Less than human

Yesterday was just another day in the UK press. The Telegraph suggested that trans people should be made to carry ID cards in order to go to the toilet. The Times lauded a new anti-trans hate group specifically set up to exclude trans people from the wider LGBT+ rights movement. The Daily Mail and The Sun continued to make hay from claims that two young trans people “forced” a multinational corporation to “erase women”.

It was just another day on the internet too, with trans people being abused 8 times a minute. That abuse ranged “from insults and harassment to calls for the genocide of transgender people and their allies”, with people suggesting that it’s OK to kill trans people because they’re “less than human”.

That’s courtesy of the anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label, which has co-authored a report about online transphobia.

It makes for incredibly grim reading. On Twitter, 12% of posts relating to trans issues or people are abusive; elsewhere abuse makes up 18% of blog comments, 19% of news comments, 40% of forum discussions and 78% of YouTube comments. And that’s just clearly abusive posts. It doesn’t include dog-whistles where bigotry makes its point more carefully.

Despite this, these are still very minority views. As the report notes: “constructive, pro-trans conversation far outweighs the negative. Transphobic conversation is in the minority, but it’s still very loud and very damaging.”

These may be minority views, but they represent the majority of trans-related coverage in most of the UK press and broadcasting media. A vicious, vocal minority is being repeatedly platformed by editors and broadcasters who should, and I suspect who do, know better.

Every single trans person I know is tired of this and terrified by it too.



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