Protect and Survive A Spoof Look at Transphobic Abuse

Protect and Survive A ‘Spoof’ Look at Transphobic Abuse based on the infamous 1980s Cold War Nuclear survival booklet issued in the UK.



S Johnson
Abstract [Full Text] [PDF]



There is nothing funny about transphobia, but when we step back it is actually society that needs a closer look, we look at the absurdity of transphobic behaviour by using the vehicle of this booklet issued by the UK government. We have merely changed some comments ever-so slightly and surprisingly it translates well!


This booklet tells you how to make your home and family as safe as possible against Abuse from transphobic neigbours


If your neighbourhood were ever faced with an immediate threat of a transphobic person moving in, a copy of this booklet should be distributed to every household as part of a public information campaign which would include announcements on television and radio and in the local press. The booklet has been designed for free and general distribution in that event.

May 1980

In 1980 English people first discovered that there were transgender people amongst them these transgender people although perfectly normal were obviously up to something so the British Government during a lunchtime session with miss whiplash in Soho decided to do something about it.

They came to the conclusion after 30 years of mass debate that where there are transpeople there must be transphobic people and so this booklet came about.

The dangers which you as a transgender person and your family face in this situation can be reduced if you do as this booklet describes.

Read this booklet with care

  • Your life and the lives of your family may depend upon it
  • Do as it advises
  • Keep it safely at hand

1. Challenge to survival

Everything within a certain distance of transphobic person could be totally destroyed. Even transpeople living outside this area will be in danger from them.
[error]LOOKING AT THEM[/error]

[error]TALKING TO THEM[/error]


Looking at them

A transphobic person should never be looked at the outcome can be so severe that it can kill, and destroy buildings, for up to five miles from the trans person. Beyond that, there can be severe damage.

Talking to them
Talking to transphobic people is also a risk and can be deadly dangerous. They may make comments that cannot be seen or felt (gossip). They may have no smell, and can be detected only by special instruments. Exposure to transabuse can cause sickness and death.

If the transphobic person is seen near or around your home, it would be a danger to you and your family for many days after an they have passed by.

Their voices can penetrate any material, but its intensity is reduced as it passes through – so the thicker and denser the material is, the better. Remember deep voices are more dangerous than high ones.

  Transphobic gossip in action


2. Planning for survival

Stay at Home
Your own local authority and police will best be able to help you. If you move away – unless you have a place of your own to go to or intend to live with relatives – the authority in your new area will not help you with accommodation or food or other essentials. If you leave, your local community may need to take your empty house for others to use. Even without permission
So stay at home.

Plan a Inner Refuge
The first priority is to provide shelter within your home against transphobic people potentially knocking on your door. Your best protection is to make a refuge room and build shelter within it.

First, the Refuge
Because of this threat you and your family may need to live in this room for fourteen days after the transphobic people have gone, almost without leaving it at all. So you must make it as safe as you can, and equip it for your survival. Choose the place furthest from the outside walls and from the roof, or which has the smallest amount of outside wall. The further you can get, within your home, from the transphobic person the safer you will be. Use the cellar or basement if there is one. Otherwise use a room, hall or passage on the ground floor.

Even the safest room in your home is not safe enough from those transphobics getting in, however. You will need to block up windows in the room, and any other openings, and to make the outside walls thicker, and also to thicken the floor above you, to provide the strongest possible protection against the penetration of gossip and abuse. Thick, dense materials are the best, and bricks, concrete or building blocks, timber, boxes of earth, sand, books, and furniture might all be used.

Resourceful abusers have been know to send their younger brothers down the chimney.
Protect your family and friends from transphobics

If you live in a block of flats there are other factors to consider. If the block is five stories high or more, do not shelter in the top two floors as they may set fire, alight and burn the floors beneath your. Make arrangements now with your landlord for alternative shelter accommodation if you can, or with your neighbours on the lower floors, or with relatives or friends. If your flat is in a block of four storeys or less, the basement or ground floor will give you the best protection. Central corridors on lower floors will provide good protection.

Bungalows and similar single-storey homes will not give much protection. Arrange to shelter with someone close by if you can do so.
If not, select a place in your home that is furthest from the roof and the outside walls, and strengthen it as has been described.

If you live in a caravan or use them to travel to transgender ‘away days’ and events at caravan sites as many trans people tend to do it will provide very little protection against transphobic people they may turn your caravan over or shake it whilst you are sleeping.

