Although Ottawa is known for being a fairly peaceful, diverse, and welcoming city, a recent video depicting disgusting transphobia from an Ottawa teen has left many shocked.
In a video posted by Twitter user, @cheneyanderson, we can see a young boy appear to be harassing a young girl on OC Transpo transit. The boy in question is shown standing over the girl and she can be heard saying "stop". From there, the boy begins violently beating on her head, pushing her over, and pulling on her hair. The video then cuts to another scene where we can see the girl has now stood up, and the boy is continuously shoving her and punching her on the head while a large number of bystanders watch and cheer on the boy. You can watch the video below but I do warn you, it is graphic.
This video is not only disgusting but it's extremely disappointing. All those onlookers and not a single person said one thing or put a stop to it. In a world where trans folk are getting killed, abused, and beaten on the daily just for living their true lives, the fact that this could happen in a city such as Ottawa is truly haunting.
In fact, once Twitter users found his social media accounts, they DMed him and he did not seem remorseful for his actions, although he has since gone private. It's said the boy justified beating on the girl because "it [sic] a guy it [sic] transgender".
Hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community is shown by people of all races and ages. A big red flag here is that this boy is only 14 years old and already has such a toxic mentality. For him to have allegedly reacted so heinously to a seemingly innocent girl simply because she shares different beliefs than him says a lot and needs to be addressed.
Discussion concerning transgender issues in Canada is one that must be had. Studies have shown time and time again that transgender Canadians face constant threats of violence. The Trans Murder Monitoring Project reports 325 worldwide killings in 2017 though the total worldwide number is probably much higher, because data isn't available in many countries.
A 2014 study based on interviews with 13 trans women found that violence was a "constant" threat and the Trans Pulse Project, which surveyed 433 transgender Ontarians, found that 20% had been physically or sexually assaulted for being trans. 68% worried they would die young.
Furthermore, the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey found that 70% of respondents said they had been sexually harassed. Over 1/3 of teenage participants aged 14 to 18 said they were physically threatened or injured in the past year. That survey had 923 trans youth respondents from all 10 provinces and one territory. (Huffington Post Canada).
Fortunately, change is coming for the trans community as the Liberal government passed Bill C-16, which will amend the Criminal Code and Human Rights Act to extend protection to trans people.
If you are an LGBT youth seeking resources or help, please seek out one of the following community partners.
*Due to the age of the aggressor, we cannot state his name although this information has already been circulated online.
**Update (2018-09-10, 2:21PM): the police are investigating the situation.
***Update (2018-09-13, 8:36AM): there has been much confusion on whether this incident happened on an OC Transpo bus or not. Initially, we had reported the story as having happened on a bus but after discussion with bystanders, it was on the O-train.
September 10, 2018
February 23, 2018
October 17, 2018