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Trans woman told she should be ‘raped without mercy’ in horrific example of hate mail she receives daily

Josh Milton November 4, 2019
People gather to celebrate in Saint George's Square after the Maltese parliament approved a civil unions bill in Valletta on April 14, 2014. (Matthew Mirabelli/AFP via Getty Images)

People gather to celebrate in Saint George's Square after the Maltese parliament approved a civil unions bill in Valletta on April 14, 2014. (Matthew Mirabelli/AFP via Getty Images)

“People like you should be raped without mercy” is just one example of the almost daily abuse a Maltese trans woman has experienced.

Raquel Richard, from the town of San Gwann, shared screenshots of the transphobic bile that is tossed into her Facebook inbox in a viral post last weekend.

“What a good morning this is,” Richard said in the post. “What disgusting people, it’s better to laugh it off,” reported Lovin’ Malta.

Defiant trans woman wants to show there’s ‘still hatred’ in the world.

In the vile messages, an account under the name of Francesco Balzan slid into Richard’s DMs with a polite: “Hello pufta! How do you feel if you got [raped] in the a**?”

“Changing your male gender to a female gender, what is the difference or gain have you achieved so far?

“You do it for people to admire your [body] or look sexy?

“Unfortunately you might change yourself to a female gender but you still have a d**k that makes you a man no matter who you are.”

Moreover, Richard explained that she shared the screenshots in an effort to show there is “still hatred around”.

“These kind of messages do not get under my skin anymore, in fact I was going to use nude lipstick this morning but I chose to go more sparkling red,” she added.

‘More needs to be done to protect the vulnerable.’

Facebook users and LGBT+ community leaders alike lampooned the aggressive, violent transphobia Richards encountered.

Malta, a small Southern European island, has consistently ranked as one of the safest places in the world to be LGBT+.

A tide of overwhelming support for queer people has swept over the island across the last few decades. With local lawmakers passing pro-LGBT legislation by the dozen, from marriage equality to sweeping anti-discrimination laws.

But while LGBT+ people may be theoretically cushioned, hate crimes are still prevalent, activists warn.

Clayton Mercieca, community manager of Allied Rainbow Communities (ARC), told The Maltese Independent that for Malta’s trans citizens, this is a daily reality for them.

The Palace in Saint George's Square is lit with rainbow colours after the Maltese parliament approved a civil unions bill in Valletta on April 14, 2014. (Matthew Mirabelli/AFP via Getty Images)
The Palace in Saint George’s Square is lit with rainbow colours after the Maltese parliament approved a civil unions bill in Valletta on April 14, 2014. (Matthew Mirabelli/AFP via Getty Images)

“As ARC we are saddened that transgender people in Malta receive this kind of treatment and we hope that the respective authorities take initiative to investigate, as most likely Raquel will not report,” he said.

“The government is right to say Malta’s LGBTQ laws are most inclusive in the world, however more needs to be done to protect the most vulnerable, especially transgender people.

“In such cases, where harassment is publicly broadcast, I would not wait for the victim to report but authorities need to take steps to investigate.”

 

 

More: Malta, Trans, transphobia

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