The damage done

For all those claiming that careless words don’t make much of a difference to anyone, i give you just one small piece of fall-out from the Sun’s New Year welcome to the trans community.

Remember? Its the one about how the MOD are spending a staggering £7,400 over two years out of a budget of £42bn to support individuals seeking to transition.

And this, by contrast is a totally small and insignificant thing. Its “only” about how one individual was made to feel small and isolated and threatened on a day when they should have been celebrating – and, i suspect, completely beneath the radar of BIG guys like Richard Caseby, Managing Ed over at the Sun.

She is trans but mostly passes. She went out on New Year’s Eve and, sitting on her own in a bar, was approached and hit upon by a group. They weren’t terribly happy at being refused and, suddenly “reading” our heroine, became abusive.

The usual (shouted) abuse followed. The difference? As they left, one of the men threw a glass, accompanied with an oh-so-witty: “f-in tranny c—s, stealing off our brave lads in Iraq”.

Or similar.

The individual was left shaking but…it didn’t end there: she received a load of abuse from one of the “regulars” and was told to leave because she was “upsetting the other customers”.

A few days later, she was informed she had been banned from that particular drinking hole – for much the same reasons.

And that was that.

Apologies to anyone who read that already (in the comments a few days ago): but i felt it worth pulling up and highlighting. The story contains nothing more than was written openly then: I have been in touch with the individual (which is why it got held back a week or two). They could give out details.

But then there is an off chance that they would incur yet more grief from the folk who frequent their local. So they would simply prefer to let it die. Anonymously.

Because, of course, it IS an anonymous story: its what trans men and women watch for every single time they walk into a bar. The ordinary “friendly” crowd that can turn vicious at the drop of a hat.

I’ve known it too: not just the violence…but the fact that it materialises from everywhere and nowhere, so you can never be quite sure where you are safe, if ever.

Did the Sun contribute to the incident. Sure, the journalist and the editor and the Managing editor will all weasel. They’ll all claim that it was a kosher story and the nastiness would have happened anyway and oh…whatever.

But yes. I am sure it contributes. Just as it contributes to the nastiness that appeared on one of “our boys'” forums (The Black Watch, in case you’re interested) shortly after the story appeared.

No. They don’t directly CAUSE violence: but they sure as hell contribute to it. A small thing, perhaps, for them. A very big thing for every single member of the trans community.



3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Hells Bells said,

    The aspect of this which makes me furious is that the press campaign about the amount of money spent on so-called trans scroungers – in the MoD case referenced above £7,440 over a period of at least 2 years – when the doorstepping of trans people working in the public services often takes senior management’s attention to deal with the fall-out, often costing way above the paltry amount referenced above.

    If the press really wanted to show they cared about the public purse, maybe they had better pick their targets to show actual misuse of public funds rather than causing a net deficit themselves.

  2. 2

    k said,

    it’s perhaps worth remembering that it’s not just the so-called “trans community” who suffer from this kind of thing; it’s also people with disabilities, gypsies asylum seekers etc: I seem to remember reading that assaults on people with disabilities have increased …

    In this case, it’s not just the tabloids who have harmed people. The GMC are media reactive and Russell Reid was effectively “tried by media” in The Guardian before his GMC hearing.

    How much influence have articles such as “sex changes are not effective say researchers” had on health authorities and NHS funding for treatment?

    Is there any evidence that people “remain traumatised often to the point of committing suicide” after surgery as was claimed in one of David Batty’s articles on the following website? The figure of £3000 for NHS surgery is quite interesting:

    And, if this were even true, could it have anything to do with negative propaganda in the press and the effects on employment, health etc?

  3. 3

    The article in the Sun gives permission. Trannies are scroungers, trannies are a bad thing, says The Sun. Eedjits who are hostile feel vindicated and validated. Spin it another way- for only £7,400, a good employee can be kept on in a valuable, contributing role- and the eedjits are not vindicated. Because while the sum of money allocated is news, the rest of it is editorialising, hostile editorialising.

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