Is it, i wonder, mapping the spread of hatred throughout the UK?
The idea has appeal, in part because of an ill-begotten past analysing data, particularly geographic data, in part because it feels like it would be healthy to get some measure of what goes on out and about on the UK streets.
But would it be useful?
I guess one contributory factor to this impulse is the sort of stuff i’ve been writing about murder and crimes of violence lately. I have no desire to downplay the reality of how dangerous just being out and about can be for many trans men and women. At the same time, i don’t buy into the “all is gloom”scenarios that some would have us believe.
They’re wrong. Worse, if you apply resources to solving the wrong problem, you waste resources andpeople who might have been helped get hurt instead. So while i think the streets ARE riskier on average for the average trans person than non-trans, i’d say that risk is closely related by a number of factors around location, social class and possibly – controversially – ethnicity.
Let’s start with location: talking with individuals from the trans community,there are some place names, some areas that regularly crop up as places of danger. Most of the (urban) north-east, for starters. Leek,for some reason. Large swathes of the north…
Is that true? After all,one of the most notorious trans murders in recent years – that of Andrea Waddell – happened in Brighton. I don’t know. All i do know, locally, is that being out and about in my locality – the south of Lincolnshire,the top of Cambridgeshire – feels relatively safe. Whereas going just a few miles up country, to Lincoln, the vibe is distinctly edgier.
There seems – this is subjective perception – to be a line across the country centred on or about Nottingham, with tolerance decidedly more in evidence south of that line.
Or is it a social thing? Many of the worst stories seem to emerge from the worst places,economically – and that will tend to magnify violence against the trans community: if social exclusion makes it hard for you to get a job, you won’t be working in the nicerleafier suburbs: will be forced to rub shoulders with those who already have cause to resent society, to despise difference.
Clearly, there is more of that sort of thing “oop north”.
Then, too, there is the suggestion i have heard often, have possibly experienced directly: that those on the lgbt spectrum will be received with that much more hostility by those from a radical religious background. Which in the UK right now tends to be represented more by those brought up in the islamic tradition.
True? False? An excuse for covert racism?
Again, some degree of mapping, of inquiry, would help.
SO on the whole, i guess its a good idea – though the analyst in me would not be satisfied to look just at geography. I’d want to know about social class of an area: the type of location (suburban street or city centre). Too, i’d want to know things like time of day.
If anyone wants to contribute the odd datum, that would be brilliant. If someone has the time and energy to support me putting together a proper survey,that would be even better.