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Now conspiracy theorists are claiming the YouTube shooter was a trans woman

Now conspiracy theorists are claiming the YouTube shooter was a trans woman
Photo: YouTube

Online conspiracy theorists are now insisting that the YouTube shooter, Nasim Najafi Aghdam, is transgender.

On Tuesday, Aghdam entered YouTube headquarters with a semiautomatic handgun and started shooting. She shot and injured three people before shooting herself.

Family said that she was mad at YouTube for its policies regarding compensation for videos and the cost of promoting videos on their platform. She was a prolific YouTuber herself, making bizarre videos to promote veganism and animal rights.

While most people look at what happened and may, at most, wonder why someone like her was able to purchase a semiautomatic weapon, some anti-trans internet trolls have decided that the most important part of this story is that Aghdam is transgender – despite the lack of proof that she is.

In an early version of the conspiracy theory, Twitter users said the shooter was “Samantha Hyde.” They posted pictures of a blond, white person with a beard who they said was the shooter, even though Aghdam had dark hair, no facial hair, and was Iranian.

When police released the identity of the shooter, the Twitter users did not stop saying that she was transgender.

The main evidence being cited are a few photos of Aghdam in which, according to anti-transgender advocates, she looks masculine.

Others are citing an image in one of her videos where she wears a silicone breast plate, even though Aghdam’s videos were a series of strange images that appear to have little meaning.

For others, the only evidence they need is that Aghdam shot people, because they can’t believe that a cisgender woman would ever do that. (“TIM” is a transphobic slur that means “Trans Identified Man.”)

The conspiracy theories are so prevalent on the forum Mumsnet that administrators decided to delete several threads on it, saying that it was in “poor taste,” according to PinkNews.

“Seriously no wonder people accuse Mumsnet of transphobia,” one user wrote.

Another website of dubious credibility is claiming that she “is believed to have lived as a male for half her life,” even though there were pictures of her as a child dressed in stereotypically feminine clothing on her now-disconnected Instagram account. The website did not cite a source for that claim.


Police, local media, and her family members that talked to the media have uniformly referred to Aghdam as a woman. No one who knew her or who is familiar with the crime has said that she is transgender.

While it doesn’t really matter if Aghdam was cis or trans – she was clearly a woman, and her actions, not her body, are what’s important – the point of the conspiracy theory is to paint transgender women as violent.

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