ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE: https://thetab.com/uk/plymouth/2015/02/19/homophobes-gender-identity-7057
Vile trolls abused a third year after he published an online survey as part of his research project into non-binary gender identities.
The Illustration student, known as Bobble, was told to “seek help” and “commit suicide” after he asked how people express their gender identity.
In response to “How do you express your gender identity?”, someone wrote: “By being a man and not acting like a faggot”.
Another comment said: “If you feel like you are a woman trapped in a man’s body, or vice versa, or believe people need to accept and embrace in open arms your strange sexuality that was most likely developed on Tumblr, then you need to seek help.”
Bobble told The Tab: “Luckily, I’m pretty thick-skinned and the comments didn’t really affect me personally that much.
“It’s disappointing to know the lengths some people will go to just to express bigoted, ignorant and offensive opinions, but I just think of these types of people as playground bullies.
“They’re just acting out when they know they can get away with it.
“I just think it’s sad these people hide behind a mask of online anonymity.”
The questionnaire was then taken down after a torrent of bigots sent over 400 responses attacking the artist’s research.
One said: “People who believe their gender expression is different from their biological sex are idiots who can’t handle real life”, while others read “please commit suicide asap” and “stop being an autistic faggot."
Bobble is determined his project won’t be ruined by the bullies.
He added: “Luckily all of the positive and negative responses are grouped together, so they won’t be hard to sort through and my project won’t really be affected.
“The negative responses to this subject just make it clear how much ignorance and resistance there is towards the acceptance of this group of people, who really aren’t that different.
“It’s hard for people to have a healthy perspective when they’re sat on forums posting anonymous messages to strangers to try and offend them.
“I’m looking into how art and media can be used to raise awareness of trans identities and stop them being so heavily discriminated against, so they can just be themselves and be treated like everyone else.
“People can be really negative about men expressing femininity and women expressing masculinity.”