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Trans-woman flees town after 'witch' taunts

Fri 14 Jun 2013 In: International News View at Wayback

A transgender woman has fled her home in Scotland after she was branded a ‘witch’ and mercilessly abused and harassed by transphobic locals. Stephanie Smyth, 32, says she can no longer endure the abuse from locals in in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, who have made her life hell. She’s told The Gazette the abuse started when she begun to embrace her true gender identity in her 20s, growing her hair and wearing women’s clothes. Smyth underwent a gender-reassignment treatment last year and was quickly abused in the street and local shops, by people who called her a witch. “It was mainly the worst when it came to going into shops in Renfrewshire,” she has told The Gazette. “I found that a lot of the people who worked in security would be standing around laughing and staff workers would also follow me around, jumping to conclusions,” she says. “There were so many times I almost contacted the police because it had got so bad but ended up scared of the repercussions.” Smyth felt she had no choice but to leave town. “I want to speak out now so that people can realize how traumatic it can be for someone coming to terms with their identity. “It’s not witchcraft; people want to burn you at the stake for being a woman when you were born a man.” Nathan Gale, Project Development Officer, at Scottish Transgender Alliance, has told Gay Star News: “It is very distressing to hear that someone felt forced to leave their home because of the abuse they encountered just for expressing their gender identity.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 14th June 2013 - 11:00am

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