This week is Hate Crime Awareness Week and so today’s blog is about the work we do supporting people who are victims of hate crime.
What is Hate Crime?
Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.’
Finding words is difficult
Normally preparing for these blogs is fun. I have some great things I want to talk about, and I like putting a bright shine on the news and the world. Today’s blog hasn’t felt like that. I have struggled to sit down and do the research. Procrastinating through tea making, checking messages and even stretches.
Why is writing about transphobic hate crime difficult?
What is it about today’s blog, about this week, about the state of the nation right now that makes it hard to write? Well in preparation for this blog I not only looked at the experiences of all those people who make up Chrysalis I went out looking for information about the world being not so great. I read this report by Galop about transphobia.
9 out of 10 people surveyed had experienced transphobic hate crime. 8% of the respondents had received over 100 instances of transphobia in the last year. Half of the respondents were afraid to leave their house. Those who were going out monitored their fluid intake so they could avoid public toilets.
The hatred hurts in so many ways. Being trans* is an aspect of human diversity, one can no more stop being trans* than one can eradicate their genealogy, change the colour of their skin or stop the aging process.
Chrysalis is a mental wellbeing charity, we support people to become their authentic selves and in doing so they tell us some of the challenges they have overcome, some of the changes they want to see in the world. We are no stranger to knowing about long waiting lists and abuse but seeing the numbers behind the words is hard.
Gender euphoria is amazing
Trans* people have always existed and always will. No matter how bad the environment trans people will still need to transition. Chrysalis exists to empower people to become their best possible self, giving them the resilience to live in an environment that is becoming increasingly hostile.
People transition to be more authentic. Every person we work with tells us how their transition helped them to “be free to be me”. They talk about gender euphoria. About removing the barriers to personal development, to forming healthy relationships, progressing in their career or finding a new line of work. People transition because they choose to thrive, some need to do it to survive. Yet coming out puts one at risk of transphobia.
Find out more
At my talk later on this week for the Southampton Hate Crime Network I will be exploring the real experiences of trans* people in Southampton and across the UK. Looking at how lives are being ruined in this increasingly challenging environment and empowering attendees to make the small changes necessary to have really big impacts. I would love it if you all came along and by the power of Zoom I shall make that possible! Click here for the Zoom link
How Chrysalis helps
You are not alone. As a third party hate crime reporting centre Chrysalis has trained advisors who can help you. You can email Report.email@example.com or call 03448 468 545.
Our work with Hampshire Constabulary and the LAGLOs means we refer you to police who are skilled in supporting LGBT+ people.
Our counselling and support groups provide our members with safe, confidential space to explore the trauma resulting from hate crime. We provide a space for recovery.
*in these blogs I often use trans* as short hand for trans, non-binary and questioning people. The umbrella term for anyone whose gender identity does not align with that which they were assigned at birth. Language is ever changing and expanding. As more people understand gender diversity so does our language to describe our inner reality to the outside world. As an inclusive organisation Chrysalis continually works to keep our terminology fresh.