One of Barbados’ most widely read national newspapers recently reported the rape of either a gender non-conforming lesbian woman or transgender man in its gossip column.
They described the rape as “male medicine,” a clear allusion to “corrective rape” whereby lesbian and gender non-conforming persons who were assigned female at birth are targeted for sexual assault. Female bodies are pathologized as inherently violable and gender and sexual transgressions are often punished with sexual assault.
The report of the rape within the gossip column trivialises the violence and recasts it as entertainment to be consumed. This invitation to collective ridicule works through dehumanization of the victim. Homo- and lesbophobia and transphobia converge to mark some of us as responsible for the very acts of violence against us.
The outrage against the Nation was swift and multidirectional. They have removed the article from their website and issued an apology.
Unfortunately, the way they…
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