After the Nashville school shooting, trans people fear a backlash.
Audrey Hale opened fire at the Christian Covenant School , the Tennessee capital, killing six people, including three children aged nine years old.
Soon after the police discovered that Hale, was a former student at the school and identified him as a transgender male, the hashtag #TransTerrorism started trending on Twitter.
Kim Spoon, a trans activist from Knoxville, Tennessee told NBC News the community was “terrified” and added: “More blood is going to be lost, but it’s certainly not going to happen in a school.”
Denise Sadler is a transgender drag artist who said that she had already hired four armed security guards prior to Monday’s shooting in order to ensure a drag show she hosts at a Nashville gay bar this weekend.
She plans to increase the number of guards to eight, following the online anti-trans rhetoric since the attack.
Sadler stated, “You don’t know if [the shooter’s gender identity] will trigger a community that already hates us to come to try and shoot us to prove their point.”
“At the end, there is a lot hurt going on. There’s lots of anger going around, there’s plenty of confusion going on.
On Tuesday, Nashville Police Chief John Drake stated that the motive behind the shooting was not yet known.
On Monday, however, he answered that there was some theory about Hale’s transgender identity. We are currently investigating all leads.
Aislinn Bailey is the Tri-Cities Transgender’s acting president. She said that her initial reaction to the news that the suspect was transgender came down to “fear”.
Bailey stated, “I knew it as soon as anybody mentioned that it was instantly going to become the center focus instead of what should have been the focus, which is gun violence in the country.”
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She expressed disapproval at the decision of police to release information on the suspect’s gender identity, even though they didn’t appear to be certain.
Baily stated: “It was unethical, highly suspect that such information, which they had been aware could cause backlash against the trans community – releasing such information without it being verified, is unconscionable for me.
“We already feared for our lives. Now, it’s even worse.”