Imagine a funeral where mourners stand grieving around an empty coffin.
Those gathered for the service are inconsolable. That there is no corpse is entirely beside the point. They have a funeral at this time every year, whether anyone has actually died or not.
Welcome to Sydney’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual vigil to highlight what we are told is an epidemic of violence toward trans people by the intolerant among us.
The problem with the event, according to an ABC News report, was that organisers had struggled to find victims to remember.
The Transgender Murder Monitor, an international register of transgender homicides, has recorded 3317 deaths around the world in the past 10 years, only two of which occurred in Australia.
You could be forgiven for thinking this was good news. Two murders in 10 years is not an epidemic; it’s not even a pattern. In fact, two names barely make a list.
But organisers of Sydney’s Transgender Day of Remembrance saw this as a problem rather than as a cause for celebration.
Dr Eloise Brook from the NSW Gender Centre told the ABC: “After we’ve had our memorial, I’ve always wondered at the lack of names of our own community that we included.
“It began to seem to me that we were memorialising an empty coffin and it just didn’t quite seem right.”
Instead of celebrating the live-and-let-live attitude of tolerant Australians, Brook set out to find Australians who were killed for being trans so that they could be added to the very short list of names to be read on Remembrance Day.
It was a bit like mourners at a funeral who, upon hearing that there was no need for a memorial since no-one had actually died, insisting, “There’s got to be a body around here somewhere”.
Brook told the ABC that six months of research failed to turn up even one person killed for being transgendered.
This was good news, right? Evidence that Australia is one of the most accepting, not to mention safe places, on earth. Cancel the funeral and get the party started!
But no. This was evidence of “death by bureaucracy”, according to Brooks.
Authorities must have misgendered the dead. Or perhaps trans murders had been incorrectly recorded as death by suicide or by misadventure.
Brook said she finally “hit gold”, finding around 10 names of people in a Melbourne University Archive who might have been murdered for being transgendered back in the seventies and early eighties.
She said their names would be added to the existing two to be read on Remembrance Day.
Brook’s struggle to find evidence of trans homicides in Australia comes in the wake of American studies showing little evidence that transgender Americans are killed at an unusually high rate, despite media claims of just such an epidemic.
Wilfred Reilly, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University who is an expert on empirically testing political claims, examined data from the Human Rights Campaign and found that trans people were killed at much lower numbers than the average American and seldom for actually being trans.
His findings were published last December.
Similarly, Chad Green, who identifies with the LGBT community and is a senior contributor at The Federalist, reviewed 118 trans murders recorded by the HRC since 2015 and found that “four appear to have been directly anti-trans motivated”.
These findings fly in the face of the narrative we have been led to believe – that there is so much hatred toward trans people, to even question trans ideology is to risk setting off waves of violence against them.
Earlier this year Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden describe violence against trans people as “an epidemic that requires national leadership”. He accused President Trump of fanning “the flames of transphobia”.
Back in Australia, Dr Andy Kaladelfos, a UNSW Criminologist who specialises in crimes against the LGBTI community, told the ABC: “It doesn’t seem to make sense that there would only be two recorded violent deaths of transgender people.”
And it doesn’t make sense. Unless, of course, transgendered people are not being murdered for being trans as we have been led to believe.
And if that’s the case, then activists are needlessly creating fear amongst trans people who already suffer high levels of stress and anxiety.
Moreover, claims that people who voice concerns about – or disagreement with – transgender ideology are feeding an epidemic of violent hatred towards trans people would turn out to be false.
It would suggest that Australians are mature enough to disagree with trans ideology without hating trans people and stoking supposed “flames of transphobia”.
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