Call me cynical, but: let me tell you all now how this Baltimore thing is going to shake down.
We’ve probably all seen the video, been sickened by it. We know that there is no justification for treating another human like that: and those of us who are trans, who have taken that scary walk into a public facility late at night will breathe silently: “there but for the grace of God go I”.
In the long term, this might just be “good news”: because legislators will have seen what we see, and some of those who are wavering now will get it. They will start to understand how dangerous the world is for trans people. You never know: some might even feel a smidgeon of shame.
Because, let’s repeat this over and over (and it applies to any and every other marginalised group I write about here): no matter who you are, what you have done, it is for the law to mete out punishment – not any old pair of screaming vigilante harpies.
The transphobes crawl out from their rocks
But.. . and here’s where it starts to turn sour. Early reports were all sympathy for the “poor woman”. Reports are now creeping out into the mainstream that – shock! horror! – this was a “tranny” and, well you only have to read blogs like this or more sickeningly this to see the sort of twisted logic applied.
Tranny = man = pervert = deserves a beating. Ugh! So the consensus starts to break down.
The assailants justify themselves
As for specific predictions? The perpetrators might just get off lightly. Already we are hearing the beginnings of a defence emanating from their side of the fence. It was a man. There was an altercation. “He” admits to hitting one of the perpetrators – albeit in self-defence. None of that justifies what followed. But its their word against the victim’s. We can all see how this might just give some legislators a political headache: how they’d just wish that this case would go away now.. . and how tempting it will be to find a compromise to aid it on its way.
No job for McDonald’s bigot
The McDonald’s employee is already feeling the pinch. He’s lost his job (good!), but not before getting out into the ether and spewing transphobic hate. Allegedly, he entitled his video on youtube “Two Girls Beating A Man/Lady At Mcdonald’s”.
If reports coming out now from places like the smoking gun are correct, he is alleging that the victim faked the seizure. To which the response, again, is “so what?” I think, maybe, if I was getting the crap kicked out of me I’d fake illness. But again, we can see how the transphobes will seize on that as proof of the victim’s deviousness.
Will he gain anything from this? I sincerely hope not – and if he attempts to claim any money from the film he made, someone should sue him for every penny of it and more.
Hope for the future – for chrissy
And what of the victim? What of chrissy? That’s a hard one to call. On balance, she may get some recompense from this: because top of the list of organisations hoping this will all blow over and go away is McDonalds. She’s going to see her name dragged thru the mud by the transphobes, parading any evidence of past criminality as evidence that she “deserved” this. Once more. For the umpteenth time. No she didn’t.
But I can see the corporate lawyers digging already. What dirt can we find on her? What dirt shall we leak to the press? The fact that, like many trans women, her encounters with the law may have stemmed from issues around her identity is far too complex for the public to get their head around.
Still, if she emerges from this physically intact and perhaps enough money to pay for re-assignment, it would be justice of sorts.
All the same, I am not hopeful. The transphobes are very good at justifying their hatred. They took a slight knock earlier this week – but now they’re getting ready to hit back.