If the details around the massacre of Nashville (Tennessee), Monday, March 27, are emerging, it already appears unique in several aspects: the age of the victims (three of the six dead are 9 years old), the place (a private Christian school, while public establishments are most often targeted), but also the profile of the alleged killer.
Former student of the institution, Audrey Hale, 28, is transgender, according to the Nashville police. Born a woman, she had listed the male pronouns “he / him” on her social networks, a common practice across the Atlantic to display her gender identity. A relative of the family confirmed anonymously to The Daily Beast news site that Audrey Hale had “recently come out” that she is transgender. And an hour before the shooting, she sent a message signed “Aiden / Audrey” (male and female first names, editor’s note) to a friend. So far, however, the authorities, her mother and the American media continue to present her as a woman. A discrepancy that underlines the uniqueness of the case.
What is the link between the suspect’s sexual identity and her action?
Nashville police have so far refrained from linking the suspect’s sexual identity to her action. Authorities ‘feel she identifies as trans, but we are still in the initial stages of the investigation, and are investigating whether that played a role in the incidentNashville Police Chief John Drake said. “We believe there was some resentment associated with having to attend this school,” he continued.
The tragedy comes as the rights of the transgender community fuel political debates in the United States. Several Republican-governed US states have passed laws restricting access to so-called “gender affirming” care, provided to gender nonconforming people (who do not identify as “male” or “female”). ”), or prevent college athletes from competing against athletes who do not share their biological sex.
The term “transgender” on Fox News
Despite the caution displayed by the Nashville police, several conservative personalities and media seized on the identity of the suspect. Right-wing outlets, such as the New York Post and Fox News, have featured the term “transgender” in their headlines, while elected officials and editorial writers have hinted that treatments for trans people may be at issue. “How much hormones like testosterone and mental health drugs was the trans Nashville shooting perpetrator taking? Everyone can stop criticizing guns now,” Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote on Twitter. Without advancing evidence that the killer resorted to this kind of care.
Statements that obscure the fact that transgender and “non-binary” individuals are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. According to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an association for the defense of their rights, “at least” 38 LGBTQ people (lesbian, gay, bi and trans, queer) were killed in 2022.
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