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“Minority Groups Should Not Be Played Out Against Each Other”

Transgender Europe (TGEU) condemns the sexist violence and attack on two trans women in Dortmund, Germany, last weekend.

TGEU data shows that attacks on trans people often go unreported to the police, as trans people are distrustful of police, who themselves can be the perpetrators of the violence. Unfortunately this means that there is no safe country for trans people.

TGEU believes that it is the duty of the media to report on hate crimes and violence in a fair and unbiased manner. We are greatly concerned that the attack has attracted  media interest, allegedly because of the ethnic background of the perpetrators in relation to the current events in Cologne and elsewhere. We critically note that the sexist and stereotypical portrayal of the two trans women in the media does not fulfil standards of respectful reporting and does not help to increase trans visibility and trans respect. 

The initial situation of the perpetrators verbally and sexually harassing the two women was sexist and degrading. However, from the account of the two women, it was not a planned attack or a planned ‘stoning‘ ritual as some news outlets gave the impression.  We are greatly concerned over double standards of news outlets pushing this story for underlying racist sentiment and reporting, while using the story to appeal to racist motives farther, whereas they would not take up trans people’s lives otherwise. 

Minority groups must not be played out against each other. Trans people and migrants must not be set against each other, but stand united against oppression, whether it shows itself as transphobia, sexism, racism or other forms of intolerance.

Furthermore data from LSVD e.V (Lesben- und Schwulenverband Berlin-Brandenburg e.V) collected from August to December 2015 shows that the NGO had received reports of hate crime violence from 95 LGBT refugees; 16 of which from trans persons. Since April also 19 cases of verbal harassment against LGBT refugees were registered, committed by interpreters and security personnel within asylum centres.