Mapping hatred

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.

jane xx


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Interesting idea. My only concern here is the potential for identification of individuals/family to lead to an ethics problem. We often found in mapping, for instance, very rare childhood cancers that this was a problem we encountered when seeking funding and publication. At best we could only do part-postcode mapping, but in areas like the NW and Scotland, that is frequently enough to make an individual identification. It’s the motivations of anyone else who might be reading the mapping that worries me.

    • 2

      janefae said,

      oh, i know that one well from my past work on census data. However, i’d be looking at logging the characteristics of the incident location, as opposed to the characteristics of the victim…

      though of course, that could be identifying not so much in remote places or city centres as if an incident took place in a particular suburban street outside someone’s front door…

      jane xx

  2. 3

    Penny said,

    Very interesting and I share your concern about perception. There are some individuals who will always cause trans people distress and in my experience it is a matter of “bad luck” if one comes across them as they are quiet rare because I have found the majority of the population to be quite pro trans people. When I first transitioned I was very self aware, I anticipated such events ie. invented scenarios of hate in my mind, whilst also I experienced some hate crimes. I resulted with psychological trauma with fear and too scared to leave my home. When I did leave, I used to think that when someone laughed it was at me or when people were chatting it was about me. I was paranoid, I thought everyone was against me, the truth was I was psychologically traumatised. Charing Cross Gender Clinic were excellent in providing therapy including CBT to help me come to terms with my experiences. Now a couple of years the other side I have learnt that my troubles with fear were 99% created by myself and I have returned to a reasonable quality of life and freedom. Since, I have witnessed a few trans people crippled with fear and psychological trauma and my suggestions have been to seek therapy and over come the trauma. This knowledge can only be shared as suggestions because I understand that some people hold a stigma to mental health and hence avoid be treated and remain stuck with being psychologically traumatised. For me, transitioning was the most stressful thing I have ever done, and I am sure it is for many or most if not all and with such a major overhaul of ones life surely one also has to be aware of how our mental health is affected by all of this. I have often coined the phrase, mental health issues do not cause one to become transgendered, being transgendered causes mental health issues. I find it difficult to consider hate crime statistics or mapping because if that is the focus of life what room is there for enjoying a little bit of freedom without worrying about hate crimes? I hope this post provides additional valuable insight. Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion. x

  3. 4

    Christabel said,

    A Charles Booth map for TransPeople?

    I’m interested in your thinking on this Jane. I find myself completely at ease in Lincoln – a city I know well – and the area down to Peterborough too; but that’s the area I grew up in. Generally i’m happier north of the Wash. London where i’ve lived for over ten years I find much more threatening. Maybe it’s because essentially i’ve always found it more threatening… and when you’re tense you invite unwelcome comment even when that tenseness is subconscious. I think there will be a correlation between hate crimes and other “low level” criminal activity too as the perpetrators are often a similar demographic.

    Be interesting to study this in more depth – mapping populations/demographic analysis is my thing. Feel free to get in touch.

    • 5

      janefae said,

      omg…so if i said GIS, you wouldn’t run a mile?

      I, too, have done loads in my day…sstore planning, mostly…plus gravity modelling and the like…and used to have great fun with census data and drivetime databases back in the mid-80’s when the very very first GIS software was just stumbling its way onto pc’s…

      ah: those were the days….

      oh…and the fact that i sound as though i know about SOFTWARE and the like…just pretend i never said that. 🙂

      jane xx

      • 6

        Christabel said,

        I’m pretty much tied to my GIS. Data management mostly… but I used to do demographic targetting. Miss that.

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