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The concept of “right and wrong” is a fictional one created by humans so we can put things in boxes. All the issues we deal with on a day-to-day basis, from the moral to the scientific, the logical to the political, depend on a series of variants and complications. You can’t just DECIDE what way things should fall, without considering an array of angles. Things are rarely that black and white. But sometimes they are.

The mainstream press has always had a bizarre relationship with trans issues, but its coverage of them over the past ten days or so, has been reprehensible and inexcusable. Writers at publications like The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Times and even The Guardian have leapt, biting and snapping, to publish stories that have the potential to paint trans people in a negative light. I’d typically include links to them but don’t want to give them the extra clicks. If you want to read them, just type “absolute bollocks” into Google.

It’s vitriolic, clumsy fear-mongering. It’s playground bullying, with some resorting to tactics as pathetic and childish as deliberately using the wrong gender pronouns. Some of it smacks horribly of the homophobic press propaganda experienced by the gay community in the late 80s and early 90s.

And the public is lapping it up. Why? Because they see trans people as different. And, tragically, for much of the population, “difference” means “danger”. Perhaps we should take a moment to feel sorry for them actually. Imagine how bleak that existence is. Imagine if you got unsettled every time you saw a nose piercing. Imagine if a MAC billboard activated your fight or flight response. I feel the most sorry for the ones who live in East London – they must just be in a constant state of shock.

We can’t really blame the public for liking what they’re told to like and disliking what they’re told to dislike. But we CAN blame the press. Believe it or not, the people writing for these publications are (mostly) intelligent, worldly people, and have no excuse to be spouting the utter bile that they’ve been spouting. How do THEY sleep at night? Knowing they’ve jeopardized the physical lives of a vulnerable and still emerging minority group, for a few extra clicks. That is ‘journalism’ in its very worst, most basic incarnation.

The latest story to make the dregs of the profession rear their self-righteous, whiny heads, has been the debate over which changing rooms trans people should be able to use in clothes stores. It’s triggered a string of transphobic articles, dressed up as ‘opinion pieces’.

Without exception, all of these ‘pieces’ (bigoted rants) have been churned out by people who have no idea what it’s like to struggle with gender identity, have absolutely no concept of what trans people go through every day, certainly aren’t friends with trans people, and have probably never met a trans person.

This is the most dangerous thing a journalist can do – pretend to be an authority on something they know nothing about. Writing and opinion are, obviously, totally valueless if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Stick to subjects you’re inimitably knowledgeable on. I do. Which is why I mostly write about sex and drinking.

As with all discriminatory views, the issues people seem to be having with trans people using changing rooms, lack logic and reason. One issue raised is one of “safety”; “We’re just worried about our children” says Rod Liddle at The Sunday Times.

Get a grip, Rod. Your kids are not in danger. Quite apart from the fact that, believe it or not, trans people don’t randomly attack children, all shop changing rooms have INDIVIDUAL CUBICLES and CCTV and are SUPERVISED? So it doesn’t bloody matter anyway. So why are we even talking about this?!

Here’s an idea. Instead of blindly screaming that you’re not transphobic but that trans people shouldn’t have the same freedoms as everyone else, how about you go out and meet an actual trans person. You know what…they don’t have green skin. They occasionally have green hair, and it always looks great. They watch Come Dine With Me, and pay rent, and go to work, and have sex. Some have kids, many have husbands or wives. Some live in cities, some live in cottages in Norfolk and brew their own nettle tea. You know what, some trans people are actually really boring and do nothing but complain about the weather. Basically, trans people are the same as all other people.

Trans people don’t want to eat your children. They just want to try on a fucking t-shirt in peace. So buy yourself some MAC makeup, pour yourself a glass of wine, close Microsoft Word, and let them do that!


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