Dehumanizing to Kill: How the Anti-Trans Narratives Enable the Death of Trans People

CW: Transphobia, dehumanization, murder, war, hate crimes

Originally Published Feb 21, 2024

The news this last week on Nex’s murder has been difficult to process. One thing that strikes me the most is the complete lack of empathy by those responsible for their death. Part of the reason is that it highlights the fact that there is a certain part of our political climate that does not even recognize their humanity.
And it’s intentional.

I spent about nine years in the military and, during that time, I was witness to more death than I care to reflect on. However, while I was in the military, it did not phase me. In fact, I celebrated death because I did not see them as real humans worthy of dignity.

In the military, we are given a caricature of the people we were fighting. They “hated our freedom,” “want to destroy American values,” and “are terrorists that will kill us if we don’t irradiate them first.”

The problem is, these things were ideas that were intentionally given to us to see the people we were killing as less than human. It allowed us to equate their existence as a dangerous ideology and movement, not real people. This, then, allowed us to ignore the reality of our actions.

We dehumanized to the point where we celebrated their death, because they were not equal to us in humanity.

We were not killing people, we were killing ideologies and movements that we believed threatened us. Every death was one step closer to establishing “peace” (even though “peace” actually meant our superiority).

It did not matter that the people we were killing were literally doing the same thing we were. We were in our military because that is where we were born and it provided the ability to support our families, just like the people we were killing. But we were groomed to not think of it that way.

The same thing is happening today with trans people, especially trans kids.

The rhetoric of “castration,” “mutilation,” “irreversible damage,” “grooming,” and “pedophile” are all language used to create a caricature of trans people that allows others to see trans and non-binary people as not-human. It is intentional dehumanization for a political purpose.

This means that people are being taught to NOT see trans and non-binary people as equally deserving of life. It is not a life that is being irradiated, but an ideology and a political movement.

The politicians in Oklahoma and many other states are intentionally spreading a false narrative about trans kids that intentionally dehumanizes them to the point that they do not have to reflect on the harm they are causing. On top of that, there are influencers, such as Chaya Raichik from Libs of TikTok, who use intentional dehumanization to groom people into seeing trans people as less-than-human.

The consequences of this type of political action is the hate-initiated murder of a teenager in the state that intentionally dehumanized them and those like them.

Making this worse, since Nex death, many have doubled down on their stance to dehumanize and see trans people as nothing more than an ideology to irradiate. They do not see the beautiful life that was taken because of their actions. In fact, they show their celebration of their death through their continued work to remove the humanity of others.

They have blood on their hands and are vile enough to celebrate the death of a child through their actions.

Kalie May Hargrove