Close to home: transgender tragedy

Sometimes, events and issues can hit a little closer to home than one might like. So it is with reports now filtering out of last night’s incident at Kings Cross, in which it appears that a trans individual was pushed under a train by a woman.

Close to home? Oh yeah: because I was taking the piccadilly to KX and, as I wrote yesterday, was somewhat delayed in my attempts to get home by what we all assumed at the time to have been one of those sad but thoughtless suicides that happen on the underground from time to time. Only it wasn’t.

For now, the details available are sketchy. I’m still waiting the official statement from British Transport Police, who are the force responsible for handling the incident. Until then, the best source seems to be Pink News, which reports: “the victim, said by police to be a man in his fifties, is understood to have been wearing women’s clothes.

“It is not yet clear whether the victim was a trans woman but witnesses described seeing two women sharing a joke before one was “pushed” onto the tracks in front of an incoming train at 6.30pm.”

They continue: “A 34-year-old woman from Cricklewood was arrested last night and is being held in custody on suspicion of murder.”

There is also a statement from Detective Superintendent Ashley Croft, British Transport Police’s senior investigating officer,who is reported as saying: “Early indications from witnesses are that the victim and the suspect knew each other.

“Following the incident a man on the platform detained the woman by restraining her until police arrived.

“The woman remains in custody and is being held on suspicion of murder.

“We are also in the process of viewing CCTV from the station and interviewing several witnesses who came forward last night.

“It’s really important that we build the clearest possible picture of what took place on the platform and I ask anyone who may have seen the incident to contact us.”

Not a lot to add to that beyond the obvious: if you know the individuals involved, or think you can help the police with their inquiries in any way on this, call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40. For up to date releases on what is happening, check out their media centre.

Second, it is at times like these that some of the worst press coverage goes down. Both the Sun and Mail are headlining this case as being about a transvestite, with passing references to a “man in a dress” – though since they haven’t yet identified the victim, it is hard to see how they could have established that much yet.

It is early days: the story broke publically within the last hour or so, so for now I’d allow some leeway. Still, it is worth being on the look out. For headlines and coverage that goes beyond tentative and moves into territory that is pure offence.

If you encounter anything that feels disrespectful to the individuals concerned, please don’t hesitate to drop a line – directly to the organisation concerned, or to Trans Media Watch. On the plus side, I spoke to the Mail news desk in the last hour and they are, publically at least, keen not to give offence. We shall see.

jane

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About janefae

On my way from here to there
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