Transgender woman from Newmarket speaks out against “disgusting” abuse

Shannon Taylor, 46, of Newmarket, is the face of a campaign designed to promote the reporting of transphobic crime. ANL-150212-095752001

Shannon Taylor, 46, of Newmarket, is the face of a campaign designed to promote the reporting of transphobic crime. ANL-150212-095752001

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A transgender from Newmarket has spoken out against the “disgusting” abuse she has received after coming out four years ago.

Shannon Taylor, 46, is the face of a poster campaign encouraging victims or witnesses of transphobic crime to come forward and report incidents to Suffolk Police.

The abuse is disgusting, it means you don’t want to go out, and just hide away

Shannon Taylor

It coincided with Transgender Day of Remembrance last month, which memorialises those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia, whilst raising awareness of hate crime.

“The only support has been from Deborah Charles (Community Safety Co-ordinator at Suffolk County Council) and Suffolk Police,” said Shannon. “Without them I would have ended up killing myself.

“We just want to be seen and accepted as the women and men we are.”

Shannon, who knew she was a girl at the age of ten, has had a range of abuse, in person and in social media. She was forced out of her last home, has been threatened with physical and sexual abuse and has suffered name calling.

“The abuse is disgusting, it means you don’t want to go out, and just hide away.

“It’s not ok, so please find the strength to report it. I’ve been there, I’ve been a victim of transphobia so I know what it’s like and I won’t tolerate it especially when it’s thrown at trans kids.”

She has also told of her struggle to find work, having been unable to secure a job since coming out, and has called for more local support for transgender people.

“I’m finding it really hard to get a job,” she explained. “To me that’s just blatant discrimination, when I am capable of doing the work and just want to be given the opportunity to prove myself.”

Shannon added she is offering to go into schools and companies to talk about and raise awareness of transgender people. For more, contact Deborah Charles, Community Safety Co-ordinator at Suffolk County Council, 01473 668966, or email Deborah.Charles@Suffolk.gov.uk