A 19-year-old British girl lived a double life, dressing up as a boy to dupe her friends into dating her.
Gemma Barker, from Middlesex, wore boy's clothes and gave herself three false identities so she could have sexual encounters with her 15- and 16-year-old friends, the Daily Mail reported.
Prosecutor Ruby Selva told the Guildford Crown Court Barker set up Facebook profiles for her different personas and had individual dress styles for them.It's very difficult to know exactly what's going on here, particularly given my low low low opinion of media reporting when it comes to anything relating to sexual violence OR gender identity.
She completely fooled her friends and their families by posing as Aaron Lampard, Connor McCormack and Luke Jones.
There is no question that pretending to be someone else to someone known to you so they will engage in sexual activity with you is non-consensual and morally wrong.
And it is wrong whether you are male, female, both or neither, whether you use a male or a female or a gender neutral name, whether you wear male, female or gender neutral clothes.
The fact the article fixates on these isn't just irrelevant; it's downright dangerous. I have no idea as to the gender identity of the person in question - zie could be a cisgendered woman who enjoyed pretending to be male or a trans man, or any other of a number of possibilities. Irrespective, the way this has been reported on is dangerous.
Because we live in a world people murder trans* people for 'concealing' their assigned-at-birth gender from sexual partners - and feel justified in doing so. Where dressing in clothes that don't match your assigned-at-birth gender - because you identify with another gender, or you enjoy wearing those clothes, or anything in between - is seen as something for people to be wary of. Where social networking sites routinely shut down accounts for not using your "real" name or "real" gender or having multiple accounts (as I have known several people to do in the early stages of transition) - which may seem trivial, but if you're an isolated teenager, Facebook can literally be a lifesaver.
But it seems it's easier to play into bigoted ideas of gender trickery than it is to have a meaningful exploration of what consent means.