January 2013 meeting: feeling positive and facing transphobia

22 Jan

It seemed a pretty obvious choice to talk about transphobia and how we handle it at our January meeting. Just about a week before, an article appeared in the Observer by Julie Burchill that was nothing more than a transphobic rant and caused a huge amount of protest. It seemed a good enough time to discuss how it makes us feel when we read about trans people being written about in this way, and how we wanted to respond to it.

Some of us had written to The Observer and the Press Complaints Commission to explain why we thought it was unacceptable to publish this piece. Our chair, Rory Smith, had talked on the Out In Brighton show on Radio Reverb. Some of us had also recorded videos for a short film put together by Trans Bare All that showed trans people and our allies simply expressing how the piece in The Observer made us feel.

Personally, I found it shocking that a newspaper published this column. This was not a case of the writer having an extreme viewpoint that I happened to disagree with. This piece of writing was simply an attack on transwomen. And it carelessly contributes to the common view that trans people are a joke, that it is ok to mock and attack them and we therefore deserve no respect.

You can see the film made by TBA here, and if you want to record your own response, send it to them and it can be added to the youtube channel.

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