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Transphobic jokes are not worth your Stuesdays ticket

It’s time for transphobia on Fab n Fresh to stop

This morning when I logged onto Facebook, like many others, I was hit with a wave of notifications from Fab n Fresh. The usual, "I've lost my ID", "can I get tickets for…?" or "selling a portable charger because I bought too many online", but this time comments had gone too far. Casual transphobia should not have a place in our vocabulary and it's time to change.

On Tuesday night, a student posted in Fab n Fresh saying "Hi I'm a non-binary person who identifies as a walrus, does anyone have 3 stuesday tickets. Another student responded highlighting the 'anti-trans' nature of the post. Since, a number of students have posted in support of the trans community and against.

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In making a joke about gender identity, people are turning a part of who someone is into something to be laughed at, saying that the fact that someone identifies a certain way is funny, or using it as a ploy for a laugh is not acceptable. I can't speak for the transgender community, I'm very aware of that, but as an ally I would like to think that we can change this culture that we're growing within our university. Whether it is 'just a ticket group' or not, by being bystanders to those who choose to invalidate non-binary and transgender identities we are growing a culture that is not accepting of those around us.

The Tab spoke to the University's Trans officer Finn Humphries who wanted to stress that "people are legitimately harmed" by being invalidated in posts like the recent ones on Fab n Fresh.

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I am a firm believer in free speech, and that everyone deserves a voice, however when your voice is taking away someone else's, free speech is no longer part of the discussion. You can't defend the fact that being transphobic is a right to free speech, because if you believe in free speech, the very act of misgendering or undermining someone's identity, is stealing someone's right to their own voice. The argument of free speech does also not extend to hate culture and harassment, we were all taught that bullying was wrong as kids so why do we think that arguing for free speech is a way to defend this?

I personally have never been through this struggle, but I am a member of the lgbt+ community and always want to try and be the best ally I can. I will admit that there are probably times when I have made mistakes and been insensitive in the past, but I think that the discussions going on in Fab need to be addressed and that we can all learn to keep educating ourselves and apologise when we mess up.

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It's a space we all share and is seen as an extension of our Universities social community and as such all people should feel valid and welcome there. These are our first steps into adult life, and reflect how we act in larger communities and I would hope that we would show respect to anyone, no matter who they are and how they identify.

If you would like to write your response to the drama in Fab please contact the Tab via our Facebook page.