Trans activists blame right-wingers, Christians in aftermath of Nashville school shooting

Daily Caller News Foundation

Trans activists have been blaming “right-wing” groups and Christians for the Nashville school shooting that resulted in the deaths of three children and three adults as well as the 28-year-old transgender shooter.

Audrey Hale, who used male pronouns and occasionally went by the name Aiden, was killed by police Monday after she shot three 9-year-old students and three adults in their 60s at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, who were later all pronounced dead at the scene. Multiple trans advocates argued Hale was also a victim of the shooting and criticized the media’s portrayal of her and her gender identity.

The Trans Resistance Network (TRN) released a statement only hours after the shooting calling Hale the “second and more complex tragedy” that occurred that day, warning against attempts by the “right” to create “fear” and push “transgender elimination,” according to Fox News.

“We point out that today’s incident in Nashville, TN is not one tragedy but two,” TRN said in the statement posted on Twitter. “We do know that life for transgender people is very difficult, and made difficult in the preceding months by a virtual avalanche of anti-trans legislation, and public call outs by Right Wing personalities and political figures for nothing less than the genocidal eradication of trans people from society. Many transgender people deal with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, and PTSD from the constant drum beat of anti-trans hate, lack of acceptance from family members and certain religious institutions.”

TRN acknowledged the students and adults killed in the shooting and said that it extended “our deepest sympathies,” while also condemning media outlets for using the incorrect pronouns for Hale.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called for stricter gun laws and said that transgender people were more often victims than the aggressors.

“We still don’t know all of the facts about what happened in Nashville,” HRC tweeted Monday. “We do know that every study available shows that transgender and non-binary people are more likely to be the victims of violence, rather than the perpetrators of it.”

Eli Erlick, a Ph.D. candidate in feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-founder and former director of Trans Student Educational Resources, wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the school was a “right-wing institution” and claimed that Hale had been abused while she had attended the school.

“As we learn more, it’s clear the Nashville Covenant School is a right-wing institution in which Audrey Hale and many others were abused,” Erlick wrote. “Obviously, this isn’t an excuse to attack it. But there are problems with deregulating religious schools + the US’s lack of mental healthcare.”

After Daily Mail published an article about the tweet, Erlick doubled down and said in another post that the way to “prevent tragedies” such as the Nashville shooting in the future was by “regulating religious schools, firing pastors that abuse students, mandating queer and trans curriculum, and providing free mental healthcare.”

Andrea Segovia, senior field and policy advisor for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), told Click2Houston that while there was no excuse for the shooting, she was “concerned” about the way it might be spun in the media.

“I am concerned about how opposition and people who are anti-trans will try to spin this,” Segovia said. “The comparison of they did it because they’re trans is very unfair to trans people, being trans is not somebody’s whole identity. You can’t say that because one person did something, that’s a characteristic or reason to be cruel to trans people.”

Other activists voiced their concerns about the police releasing Hale’s manifesto that allegedly detailed her plans to attack the school, warning that the shooter’s trans identity should not be the focus of the shooting, according to Newsweek. The Nashville Metro Police Department told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it had no intention of releasing the manifesto during an “open investigation.”

TRN, HRC, Erlick and Segovia did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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