UK

Trans teen scared to leave home after being relentlessly bullied by school kids

Josh Milton February 8, 2022
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Sad teen looking at camera

A trans teen has been left demoralised amid transphobic bullying. (Stock photograph via Envato Elements)

A trans 13-year-old has been left too terrified to leave his home after months of relentless bullying.

Riley Rogers lives in fear of the physical and verbal harassment he faces when leaving his home in Denton, Manchester, and of the cyber-bullying he faces when he scrolls on his phone or opens his laptop.

In yet another example of Britain’s slow slide back into anti-LGBT+ hostility, Rogers began facing a wave of threats from his 13th birthday last November.

Now, he’s too scared to leave his home and hasn’t been to school in days. When he does attend, he brings a cuddly toy with him for protection, he told Manchester Evening News.

“I can’t really go outside anymore without anyone,” he said to the local newspaper. “For the past two days, I’ve had to bring a teddy bear to grab onto.

“I’ve not been great at all. I’ve been really upset and haven’t been to school a lot. I was a little bit angry, to be honest.

“I didn’t do anything. I was really upset.”

Mum left to watch helplessly as ‘brave’ trans son squares off against school bullies

On 31 January, Rogers left an after-school LGBT+ club and sat outside an Aldi supermarket by Crownpoint Shopping Park.

There, a group of students snatched and destroyed his bag and threatened to hit him with plastic crates. One of the bullies even recorded the ordeal on their mobile phone.

He and his family reported the incident to the Greater Manchester Police force.

Such torment is common for Rogers. Bullying that was once constrained to the internet has spilled out onto the playground: other children have struck him with their backpacks and torn up his planner and threw it out the window.

The attacks have left Rogers’ family furious. His mother, Sarah Rogers, has been left feeling helpless. She says Denton Community College, where Rogers is a Year Eight pupil, does little to clamp down on the attacks.

“It’s been absolutely horrified if I’m being honest,” she said. “No one around checked Riley was okay. ”

Sarah said her son knows that not everyone in his life is going to accept him. He reintroduced himself to the world as trans when he was 11, she explained. Now she has seen her child be “constantly picked on”.

“I’ve watched my child be so brave,” she said, “dealing with people’s reactions.”

The bullying Rogers has faced is just one example of the rising tide of anti-LGBT+ discrimination in Britain.

Anti-LGBT+ hate crime has soared in recent years, with at least 19,679 crimes motivated by hatred for someone’s sexual orientation taking place between 2020 and 2021, according to police figures.

This was part of a wider increase of 210 per cent in LGBT+ hate crime and harassment between 2014 and 2021.

But the number is likely far higher than the official figures show. Nine in 10 queer victims do not report the incident to the authorities, per government figures.

Only recently did one of the world’s top human rights organisations, the Council of Europe, brandish Britain as well as Russia and Poland for their “virulent attacks” against LGBT+ rights.

Diplomats brought attention to the nation’s mishandling of trans rights in a committee report. Trans people are routinely dehumanised and demonised by the mainstream media as life-saving legal reforms are scrapped and the nation’s equality watchdog recommends that the government delays banning trans conversion therapy.

“The significant advances achieved in recent years are today under threat,” the Council of Europe concluded.

“It is crucial to react quickly in order to prevent further backsliding and work actively to promote full respect for the rights of LGBTI people.”

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