A Dangerous Game

On Monday night, a chum showed me a Facebook page about her pal Jamie called: “i’m a women LOL JK i’m the guard from poundland :D”. Grammatically, I was horrified, but scrolling down I also saw derogatory, humiliating comments about Jamie’s appearance and gender identity.

Despicable… pure bullying. The page had over 1400 fans when I joined – a lot of people in one place, abusing one person eh? Simply because they think she looks different. Disgustingly, some people had secretly taken photographs of Jamie and uploaded them to the page in order to further humiliate her. Others described their plans to do the same: harassment.

Some accused Jamie of being unattractive. This was seemingly done without irony, as most of these scumbags were hideous-looking themselves – with ugly personalities to match.

Perhaps most concerning is the casual, dehumanising way in which their victim – “it” – is repeatedly described. Comments included:

Samm Simpson
“Is it a man or a woman”

Nikki Jade Little
“Shes a freaky lookin fucker like!! Would love to see her take a shoplifter down and shove her man bits in their face :)”

Lesley Donnelly
“i always thought it was a man and i cant stop staring at her everytime i am in town x”

Russell Hope
“Hahahaha it works in greggs at the top of the big market on a friday night wierd thing like”

Sarah Simpson
“I love this!! Hahahaha the he/she thinks it’s solid standin outside smokin away talkin to all the grannys lmao”

Alan Ward
“haha the she he chased me & me pals round town for about half an hour the little dog”
Simone Kenny
“Haha It’s A He/She :/”

Paul Scott
“its so a guy”
Dyno Saur
“best group I have ever seen its defo a man”

Rebecca BexiBoo Maddison
“hahahaha ive seen this big robot women man thing lmao”

Ben Thompson
“a heard it wasnt even human but a reptile, and a got telt it lays its eggs under the redheugh bridge…”

Can you believe we have to live in the same world as these bastards?

This isn’t just a case of not knowing what pronouns to use. They could, like many others, have gone down the (absurd) “she’s a man” route. No, the above comments very clearly intend to mark Jamie out as sub-human, in a carefree, public manner, which I personally find deeply sinister.

Even more disturbing is that many of those commenting had images of babies and children as their profile pictures. They bullied an innocent woman under the banner of their offspring’s smiling faces. One mother, who is seen hugging her child, even makes vile sexual comments about Jamie’s imagined genitals. Absolutely sickening.

I posted the page on my wall – and couldn’t help but let loose on the comments. I was livid. Bullies deserve to be challenged, to be described as what they are – and it is right that this should come from the trans community.

Which is handy, because it soon spread like wildfire around trans folk and, thanks to PC Rich Bridger, the case is now being dealt with by Northumbria Police. PC Bridger is the police’s LGBT Community Liason Officer in Brighton, and he uses Facebook to connect with the queer community. I know him through my charity work in Brighton.

The page has now been inundated with comments of support for Jamie; denouncing prejudice which has, for some months, gone almost completely unchallenged. One or two noble souls – who don’t seem to be part of the trans community – had in fact defended her, and it’s these people who give me hope. Hundreds others have also reported the page and individual posts and I sincerely hope that both Facebook and the police will be able to take action against these vicious human beings.

Internet activism scores another goal. Yet again, I sense a growing online community, one with the confidence to stand up to bigots and bullies, pulling together and saying: “We will not tolerate this anymore”.

No. We certainly fucking won’t.



14 thoughts on “A Dangerous Game

  1. BWayneB54 says:

    Its sad for all these people, some are pictured with children or have their childs picture as their profile picture. What if this was their child and it could very well be someday, they have no idea sometimes. Its this attitude that keeps people bottling things up and sometimes it can push them over the edge. I pray there is a God and he makes these people feel this pain for their eternity.

  2. misswonderly says:

    Good work, Paris. This is extremely upsetting but my day is not entirely ruined because of your forceful pushback and that of PC Bridger and the many others. Well done. I hope this results in legal action but mostly I hope Jamie is OK.

  3. Melissa says:

    You’re right Paris, we will not tolerate this any more and it’s time we made a stand..

  4. Megan says:

    Thanks Paris, I didn’t have to even read the comments on the page as the ones here just made me feel sick; I honestly don’t understand people.

    There is a FaceBook group called ‘Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook’ http://www.facebook.com/WHOF1, that posts these kinds of stories and gets all the people who joined them to report this to FB so the pages can be taken down.

  5. Natacha says:

    Totally endorse this. Bullies are cowards and run away screaming when they are challenged. Let’s let these pathetic people know that this woman has friends, lots of them, lots more than they will ever have.

    • stephanie says:

      I agree with everything that has been said in the above comments. i support paris in her efforts to bring these disgusting lowlifes to boot and i support Jamie in her stand against the bullying she has suffered. I can only assume the page was left up so long so the authorities can track them down.

      I would like to see some feedback from this so I know it has been properly investigated and also to show people who troll on the net do so at a risk to themselves.

      stephanie. xx

  6. […] stuff. Can’t I just shut up, already? Well in this morning’s Twitter feed was a link to this blog post by the excellent Paris Lees, documenting an horrific case of transphobic bullying on Facebook. This […]

  7. […] You can read Paris Lees article here […]

  8. Phoebe Queen says:

    Gah. That’s fucking horrible. I had a gradual buildup of that sort of shit working at [nameless theme park]. People I’d thought were friends or at least thought weren’t of any particular threat to me turned out to actually be quite threatening, and running a rumour mill behind my back. They tamed down a lot after I confronted one of them, which is really weird because one of them had made violent threats to me, I’m not sure if some of the girls there didn’t guilt trip them into toning it down or something. The experience was absolutely horrible.

    • I’m really sorry you had to experience that… we live in a cruel world. Good for you for sticking up for yourself though.

      • Phoebe Queen says:

        I think a lot of people operate on the principle that the target of their abuse will back down, and although a few people will then go further if challenged, they probably would have anyway if they were looking for a fight rather than just getting a rise out of making someone feel scared. Obviously it’s better if you can just get away from a situation although you can’t really do that so easily if it’s your workplace. And have self-defence training.

  9. Jonie Heath says:

    It’s sad to realise that there are still so many people in this country that appear to be not long out of the Ark!

  10. Christabel says:

    Thanks for posting this Paris. It’s always the same. Picking on people they perceive as being weak and unable to fight back to hide their own inadequacies from themselves. Pure bullying. We have to make sure that transpeople are not seen as easy pickings anymore. This stuff always needs reporting to the police even if it it doesn’t feel worthwhile – just get it on record.

  11. Jacoby says:

    I’m a Trans Man (female to male) and for being who i NEED to be i’ve had some pretty violent things happen to me just people people dont like it. This needs to end NOW. If people dont like it then get on with you’re own life and leave us be. We might be “freaks” to people who dont like it but they’re c**ts so go forth and multiply. ❤ thanks to everyone against transphobia, we need more people like you in the world.

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