Advertisement
VICE News

This Canadian Cartoonist Is Just the Latest Target of Anti-Transgender Trolls

Sophie Labelle was targeted by an army of online trolls because she’s transgender. This sort of thing is becoming increasingly common.

by Hilary Beaumont
May 20 2017, 6:59pm

A Canadian trans cartoonist is searching for a new place to live after her home address was posted online this week amid a torrent of harassment.

Sophie Labelle's Facebook page was inundated with Nazi memes, her website was hacked and she says she received death threats that forced her to cancel her comic book launch in Halifax on Wednesday.

Labelle, who draws the popular comic Assigned Male about a trans girl, says this attack is one example of what trans people face online every day, but this one was "particularly vicious."

An example of the comments left on Labelle's Facebook page. VICE News is posting the sceenshots with Labelle's permission in order to illustrate the hatred directed at transgender people online.

"We're talking about thousands and thousands of people who decided to basically flood the internet with hateful comments and Nazi propaganda," she told VICE News over the phone Friday.

"I'm trying to use this opportunity to educate the public on this matter because this is a reality that trans people face."

The volume of vitriol pasted to Labelle's Facebook page is staggering. Much of it contains alt-right memes associated with sites like 4chan, with a myriad of posters suggesting that Labelle ought to be sent to a concentration camp or gas chamber.

Feeling isolated or lacking acceptance from their families, many trans people choose to come out online in supportive communities, as Labelle did when she was a teenager.

"Often trans communities online are the only safe space that people have, and so seeing how those communities are being targeted by neo-Nazis and alt-right people and transphobes from all around the planet should be a big issue."

She has not reported the harassment to police, saying she believes they aren't in a position to take action since much of the harassment came from outside of Canada.

Read the rest of the story on VICE News.