After enduring years of ridicule and verbal abuse, a trans woman from the Scottish town of Johnstone says her relationships with friends have been irreversibly damaged after she had been labeled a “witch” among townsfolk. Stephanie Smyth says the taunting she experienced on a daily basis ultimately “forced” her to leave the city.
The public ridicule was practically inescapable for Smyth, reports The Gazette. She claims she was regularly verbally abused on the street, but “it was mainly the worst when it came to going into the shops” she frequented. When asked why she never reported the abuse to authorities, Smyth said she was “scared of the repercussions.”
“Walking down the street I’d get a lot of abuse sometimes,” she continued. “They’d shout at me a lot, call me gay and even accuse me of witchcraft. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of my friends because I had to leave Johnstone. My past was almost completely wiped away.”
Ultimately, Smyth says she doesn’t hold a grudge against the townspeople that persecuted her. “I don’t blame anyone specifically, there’s no one at fault here. It’s just the society we live in.”
“I want to speak out now so that people can realize how traumatic it can be for someone coming to terms with their identity.”
“I’d say about 90% of people are judgmental. People need to wake up and realize that transgender people are here for a reason. Because places like Johnstone are so small, everyone knows you so you can’t hide away.”