“The trans community deserve a full, genuine apology from the BBC as well as evidence of a commitment to doing better, going forward”
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY EHIMETALOR AKHERE UNUABONA VIA UNSPLASH
2021 was the deadliest year for the global trans community since records began. This stark information shows the need for the continued fight for trans rights and safety. We are well aware of the damaging impact of negative media representation and so it was shocking to see what happened last year.
- In October 2021, BBC News published an article titled “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women”.
- The survey the article analysed was completed by just 80 people. The piece sparked much discussion online and many activists, publications and individuals raised their objections.
- Trans Media Watch called for an investigation into the article.
- London protestors met outside the London headquarters of the BBC to protest against the article. They were joined by Mae Martin.
- In November, the BBC quit Stonewall Diversity Champions programme in the wake of the anti-trans article.
- On Transgender Day Of Remembrance, 150 trans people and our allies held a vigil outside BBC TV Centre in London to demonstrate the trans lives lost over the last year.
The intersectional grassroots organisation Trans Activism UK is kicking off 2022 by stepping up this weekend, with a mass demonstration outside the BBC. For those wanting to get involved, the demonstration will take place outside Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday 8 January.
15 speakers including Rico Jacob Chase (Trans Actual), Hafsa Qureshi (Stonewall Bisexual Role Model of the Year), Sophia McAllister (YouTuber and Twitch livestreamer) and Laura Kate Dale (Author, YouTuber, Podcaster and Journalist), will be addressing the event from 1pm.
Speaking on behalf of Trans Activism, one of the organisers Felix F Fern said: “On 29th October we sent an open letter to the BBC that was signed by over 20,000 people, regarding their recent horribly bigoted article.”
“The BBC have yet to take accountability or apologise for this outright dangerous article.”
“This is just the latest significant example of a continuing downward spiral of problematic coverage of marginalised groups by the BBC, which has in recent years turned the spotlight on the trans community. In doing so, they are little better than the rest of the mainstream UK media.”
A second organiser, Laura Kate Dale added: “We believe that it is vital to put pressure on the BBC, to follow not only their own publishing guidelines but also the due impartiality rules set out by Ofcom, to prevent further bigotry.”
“The trans community deserve a full, genuine apology from the BBC as well as evidence of a commitment to doing better, going forward.”
In last year’s survey by Trans Actual UK, “93% of participants reported that transphobia within the media had an impact on their experience of transphobia from strangers in the street, 85% said it impacted how their family treats them.”
We hope that in 2022 we will see a shift. Accountability, inclusivity and respect will always be needed when it comes to how media outlets represents marginalised groups, including those who transgender and non-binary.
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