Following similar accusations regarding the school massacre in Nashville, conservatives are spreading the false narrative that the suspect charged in the mass shooting in Philadelphia is transgender.
On Wednesday morning, 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker was arraigned on murder (5 counts), aggravated assault, attempted murder, and several weapons charges, including illegal possession of a firearm.
On Monday, Carriker is said to have killed one guy in his residence before opening fire and murdering four more people in the streets before turning himself into police. Some Republican politicians were calling Carriker a transgender suspect before the authorities had disclosed his identity.
This is happening while a historic amount of anti-LGBTQ+ measures have been presented in state legislatures, and conservative personalities are increasingly looking to pin mass murders on trans persons.
Following the shootings in Philadelphia, some observers noted that news reports referred to Carriker using a gender-neutral term. The New York Post and other media sources released images from his now-deleted Facebook page showing him with long, braided hair and wearing women’s attire, leading many to conclude that he was transgender.
Vice News noted, however, that other than a “handful of pictures” in which Carriker wore braids, the page provided no evidence that Carriker was transgender. The radical right has dubbed Carriker a Black Lives Matter activist because he tweeted a single photograph, even though he regularly advocated for gun rights, backed Trump, and supported the Second Amendment.
Carriker did not identify as transgender, according to Asa Khalif, a member of the LGBTQIA advisory group for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, who also blasted commenters who characterize transgender persons as “killers.” Regarding trans women of color, the conservative press spews dangerously deadly words. Conservative bigots will not be tolerated if they use rhetoric like that to abuse transgender individuals, as they are the most susceptible to physical harm.
In March, when a deadly shooting at a Christian school in Nashville left six people dead, anti-trans vitriol and misinformation were also shared. No official confirmation of Audrey Hale’s gender identification has been made, and no proof connecting Hale’s gender expression with the shooting has been released. Conservatives have demanded a manifesto written by Hale before the massacre, but LGBTQ+ groups have warned against publicizing it. To protect their investigation, police have stated that they would not share it.