During a large demonstration in Paris against an ex-Algerian president who resigned recently showed a transgender woman named Julia being attacked and taunted by multiple men, which sparked outrage throughout social media, according to The New York Times.
The brutal video was filmed on Sunday and has since been viewed over two million times and has triggered debate about the attitudes that people in France have towards transgender people.
Agression verbale et physique #transphobe place de la République à Paris. Effet de meute insupportable contre cette personne. Nous adressons tout notre soutien à la victime. Les auteurs de ces actes doivent être sanctionnés. Cc: @Lyes_Alouane pic.twitter.com/Kz1aCPvcuk
— SOS homophobie (@SOShomophobie) April 2, 2019
My French may be a little rusty (I took it in high school and for one semester in college) but it basically says that there was a transphobic attack in the Place de la République due to a pack mentality and that SOS Homophobie will support the victim fully and that the perpetrators must be punished. Marlène Schiappa, France’s minister for gender equality, commented on the video saying that the assault was clearly transphobic, it was unacceptable that such as thing happened in the heart of Paris, and that the perpetrators must be identified and punished. A crime such as assault is never okay and the fact that the attack was fueled by hatred on the basis of gender identity is nothing short of a hate crime.
Julia, the woman in the video being attacked who wished to be referred to by only her first name, said that she has had men make inappropriate comments about her but this was the first time she has been physically assaulted. She also said that as she was walking through the crowd, one person yelled “You’re a man!” and wouldn’t allow her to pass. Misgendering a complete stranger? Sounds transphobic to me.
According to the BBC, one man exposed himself to her and others threw beer. The transport police intervened and stopped the attackers and let her to safety. However, the police called Julie “monsieur” and told her not to dress like a woman. So it seems that the police also can’t help but be rude to transgender people either. However, Julia mentioned that the attack had nothing to do with the Algerian community but instead it was perpetrated by ignorant people, and religion or ethnicity had nothing to do with it.
It’s sad that people still act with such hate that they think it’s okay to assault people because they have a different gender identity. However, it is relieving to know that the large majority of people condemn the attack and denounced transphobia. I am also relieved that people realize that these things are a result of ignorance and not due to someone’s religious beliefs or nationality. It is my hope that these attacks decrease because there really isn’t any place for them in the world.
h/t: The New York Times