Ten years tipped

Jude Doyle is on superb form in this piece looking back at the famous “Transgender Tipping Point” cover of TIME. As the piece says, it often feels like we’ve tipped vertiginously backwards with open bigotry against us running unchecked in the press, politics and social media. Who’d have thought ten years ago that in 2024, “transphobe” would not just be a career option but a very lucrative one?

As one of the contributors, Katherine Cross, told Doyle, not all trans people were thrilled with the TIME cover. “there was a fear that this meant the Eye of Sauron was upon us, that whatever safety was afforded by the shadows of public ignorance was well and truly gone now.” Those fears proved to be well founded, and warnings by other marginalised people – people who knew very well that increased visibility often means little more than painting a target on people’s backs – were sadly prescient.

Doyle interviews another excellent writer, Parker Molloy, and the two discuss the way in which mainstream media effectively threw trans people to the wolves.

“The media, once eager to spotlight our stories for clicks and headlines, has largely abandoned us, leaving trans people to fend off a wave of hostility on our own. It feels bleak,” Molloy says. “It feels like we’re on our own, and I just have a hard time imagining things getting better in the near future.”

Doyle somehow manages to remain optimistic, and there are positives: we have a much wider and better informed community than we did ten years ago, and despite the bigots’ best efforts trans and non-binary people are not going to return to the bad old days when the world could pretend we didn’t exist.