Is there a genocide against trans people?

Anti-trans campaigners might call this hyperbole. But according to the UN convention, acts can be genocide before anyone dies. The Nuremberg laws were genocide, and before that Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda was genocide. The anti-trans campaign almost fits the UN definition.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, from 1948, now has 152 state parties. Genocide is any of the acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part a group:
Killing members of the group
causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, or
forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Killing members of the group: every year we mark International Trans Day of Remembrance. Brianna Ghey was bullied because she was trans, then stabbed to death. People are killed simply because we are trans. This is genocide. A speaker at the US Conservative Political Action Conference wanted us “eradicated from public life”.

Bodily or mental harm: Coverage of trans in The Guardian or The New Statesman, or the appalling record of The Times or The Spectator, leave alone hate-sites like Spiked, is designed to portray us as a threat to women. This directly harms us. The minister “for” women and equalities does the same. There is constant incitement to bodily harm: if I am a threat, men might act against me to “protect” women. And reading that people like me are dangerous, or that people claiming we are dangerous are heroic, hurts me. It damages my confidence. It makes me afraid. Hate campaign groups promoted by the media spread more hate, to harm us.

Conditions of life: the Equality and Human Rights Commission confirmed trans women have a right to use women’s services, but more recently has sought to persuade services to exclude us. Insisting we see specialist psychiatrists then imposing five year waiting lists to see them, or closing the only gender clinic for children in England, is calculated to prevent transition.

Forcibly transferring children: in the US, Republicans introduce a wide variety of Bills designed to restrict trans rights, and especially gender affirming care for children. Florida has a Bill to seize custody of trans children whose parents support them. In the UK, the NSPCC says trans children should be affirmed and protected, but anti-trans campaigners pretend that preventing gender affirming care is “child protection”.

The only genocidal act not practised against trans people is measures intended to prevent births, and only because this is not possible: straight parents have gay and trans children. However, much scaremongering against trans women is around penises in women’s loos. There is a great deal of social pressure on us to have genital operations, and so become infertile.

Incitement to commit genocide is a crime punishable under the convention. The British mainstream media coverage commits this daily.

The only part of the Convention definition that trans people do not fit is the definition of a “group”. The Convention defines it as “a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”. So trans is not included. The Holocaust killed six million Jews, so religious groups are included, but the Nazis murdered seven million non-Jews as well by deliberate policies of mass-murder, mainly by starvation. About 5000-10,000 gay men were killed in concentration camps specifically for being gay, but after the war gay men were not recognised as victims of persecution, and some US and British lawyers even demanded that gay men sentenced under Nazi law should serve out their full sentences. Many were forced to do so. The Nazis also murdered disabled people, and disabled people are still sterilised.

So, should trans people count as a group? France, Spain and Ethiopia include political groups as potential genocide victims. Like gay people, we share a characteristic which we do not control. Only anti-LGBT prejudice justifies excluding us from the definition of a group.

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has stated that “gender-critical” ideology is genocidal, and has a transphobia project. Jamelle Bouie calls the Republican attack on trans in the US “a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of transgender people”.

Listen to us. The campaign against trans people in Britain and the US is genocide.

11 thoughts on “Genocide

  1. I agree. Hadn’t thought of it as thoroughly as you, but yes transphobic hate is killing people .. trans suicide is another factor, as is self-harm (a means of stress-relieving) and emotional/ psychological/sociological distress and self-isolation as a response, as you say.


  2. We were entertained as a novelty when we seemed innocuous enough but then as we started to find a small place in society the fringe right was outraged. The same moral panic when gay people found their footing is upon us only worse because perturbs far more because of its visibility. Before we were forced into stealth or suppression but as the era of the white man is being threatened there is no better pin cushion to blame the decadence of society on. Christian Nationalism (the new term for fascism) needs an easy target.

    Will it be as easy today as what the Nazis did? I doubt it but the same vitriol and hatred is there masked in faux concern for protecting the children.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In positive news, the MSP Humza Yousaf stated in an interview in PinkNews:

    “All we’re trying to do is make life that little bit easier for a tiny marginal percentage of the population who are often targeted with hate crime. It’s a real shame that it has become an unbelievably toxic debate and some of the dog whistles I’ve heard against our trans community, if you took out the word ‘trans’ and put in ‘Muslim’, or ‘Jew’ or ‘Black person’, we would not stand for it.”

    Yet, it is open season on trans folk. As you point out, ministers are openly critical of a much maligned minority and we have seen where such negative talk leads.

    Each time the ‘evil eye’ of the Nasty Party – and they are not alone in this – falls on a target group – Muslim people, immigrants, the disabled, etc – hate crimes go up, as poisonous rhetoric inspires thuggish behaviour.

    Liked by 3 people

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