The Daily Mail, which was once condemned by a coroner for hounding a trans woman to suicide, is actively targeting trans women again. Its latest story claims that a trans woman “smashed to smithereens” a cisgender woman’s record. Here’s the opener:

A trans athlete who ‘smashed to smithereens’ a women’s Parkrun record is today revealed as Siân Longthorpe – who was living as a married man until just over four years ago.

A park run is a fun run, not a race or an athletic competition, and the record in question is for a very narrow group: women aged 45-49. The goal of these events is to get more people running and the trans woman named in the article came in fifth overall, significantly slower than the winner. But why let facts get in the way of a moral panic?

And the Mail was just getting started. In an article that is really just “trans woman doesn’t win race”, the Mail strongly implies that the runner may be murderous: it tells its readers that another parkrun record is held by a trans woman who, several years later, was jailed for attempted murder of an official, and it devotes almost all of its article to the details of that horrific case. The implication is obvious: if you let any trans people run anywhere the streets will run red with blood.

This is sometimes called the Klan Fallacy: the framing of an entire marginalised group as violent has long been used by bigots who want to eradicate them, and it’s a favourite of the right-wing press too. The whole purpose of it is to stir up hatred, and judging by the Mail comments and related social media posts it’s doing its job fantastically well.



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