ripple effect

MAGA supporters are gleefully deadnaming Elliot Page in celebration of the Jussie Smollett verdict


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Trump supporters are giddy over the fact that Jussie Smollett was found guilty yesterday on five counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false report to Chicago police saying he was the victim of a hate crime. They’re so excited, it seems, that they’ve taken to deadnaming Elliot Page on Twitter for sport.

Related: Jussie Smollett is about to go through some things after yesterday’s guilty verdict

Shortly after the verdict was announced, the MAGA crowd began circulating old footage of Page talking to Stephen Colbert about bigotry in America, during which he mentioned Smollett. In addition sharing the video, many used Page’s deadname, causing it to briefly trend.

Per Wikipedia:

Deadnaming is the use of the birth or other former name (i.e., a name that is “dead”) of a transgender or non-binary person without the person’s consent. Deadnaming may be accidental or used to intentionally dismiss, deny or reject a person’s gender identity.

Page’s interview with Colbert happened less than a week after Smollett reported the alleged attack, and long before anyone, including the police, had all the facts. Three years later, we know the complete story. It was wrong for Smollett to lie, but Page was right to believe him in that moment.

We’re not going to amplify the bigots deadnaming Page, but we will note that when his deadname started trending, people quickly stepped up to remedy the situation…

The fact that people are deadnaming Page for sport is another sad consequence of Smollett’s actions, and an example of the ripple effect lying about hate crimes can have. It emboldens bigots, fueling their hatred, and giving them ammunition to use against other marginalized people. Still, the vast majority of people who report hate crimes are telling the truth and so it’s important to take all reports seriously.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.