We’ve written once or twice before about the issues that transgender persons face in the geek/nerd communities. However, as with other issues facing our society today, we’re going to keep talking about it until the hate & bigotry stops.
Today, I want to talk to you all about Sophie Labelle. Ms. Labelle is a very talented Canadian artist and cartoonist, has created her own strip called Assigned Male, and is known for tackling the issues of transphobia, transmisogyny, and homophobia directly. She also happens to be transgender.
However, Ms. Labelle was recently the victim of a calculated virtual attack; which not only involved ALL of her comics being deleted from her website and replaced with neo-nazi imagery and bigotry, but she also received thousands of death threats, and had her personal address published in several forums for the hate to continue.
The cartoonist has since gone into hiding, but wrote a post on her Facebook page saying,
“I just want people to be aware this is what you get for being trans on the internet and for re-framing transness [SIC] into something positive and empowering. I’d also like to acknowledge that this attack was mostly planned because of four explicit reasons:
- I am a woman
- I am trans
- I support non-binary people
- I support intersex people
I will keep making my comics, no worries. Folks at Facebook are currently making sure this won’t happen again before I can put my page back up. Nothing was lost.”
In an anonymous quote given to the website Gay Star News, a campaigner plainly stated, “This attack was dangerous and orchestrated. It was planned centrally, using a range of social media, and in large part out in the open. We are still identifying posts online from individuals inciting this action, as well as people agreeing to join in. The motive is clear: many on the alt-right hate trans people with a passion, and they would like nothing better than to drive us out of the public gaze altogether.
Many of those participating in the attack are cowards. They are too afraid to identify themselves publicly – and are unlikely to follow through on their threats. However, any threat should be taken seriously.”
Listen, folks: I’m not one to mince words, and those of you who read my articles will know this. That being said, I would like to take a moment to point out a fact about language, and how it relates here. Let’s look at the words ‘transphobia’ and ‘transmisogyny’. Transphobia is, in linguistic terms, a FEAR of those who are transgender. Along those same lines, transmisogyny is defined asRather than taking the time to get to know other people, and understand what makes transgender individuals who they are, these cowards prefer to hide behind the anonymity of internet screen names & laugh while someone’s livelihood is detrimentally affected.
In a word, that’s pitiful. These things need to stop, and those of us who support human beings living their lives in peace need to stand up and publicly denounce the actions taken by these hateful individuals.
Ms. Labelle’s primary source of income is her comics, and unfortunately, her website is still down as of this writing. That being said, her artistry is still available on her Tumblr page. She also has a Patreon page & an Etsy shop for those who wish to support her social voice and artistic talent.