Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Why Do People Care More About Animals Than Transgender People?

It has been revealed this week the members of parliament in the UK have voted to reject inclusion of animal sentience into the European Union Withdrawal Bill. This vote essentially means that the UK does not recognise that animals have emotions or feel pain.

This decision has rightly been condemned by media outlets, celebrities, and the general public as people call out the decision as being cruel, ignorant, and downright false. Whilst I completely agree with those sentiments, and feel that it is absolutely abhorrent that the British government would make such a ruling, one of the things that has surprised me most is the level of outrage that this has received.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to social media to condemn this, newspapers have reported on it, television and radio have discussed this, and in near all of these cases people have condemned animals losing this fundamental protection. What truly upsets me, however, is how more people are outraged by this than the hate that befalls the transgender community.

In the week leading up to the animal sentience vote, the same week as the Trans Day of Remembrance which recognised the members of the transgender community that have died or been killed in 2017, British media published an anti-trans article every single day, with such publications as The Daily Mail and The Sun stirring up hate towards the trans community.

Whilst this was an increase on the normal amount of anti-trans sentiment, this was only the latest salvo in the war against the trans community. This year we have seen ourselves attacked in the media, mocked on television, attempts made to ban us from the US military, been portrayed as sexual predators.

The push back against giving transgender people equal rights with the cisgender community, to be recognised as regular human beings hasn't been met with the same level of outrage or condemnation that the animal sentience vote has received.

You don't need to look far on social media to see regular, everyday people clamouring for animals to be recognised as sentient, and condemn those who don't feel the same, calling people inhuman or in some cases monsters for supporting the vote. In contrast, when people turn around to those with anti-trans sentiments and call them out on the issue are often told that these people are entitled to their opinion.

Transphobe and TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) are terms that we are told by those with anti-trans sentiments are rude or abusive. We are told that our desire for equality is forcing our opinions on others.

Why are people who feel that animals shouldn't be recognised as sentient seen as horrible people, yet those who deny trans people their identities and their rights simply voicing an opinion?

The answer appears to be, the public see transgender people as less than animals.

I have been discriminated against in my job, I've been sworn at in the street, laughed at, mocked, called a freak, had people tell me I'm delusional, that I'm a man, I've been spat on, threatened with physical attacks, rape, and murder. I've not seen a single person come to my defence in these situations, I've been told to shrug it off or ignore it. If people had abused animals in such a way in public they would instantly have been called out on it.

I know that this article seems to be nothing but a rant and a moan, that there's nothing that will change from this, but the constant media assault, the constant fight to be seen as a human being is just so tiring and so demoralising.

Being trans isn't easy, trans people are under constant attack, we're being told that our identities aren't valid, that we're delusional or mentally ill, we're made out to be criminals, rapists and child molesters in order to push political agendas; and any time we speak out against this we're demonised for wanting to be seen as human.

Animal rights are important, they matter, but if you feel that trans people are worth less than animals, perhaps you should think a bit more about your stance on the matter.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks Amy! This needed saying. I hope you don’t mind that I shared.