A series of posters with strong message to transphobes have popped up around Scotland.
The simple black and white posters say: ‘we have a phobia of your hatred’.
They form part of a wider campaign against hate crimes, run by the Scottish Government’s One Scotland program. The program aims to end discrimination and promote inclusivity.
The new campaign features a series of thought provoking ‘letters’, written from the perspective of hate crime witnesses, addressing the key areas of hate crime with emotive headlines – Dear transphobes, Dear homophobes, Dear disablists, Dear bigots, Dear racists.
In Scotland, the law recognises hate crimes as motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability. New research reveals that more than 80% of people in Scotland would report a mugging of an elderly lady or a house break in in their street to the police. But only 43% would report online bullying due to someone’s religion and just over half of people would report intimidating or humiliating behaviour towards a transgender person (54%) or racially motivated verbal abuse or name calling (53%).
‘Hate crime has hugely damaging effects on victims, their families and communities and we all must play our part to challenge it,’ said Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Aileen Campbell.
One of the other posters spotted around Scotland warned transphobes against the consequences of their behavior.
‘Dear transphobes, do you think it’s right to harass people on the street?’ the poster reads.
‘Right to push transgender people around in clubs? Right to humiliate, intimidate and threaten them online?
‘Well we don’t.’
The poster goes on to warn transphobes that if they are spotted harassing or harming trans people in anyway they will be reported to police.
‘We believe people should be allowed to be themselves. Except if they’re spreading hate,’ the poster reads.
Victim of hate crime Henrietta Mochrie said: ‘I’ve experienced so many incidents of hate crime because I’m transgender.’
‘I’ll often get street harassment, sometimes this has escalated to the point where I’ve been followed by people shouting abuse at me, just because of who I am,’ Mochrie said.
‘It makes me feel really down and scared to leave the house. It’s important that if you witness hate crime that you report it to take a stand against hate.’
Watch the powerful video
According to statistics, the Scottish public prosecutor (procurator fiscal) received more than 5,300 complaints of hate crime in the past year.
‘However, there are many more incidents that go unreported. We all have a responsibility to report hate crime if we witness it – it’s the only way we can challenge it, and put an end to it for good,’ One Scotland said on its website.