On Tuesday, May 24, 19 children and 2 adults died in a mass shooting at a school in Texas. Since then far-right Americans intentionally and knowingly littered social media with false claims that the Uvalde shooter was a trans person. Despite a quick and easy debunking, a Republican congressman and other far-right figures shared the misinformation far and wide.
Of course, bullshit about American mass shootings is nothing new. Especially school shootings.
Because American gun fanatics will say anything to protect their ‘constitutional right’ to stroll quiet suburban streets bearing sufficient arms to conduct a bloody massacre.
The false trans narrative provides gun-toting bigots with a double win. It deflects attention from discussion of real solutions to America’s gun crime. And there’s the bonus of demonising the right’s most popular target of recent times. Because the far-right never saw a marginalised, disadvantaged minority it didn’t want to kick.
The lies originated on the anonymous message board 4chan. A user grabbed a photo of a young transgender woman from Reddit and reposted the image describing it as a pic of the Uvalde shooter. Social media searches for the name of the Uvalde shooter consequently returned numerous results declaring him trans.
Even 4chan users sceptical of the description of the Uvalde shooter as trans encouraged others to continue the lie. Despite disbelieving the narrative, one user described it as ‘good optics’.
“Let’s just call every one of these school shooters t______s. No glory for degenerate losers.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality tweeted their sympathy for the victims.
“Our hearts are with the victims of the horrific tragedy in Uvalde, and the families and communities that have been so deeply hurt by this violent attack. They deserve support and meaningful change – not misinformation and falsehoods.”
The centre also noted the pattern of balming marginalised communities for such tragedies.
“Trans people, immigrants, & communities of color are all too familiar with the right-wing extremist pattern of blaming us for tragedies — and using misinformation to endanger innocents.”
Trans people, immigrants, & communities of color are all too familiar with the right-wing extremist pattern of blaming us for tragedies – and using misinformation to endanger innocents. Already, a trans girl has been assaulted over these malicious lies: https://t.co/gEqPV8xLVQ
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) May 26, 2022
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