Now the Inner Refuge
Still greater protection is necessary from those very violent transphobics, particularly for the first two days and nights after they move in nearby, when the dangers of local gossip could be critical. To provide this you should build an inner refuge. This too should be thick-lined with dense materials to resist the sound of voices outside, and should be built away from the outside walls.

Here are some ideas:

1. Make a ‘lean-to’ with sloping doors taken from rooms above or strong boards rested against an inner wall. Prevent them from slipping by fixing a length of wood along the floor. Build further protection of bags or boxes of earth or sand – or books, or even clothing – on the slope of your refuge, and anchor these also against slipping. Partly close the two open ends with boxes of earth or sand, or heavy furniture.

2. Use tables if they are large enough to provide you all with shelter. Surround them and cover them with heavy furniture filled with sand, earth, books or clothing.

3. Use the cupboard under the stairs if it is in your refuge room. Put bags of earth or sand on the stairs and along the wall of the cupboard. If the stairs are on an outside wall, strengthen the wall outside in the same way to a height of six feet.



Five essentials for survival in your refuge Room

1. Drinking Water
You will need enough for the family for fourteen days. Each person should drink two pints a day – so for this you will need three and a half gallons each.
You should try to stock twice as much water as you are likely to need for drinking, so that you will have enough for washing. You are unlikely to be able to use the mains water supply after an attack – so provide your drinking water beforehand by filling bottles for use in the refuge room. Store extra water in the bath, in basins and in other containers.
Seal or cover all you can.
2. Food and Hormones
Stock enough food and Hormones to last at least fourteen days.
Choose foods which can be eaten cold, which keep fresh, and which are tinned or well wrapped. Keep your stocks in a closed cabinet or cupboard.
Provide variety. Stock sugar, jams or other sweet foods, cereals, biscuits, meats, vegetables, fruit and fruit juices. Children will need tinned or powdered milk, and babies their normal food as far as is possible. Eat perishable items first. Use your supplies sparingly.
3. Portable Laptop and Spare Batteries
Your laptop computer and mobile phone will be your only link with the outside world. So take a spare one with you if you can. Keep any aerial pushed in. You will need to listen for instructions about what to do after the attack and while you remain in your refuge room.
4. Tin Opener, Bottle Opener, Cutlery and Crockery
5. Warm Clothing
And don’t forget to take this booklet with you
These further items will also be useful in the refuge Room:
6. Bedding, sleeping bags
7. Portable stove and fuel, saucepans
8. Torches with spare bulbs and batteries, candles, matches
9. Table and chairs
10. Toilet articles soap, toilet rolls, bucket and plastic bags.
11. Changes of clothing
12. First aid Kit – with household medicines and prescribed medicines. And at least aspirins or similar tablets, adhesive dressings, cotton wool, bandages, disinfectant, ointment, including ‘Vaseline’
13. Box of dry sand, cloths or tissues for wiping plates and utensils
14. Notebook and pencils for messages
15. Brushes, shovels and cleaning materials, rubber or plastic gloves, dustpan and brush
16. Toys and magazines
17. Clock (mechanical) and calendar


You will need special sanitation arrangements because there will be no water to waste in lavatories.

Keep these items in the refuge room:

Containers such as polythene buckets, fitted with covers and – if possible – improvised seats.
Polythene bag linings for emptying the containers.
Strong disinfectant and toilet paper.
A dustbin for the temporary storage of sealed bags of waste matter
A second dustbin for food remains, empty tins and other rubbish
If you have only one dustbin, use that for toilet waste only. Put all other rubbish in plastic bags or paper until you can take it outside the house.

Limit the Fire Hazards
As you plan the refuge room you need also to limit as far as you can the dangers from attack to the rest of the house. Though the fire could not ignite the bricks and stone of your home it could set alight the contents by striking through unprotected windows via coke cans filled with petrol.

There are things you can do now to lessen these risks –

Remove anything which may ignite and burn easily (paper and cardboard, for example) from attic and upper rooms where fire is most likely.
Remove net curtains or thin materials from windows – but leave heavy curtains and blinds as these can be drawn before an attack as protection against flying glass.
Clear out old newspapers and magazines.
Coat windows inside with diluted emulsion paint of a light colour so that they will reflect away much of the heat flash, even if the fire which will follow is to shatter them.
If you have a home fire extinguisher – keep it handy.
Keep buckets of water ready on each floor.
Remove boxes, firewood and materials which will burn easily which are close to the outside of the house.
Keep any remaining doors closed to help prevent the spread of fire.
In an attack, damage to gas, oil and electricity systems could add serious fire and other hazards. All responsible members of your family should therefore know where and how to turn off gas and electricity at the mains, all gas pilot lights and oil supplies.

