A 23-year-old woman has admitted in court to spewing “disgusting” transphobic abuse at another woman as she walked along an English seafront.
Annabel Forbes was accused of hurling anti-trans insults at a woman on the Eastern Esplanade in Southend, Essex, at around 10pm on Friday, 7 August.
The following Monday she pled guilty to using threatening behaviour at Southend Magistrates’ Court, as local LGBT+ leaders condemned her “abysmal” actions.
“This is disgusting, and we all have the right to exist and walk about our home towns without being subjected to abuse like this,” Sam Adams, chair of Southend Pride, told the Clacton and Frinton Gazette.
“It’s abysmal and nobody should have to deal with this sort of thing. I am pleased to see it was taken further and there was a prosecution as it shows people it’s not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Adams added that transphobic incidents like this demonstrate the need for Pride, and are a reminder of the threats LGBT+ people routinely face in some parts of Southend.
Forbes’ behaviour was also criticised by Southend’s deputy mayor, Mark Flewitt, who is gay. “I think it’s horrifying that people like this feel they have a right to do this because of who someone is,” he said.
“The seriousness of this has been highlighted by the judge in the sentence, and I am pleased about that. I hope this person realises this is not the sort of thing we want in our town and also that this is not the way to act at all.
“What goes on between consensual adults or what a consenting adult does or how they chose to live their life is nothing do to with anyone else.”
A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed the incident was treated as a hate crime. Forbes was handed a 12-month community order and must complete 60 hours unpaid work, as well as paying £150 compensation.
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