There has been a lot of debate these last 24 hours about the aims of the Vigil against Transphobia on Thursday. First off, it’s a vigil, not a braying mob demanding unachievable things.
I want a palpable change in the way trans people are represented in the press and media. I want an actual commitment from leading members of the media agreeing that they will never again publish transphobic views. I want the media to stop devaluing and undermining trans people. I want them to recognise that publishing negative and transphobic articles translates into how we are treated by members of the public and sometimes this leads to physical violence against people who do not fit within the gender binary. Things have to change and they have to change sooner rather than later.
I am tired. Tired of over and over again reading about a trans person being dragged through the national press, just because they face no other choice than to transition and try and live their life as best they can. Someone transitioning is not news, no matter what their job or role in life is, thousands of people do it and I just don’t see why the press sees fit to spread mis-information about them. They publish ‘before and after’ photos, birth names, imply that their chosen gender is not ‘true’. They complain about the cost to the taxpayer when the reality is that a lifetime of denying ones own identity and all the emotional and physical strain that comes with it is an even bigger cost to mental health services and society as a whole. The media ignores the discriminatory way the medical profession often treats trans folk, ask yourself why there has been no coverage of the #TransDocFail debate? Because the press couldn’t care less about trans people unless they can use us as a ‘look at this weirdo’ type story. I want the press to take us seriously.
20 years ago gay peoples identities were undermined by the press, their orientation was said to be a choice rather than just who they are, in almost the exact same way the media is treating trans folk today. Gay people fought for acceptance and better representation, these days exposés ‘outing’ a gay person is a thing of the past, you would never read an article in the mainstream press implying that a gay person is a pervert, a deviant or flat out denying their existence, and precisely this is what I want for trans people.
It’s not like I’m asking for much is it?