Monday, 17 May 2010

Transphobia - a first hand account

Well, it had to happen I suppose, after being out and about an increasing number of times and pushing the boundaries this last 24 months, I was faced with an unpleasant situation.

Having spent the day shopping with my wife and later with Steph, we joined some friends to celebrate Jay’s birthday at Taurus.

Following the meal we spent the rest of the evening around Canal Street before my wife and I called it a night and began walking back to our hotel, The Ibis in Charles Street.

At approximately 3-30am on our way back, a guy broke away from a small group and hit me in the face, pulled my wig off throwing it on the floor before running way back to his mates. Before I could react, the bouncer from the club/pub on the corner of Princess Street and Bombay Street caught him and pinned him to the bonnet of an adjacent car. Accompanied by my wife, I decided that I would get her safely back to the hotel (about 100m) and then I got changed and went back looking for the person.

Luckily for both of us, he was nowhere to be found despite me searching well up into town.

On advice from my friends on Facebook, and those who we were out partying with last night, I have filed a report with Greater Manchester Police as a transphobic incident / assault.

I don’t know what was wrong this weekend but this was one of several incidents which I was involved in on an otherwise great day out. On the short walk after the assault, a bunch of lads hanging out of a car screamed abuse at my wife and I.

Earlier in the day, back at the hotel, a young lad went beserk when he went to get in the same lift that me and Steph were in, running up and down the corridor screaming at the top of his voice that he wasn’t getting in a lift with a bloody tranny! Had I not had Steph with me who you may know is blind, I was certainly up for demonstrating the art of free fall down a lift shaft from the 4th floor on this individual.

All in all, a strange kind of day full of highs and then a couple of lows. Thankfully I was not hurt physically and it will not stop me going out but it has taken the edge off what was a wonderful day accompanied by my wife for the first time in a while as she has been adjusting to our relationship since disclosure about Emma 13 months ago.

Despite the experiences this weekend, it is still far better to go out in the world and be yourself than hide behind doors afraid of the odd comment. This is one negative incident I have had in almost two years of going out.

I am already planning to return this Saturday to celebrate another girlfriend’s birthday, but will try and get accommodation in the village as I usually do.

Another day on, I have found time to reflect a little on the events.

Not in any particular order.

1) I have always believed that in any confrontation there is usually a normal order of escalation beginning with visual recognition, verbal exchange and then on the rare occasion, violence. I have much experience in dealing with verbal and give as good as I get as those who know me know and I also believe that I have a good understanding of risk and interpretation of risk. What I was unable to recognise in this instance was the totally unprovoked attack without any prior indication verbal or otherwise.

2) Complacency - perhaps I am guilty of such, tempered by the fact that I was far from sober, bearing in mind that over the last 2 years I have made these late night walks back to my car or hotel (with due caution I must add) in several cities / towns in addition to Manchester without any problems.

3) Funnily enough I had made that same walk in Bob mode on the Friday night with my wife at a slightly earlier time when it was busier and even then I recognised that it may be a problem when dressed the following night. So why did I walk that way? Don't know, I guess I was just exercising my right to go where I wanted dressed as I wanted with any inhibitions (and common sense for that matter) lowered due to alcohol.

Don't get me wrong, I am no martyr to the cause but I do feel quite strongly about the right to go about safely on our streets at any time of the day or night dressed or otherwise. I was no threat to anyone.

4) You know what upset me most about the assault was the fact that I didn't get a chance to retaliate - probably my bloke conditioning kicking in I'm afraid.

5) My wife was very upset about the incident but was more upset about me getting changed and leaving her to go look for the little scrote. For that course of action I deeply regret leaving my wonderful wife with the uncertainty of my well being foremost in her mind until my safe return. She told me that she had never seen me so mad before.

6) Physically I suffered no actual harm but I must admit that mentally today, the incident was foremost in my mind distracting me from work.

I have as stated submitted a report to the police and today had a nice chat with a PCW from the Bootle Street Police Station. She wanted me to file a report and was all for organising a PC to come and visit me at home to take a statement! I pointed out that would not be a good idea as I not only know quite a few PCs in the area through my rugby and other hobbies but my youngest would be home. We have therefore agreed that I will come into Manchester on Saturday lunchtime to complete the paperwork.

I am intending to help celebrate another girlfriend's birthday that night in the village but this time will be driving as I am staying at the Travelodge in Warrington.

Moving onwards, we will see this Saturday whether the incident has effected my confidence although the verbal onslaught in the hotel mid afternoon has changed the way I choose where to stay as Emma for the moment. Funnily enough I have just received an e-mail asking me to rate my stay at The Ibis. I will complete this later.


  1. Sorry to hear about this Emma.
    I hope you are both ok.
    Thinking of you both.

  2. This is awful Emma - I feel for you and your wife,
    especially after seeing you both so happy earlier on.
    I know exactly where you mean and would think about possible CCTV - hope you're feeling OK in the circumstances.
    big hugs from me and see you Sat.

  3. After all your positive stories over the last few months,i'm shocked and saddened that this has happened,especially in front of your wife.I hope you're both ok and not too shaken.And i hope the police catch the little git.

  4. As I have previously said, you did a good thing reporting it. Hope you are both well - Jay xx