Right-wingers online are trying to magnify and place blame on an upcoming trans rights protest, “Trans Day of Vengeance,” in the wake of the Nashville shooting yesterday.
The focus on the protest—and claims social media is abetting it by preventing them from speaking about it—is an attempt to prove there is a violent undercurrent among the trans community.
In reality, despite the shooting, it is the right wing that’s stoked years of anger as they’ve worked day and night to ostracize trans people.
“Trans Day of Vengeance,” a protest organized by the Trans Radical Activist Network, is an altered version of Trans Day of Visibility, held on March 31 every year to celebrate trans people and grieve trans people who have died. The Trans Day of Vengeance will be held on March 31 and April 1, outside the Supreme Court, according to the group’s website, and was created because “visibility alone is no longer enough,” according to co-founder Tsukuru Fors.
“That is why we are calling for Trans Day of Vengeance. Vengeance means fighting back with vehemence. It is our battle cry to declare to the world that we the transgender/non-binary communities will neither be silenced nor eradicated,” Fors said in an interview with Struggle La Lucha. “And we are calling to our allies, members of other marginalized communities to make themselves known and to fight with us.”
Fors comments about “eradication” come after far-right commentator Micheal Knowles called for the eradication of transgender idealism in a now-infamous CPAC speech earlier this month. Many viewed as an outright call to genocide, which Knowles denied.
On Monday, an armed gunman—later identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who police said was transgender—entered a Christian school in Nashville and killed six people, including three children.
Conservatives were quick to vilify the trans community as a whole in the wake of the shooting, despite their frequent rush to demand mass shootings not be politicized.
Despite the mass amounts of gun deaths in this country coming from outside the trans community, a meme highlighting several mass shootings committed by people who identify as trans recently circulated online.
Republicans online—so silent in the face of a mass shooting—suddenly demanded introspection in what they believed was the wake of a new, rising, violent ideology.
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Oh.) said “a trans shooter targeted a Christian school, there needs to be a lot of soul searching on the extreme left. Giving in to these ideas isn’t compassion, it’s dangerous.”
Then on Tuesday, as details continued to come out about the school shooting and the gunman, conservatives latched on to the Trans Day of Vengeance.
“In the last two years, Merrick Garland’s FBI has harassed pro-life activists and investigated traditional Catholics, but I bet they didn’t have a unit looking into this,” Vance wrote in a since deleted tweet. “Everyone who comments on this issue is aware of the militant, sometimes violent rhetoric of these activists. It’s time for our elites to stop encouraging this stuff, or they’re going to get more kids killed.”
A number of other people began sharing the poster to the event, trying to link the protest to the shooting. But commentators said they were getting censored by Twitter for tweeting about the protest.
“Twitter is now cracking down on those who promote the ‘Trans Day of Vengeance’ poster, which mostly comprises of trans militants who are calling for a day of mass violence,” said right-wing commentator Ian Miles Cheong.
Knowles was also locked out of his account for posting about it.
A Twitter employee replied to Cheong and told him the company was doing a sweep for the protest poster and removed more than 5,000 tweets. She said the company does not support “tweets that incite violence irrespective of who posts them,” and that no accounts were banned or given strikes because of the tweets but the content was removed.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said her congressional account was banned for seven days because she tweeted about the protest, despite what the employee said.
While conservatives are upset because of a trans day of protests, 490 anti-trans bills have been presented in the U.S. in 2023 alone, from a bill in Wyoming that would equate gender-affirming care to child abuse to a bill on the federal level that would codify strict biological definitions of “man” and “woman.”
Of those, 23 have passed and have been signed into law, including bans on gender-affirming care in Utah, Tennessee, and South Dakota.