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Trans teen assaulted by group of men over conspiracy theory Texas school shooter was trans

Amelia Hansford May 27, 2022
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A person, with their back to the camera, holds a placard that says Uvalde strong

People visit memorials for victims of the mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty)

A 17-year-old trans girl was assaulted and harassed by several strangers over the misinformation that the Uvalde school shooter was trans. Warning – transphobia.

After shooter Salvador Ramos killed 21 people – 19 children and two adults – and injured at least 17 more in an Uvalde, Texas school on Tuesday (24 May), false information began to spread claiming that the shooter was a trans woman.

The conspiracy theory spilled into anti-trans violence, as a teenager, Tracey, was attacked in El Paso, Texas.

Tracey was leaving a library after finishing her homework. She was heading to the halfway house where she has lived since her parents forced her out for being trans when the group approached her.

Tracey, who spoke to LA Blade on Wednesday (May 25), said that a man grabbed her arm and forced her to turn and look at him, saying: “Yeah, you know they’re perverting kids instead of killing them.”

After exclaiming that she was “only 17”, one of the four men reportedly told her: “Yeah, you know it was one of your sisters who killed those kids. You’re a mental health freak!”

As information began to emerge about the Uvalde shooting, several right-wing pundits and politicians, including Arizona far-right Republican Paul Gosar, spread the story that the shooter was a trans woman using pictures of women who have no connection with Ramos.

A screenshot of Paul Gosar’s Tweet. [Twitter Screenshot]

Gosar himself professed that the killer was “a transexual leftist illegal alien” in a now-deleted tweet, while others, like notoriously anti-trans author Candace Owens, are still spreading the conspiracy.

Owens said that she will “do an entire documentary exposing the dangerous gender agenda happening in our schools”.

After escaping the confrontation, Tracey phoned El Paso Police, who she says refused to take an assault report.

Just hours later, she was informed of the false rumours by a counsellor from the Rainbow Youth Project during a phone session.

The American non-profit youth project aims to protect and empower LGBTQ+ identifying adolescents, including by offering several counselling helplines, including TrevorLifeline.

An advocate from the group flew to El Paso several months ago in support of Tracey due to her therapist being reprimanded after several people falsely claimed she’d encouraged Tracey to “become trans.” After the phone counselling session, the project called El Paso Police, who once again refused to file a report.

Trans women across the state and beyond have been experiencing rising violence and harassment both online and offline due to the false claim. A trans woman called Sam, whose pictures were circulated around social media claiming to be Ramos, came forward to say she had been sent repeated threats.

More: anti-trans harassment, Candace Owens, Paul Gosar, Uvalde

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