Understanding transgendered people’s experiences of hate crime

Plymouth University undergraduate alumni and current postgraduate student of the Law, Criminology and Government School, Katie McBride (nee Pratt) is undertaking research to understand experiences of violence and hate crime in everyday life for people who identify as transgender. 

Before re-joining the University, Katie was previously Chief Executive of the regional equality and human rights body, Equality South West. The organisation supported individuals and groups, via seven regional equality networks to engage, educate and influence key institutions across the South West on issues of rights, discrimination and victimisation experienced by potential service users, customers, and staff. The aim was to encourage a greater understanding within the organisations of their responsibilities to support and protect the rights of individuals from a range of diverse backgrounds, including those who identify as transgender.

As part of this work, Katie and her colleagues supported the Regional Transgender Equality Network to host events, deliver training and facilitate discussions with key decision makers in organisations including the police, health care commissioners, education and housing providers.

Over the past 12-18 months there has been a growing academic and societal interest in expanding our knowledge and understanding of transgender identities. But, as Katie’s work with the Network over the previous decade demonstrates, discrimination, victimisation and hate crime are long established realities and norms for many who identify as transgender. Research that recognises these experiences and shines a light on them can play a part in increasing wider recognition of such identities and experiences within our society and in doing so has an opportunity to influence greater protection and support for those targeted by others as a result.  

Following a short career break to raise her child, Katie joined the University receiving a scholarship to undertake research in this is specialised area. Katie’s research, supervised by Dr Zoë James, expert in Hate Studies, is to understand the lived experiences of transgendered people. In particular, experiences of society’s treatment and perceptions and how these experiences impact upon individuals throughout their lives. The research approach that Katie has selected recognises the diversity of individual experiences and a broad interpretation of hate crime that spans from the daily “looks”, or discrimination in accessing services, to the brutal violence we see splashed across the international media.

Katie is interested in hearing from anyone who has in the past or currently self- identifies as transgender. Katie’s research recognises the breadth of identities that such a label can encompass and as such you will not be excluded if you identify your gender as something other than transgender but nonetheless as outside of societal notions of gender as fixed and binary.

For more information please contact Katie in confidence on katie.mcbride@plymouth.ac.uk