The other day I woke up to the frantic messages of a friend who had just been violently discriminated against based on his gender identity.
I say violently, because despite no punches being landed, the offender attempted to assault him, screamed homophobic and transphobic slurs and refused service.
The food delivery service possessed all of his payment information, which matched the information on his government photo ID with the exception of one detail. His ID said female although he presents and identifies as male. As such, his user name on the account was shortened to the first three letters of his given name. And that was used for justification for refusing service and abusive behaviour. A fucking nickname.
Now imagine that this is a service you have used many times before and now all of a sudden your service is refused because of how you look.
I can’t tell you how fucking enraged this makes me. And how enraged this should make all of you.
When contacted, the company supported their driver. There was no specific action taken, other than telling my friend that the incident was HIS fault, and that he needed to change his account information. In other words, they not only refused to recognize that one of their staff members violated someone’s human rights while representing their company, but they tried to convince him that it was somehow his own fault.
Typical victim blaming horseshit.
Let me be perfectly crystal fucking clear. Lurching at someone with raised fists while screaming the word “FAGGOT” at them is inexcusable no matter what his or her ID says.
I wonder what the company’s response had been if the “N” word had been used? Similar apathy? Explaining that if they had only identified themselves as black in their account info, they would have been able to provide the service they’d already paid for?
Despite all of the progress being made in the world, trans folk still are victims of hateful behaviour, discrimination, self harm, mental illness and violence. There is a narrative south of the Canadian border that is enabling all of these hardships on the LGBTQ community. There is also an apathy for abusive language, refusal to use correct pronouns, and lack of basic human decency that perpetuates the challenges that trans folk in particular face in Canada.
And I’m sorry. There is no fucking reason why any court or company or delivery service gets to decide on the personhood of another living human being. Whether they have a penis, a set of tits, a combination of either or both, who they love, who they fuck, what their skin colour is or how they worship. YOU.DO.NOT.GET.TO.TREAT.HUMANS.WITH.JUDGEMENT.OR.HATE.
I purposely have not named the company here, because I was unable to reach them on the matter. They also conveniently deleted the online log of the initial complaint AND the record of the order, while every other order in their history is still present. Thankfully, it was saved by screen shot by the victim. Despite their insistence that they are not part of any wrongdoing, it seems strange that the company would not want a record of the incident at hand if they really believed they had handled the matter appropriately. You would think that a reputable, nation-wide company who contracts their drivers would be interested in protecting their customers and having a policy of zero tolerance for abusive behaviour and human rights violations.
Think about this for a second. This employee/contractor displayed abusive behaviour to a customer in front of witnesses. This employee/contractor not only taunted and tried to assault a customer in front of witnesses, but he knows where they live. Maybe next week the driver goes back with a few friends to kill the faggot who complained about him? Would you feel safe going to sleep at night, or coming home in the dark after work?
Oh, I’m sorry. Is the use of the word faggot making you feel uncomfortable? GOOD. Get uncomfortable. Remember that it was used to describe an actual human being. Someone who cares for other humans before himself. Someone who is loyal, and hilarious, and hardworking. Someone who is kind to all living beings and magical with children. Someone who likely already struggles as he tries to accept and figure himself out in a world that doesn’t know how to place him. Someone who matters.
We can’t allow this stuff to be ok. So next time someone says something making fun of trans folks, shut them up. Educate them. Don’t use services who allow their employees to abuse folks. Spread love. Not hate. We can do better, Canada.