3. Protect and survive
What you have read so far tells you how to prepare to face transphobics  .
What follows tells you how to use the protection you have provided.
First – Know the Warning Sounds:

When an attack is expected the sound of shouting and swearing followed by door thumping or breaking glass maybe heard.

When there is danger from transphobic damage you will hear three loud bangs or whistles in quick succession.

When the immediate danger from both verbal abuse and physical has passed, there will be absolute silence possibly followed by the smell of burning and your car alarm.
What to do on hearing an Attack Warning:
At home
If you are at home you should:
Send the children to the refuge room.
Turn off the gas and electricity at the mains; turn off all pilot lights. Turn off oil supplies.
Close stoves, damp down fires.
Shut windows, draw curtains.
Go to the refuge room.

At work or elsewhere
If you can reach home in a couple of minutes try to do so cover your head to protect yourself from debris and stone throwing.
If your are at work, or elsewhere, and cannot reach home within a couple of minutes, take cover where you are or in any nearby building.

In the open
If you are in the open and cannot get home within a couple of minutes, go immediately to the nearest building. If there is no building nearby and you cannot reach one within a couple of minutes, use any kind of cover, or lie flat (in a ditch) and cover the exposed skin of the head and hands.

Abuse will last for up to twenty seconds, but other abusers may join in taking up to a minute to reach you. If after ten minutes there has been no abuse, take cover in the nearest building.

What to do after the Attack:
After an attack, there will be a short period before police arrive. Use this time to do essential tasks. This is what you should do.

Do not smoke.
Check that gas, electricity and other fuel supplies and all pilot lights are turned off.
Go round the house and put out any small fires using mains water if you can.
If anyone’s clothing catches fire, lay them on the floor and roll them in a blanket, rug or thick coat.
If the mains water is still available also replenish water reserves. Then turn off at mains.

Do not flush lavatories, but store the clean water they contain by taping up the handles or removing the chains
If the water supply is interrupted extinguish water heaters and boilers (including hearth fires with back boilers). Turn off all taps.
Check that you have got your survival kit at hand for the refuge room.
If there is structural damage from the attack you may have some time before next group of abusers arriving to do minor jobs to keep out the weather using curtains or sheets to cover broken windows or holes.
If there is time, help other transgender neighbours in need, but listen out at all times for the abusers and transphobics and be ready to return to the refuge  room immediately.
What to do on hearing the abuse:

In the open
If you are out of doors, take the nearest and best available cover as quickly as possible, wiping faeces, paint and blood from skin and clothing at the entrance to the building in which you shelter.

At home
All at home must go to the refuge room and stay inside the inner refuge, keeping the mobile phone to call the police.

Stay in your refuge
The dangers will be so intense that you may all need to stay inside your inner refuge in the shelter for at least forty-eight hours. If you need to go to the lavatory, or to replenish food or water supplies, do not stay outside your refuge for a second longer than is necessary.

After forty-eight hours the danger from abuse may lessen -but you could still be risking your life by exposure to it. The longer you spend in your refuge the better. Listen to your radio or go online.
DO NOT GO OUTSIDE until the it is safe to do so.

Later on
Visits outside the house may at first be limited to a few minutes for essential duties like removing graffiti, beer cans, broken glass or faeces. These should be done by people over thirty where possible. They should avoid bringing this into the house, keeping separate stout shoes or boots for outdoors if they can, and always wiping them.

You may have casualties from an attack, which you will have to care for, perhaps for some days, without medical help due to overworked NHS or local GPs who think you may be what is know in the medical dictionary as a pervert. Be sure you have your first aid requirements in your survival kit.

If a death occurs while you are confined to the refuge room place the body in another room and cover it as securely as possible. Attach an identification.

If the police and health authority are uncooperative you should temporarily bury the body as soon as it is safe to go out, and mark the spot.

On hearing the ALL-CLEAR from the woman next door (the one who just thinks you are a pair of eccentric gay people)

This means there is no longer an immediate danger from an attack and you may resume ‘normal’ activities.

Always return home before dark where possible and never attend a public place unaccompanied.

Fit an automatic floodlight with a movement detector and add a movement detecting webcam to your window to gather evidence.


Remember a safe home means your can enjoy your life as other transpeople have shown below with her inventive fencing systemThink once, think twice, think trans (another campain from the 1980s)



(This is not a ‘real’ book we hope you will never need this spoof twist based on the nuclear war booklet of the 60s and 70s protect and survive)