“As a mother of a transgender teenager, this is your worst fear”
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY ORIEL FRANKIE ASHCROFT VIA PEXELS
When a parent’s child comes out as transgender, it’s hard to ignore fears for their safety when navigating our rampantly transphobic world. For Great Harwood mum, Rowan Taylor, these anxieties sadly became a reality when her 15 year old transgender daughter, Veronica, was brutally attacked last weekend, as reported in LancsLive.
Rowan described how Veronica had been out taking photographs of flowers when she was set upon by a group of eight teenagers on Town Gate in Great Harwood at roughly 5pm. Rowan has said her daughter was kicked to the ground and punched in the head and subjected to transgender slurs and was attacked for a second time outside the skatepark when she returned with her mum to try to reason with the group.
Rowan said the alleged incident has left her daughter distressed and has also had an impact on the family as a whole: “She’s traumatised and shaken up and is not sleeping as am I; I keep having flashbacks. It ruins a whole family, as her three younger brothers are devastated.”
“As a mother of a transgender teenager, this is your worst fear. Every time she walks out the front door, will she encounter someone because it happens? Then on Sunday, it happened – it’s your worst fear confirmed.”
“I could have lost my child because people do die from punches and kicks to the head. The people who did this, and their parents, need to take a long, hard look at themselves. There have been one or two instances of hostility in the past, where there’s been things said by people’s children and I have had a word with the parents and it has been addressed, but this is on a totally different scale, and a totally different set of children.”
Rowan is calling for greater measures to protect transgender people, tougher sentences for hate crimes and preventative means of educating people. She’s compared the incident to the brutal murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007. “Sophie Lancaster wasn’t lucky; she got kicked to death and it could have been the same outcome. We are lucky, but it has left emotional scars, and it will take a good while to get over this.”
If you or a loved one have been impacted by aN LGBTQI+ hate crime, LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop have a helpline which you can call and services available to help.
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