A culmination of factors appear at play. Some point to the antiquated ideologies of a generation of journalists and publishers who have dominated the mainstream media. Others say it’s intrinsically linked to political leaders who have failed to denounce hate. No matter its origins, this rampant transphobia has become a nation’s accepted bigotry.
The article rightly points out that the disproportionate influence wielded by a few well-connected people has been a significant factor.
Media in the U.K. has long been white, wealthy and interconnected, and it’s within these circles especially that transphobia has “become very fashionable,” Jane Fae says. The chair of Trans Media Watch, a charity that advocates for better press coverage, Fae points to Ian Katz as an example: During his stints at the Guardian newspaper, BBC and Channel 4, each publication saw a rise in transphobic coverage. Katz is married to Justine Roberts, founder and CEO of Mumsnet, a website that’s become a hotbed of British TERFs. As writer Laurie Penny explains, “The ecosystem of liberal media and left-wing activism is smaller and more quarrelsome in Britain than it is in America, and a lot of people know each other, and a lot of [transphobia in media] comes down to in-group loyalty and personal drama.”