academic argument, but also have to deconstruct the bias, and the subconscious messages fed to cisgender people through mass media. The targets for this, on the whole, tend to be ts, trans and non-binary women, although in order to support the logicality of expelling one group of people, subsequently, trans men's healthcare and integration into society is also attacked. So we hear stories about de-transitioning "trans men", and the villification of trans women: often painted as criminals, violent, predators and miscreants despite a lack of evidence and credulity.


Take, for example, the government's response to the gender recognition act - a piece of legislation affecting a tiny minority of people. A piece of legislation that has very little effect on cis people, or cis women, since trans people are already protected by the Equality Act. Liz Truss was heard echoing memes such as "protecting single sex spaces", illuding to the banning of ts, trans and non-binary people from accessing spaces which feel safe to them. Indeed, echoing such memes struck terror into the hearts of many ts and trans women enough that many put serious consideration into leaving the UK. The legislation is there to allow trans people to marry as the gender they identify, and more often than not, phenotypically present as. It is there so that ts, trans and some non-binary people can avoid being misgendered and subject to persecution, from, for example, the HMRC. Many ts people live in stealth, and to be outed by official documentation may present a significant risk to their safety and wellbeing. Every time ts people apply for a job, they might need several documents presented to their employer which might cause problems for them, including HMRC documentation, and DBS checks.


The GRA is meant to protect vulnerable people from such abuses. Abuse, which, largely goes on unseen and unreported. A TS woman's status is often known to all senior management in her place of employment - something she will be unaware of, and something where she may experience prejudice without exactly understanding why. So, although section 20 allows for prosecution of publicizing a ts person's status, there are currently no such cases, and no historical prosecutions. Claims through the legal process take a lot of resources, both in time, but also require a large amount of money, and risk, to proceed. It isn't often that the majority of trans, ts or non-binary people have access to such means.


And so, because stochastic terrorism is something now socioculturally written into UK government policy and supported by the UK media. The GRA was left largely untouched - excluding a large proportion of ts people as is it is still too invasive and distressing, and completely excluding trans and non-binary people based on baseless memes and subconscious bias.

And so, we, as ts trans and non-binary people, continue to live in fear. And the reason for our fear is the imagination of cis society who choose to oppress us based on their fears - fears which are instilled by an oppressive media and sanctioned by our government. They are afraid of their own shadows, not the reality of ts women, or of trans men, who are in reality, largely the most gentle and kind people I know. I would argue that terrorism may not always result in physical violence but always results in psychological distress to their targets. It results in attitudes and behaviours to us which is hostile. It results in the normalisation of questioning the validity of ts trans and non-binary people, normalising discussion about whether we can partake in society like cis people. All of this is oppressive, we are not free like our cis counterparts, we are subject to their scrutiny and their fears, where our fears and terror is rarely heard, and often silenced.

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