UK Media Working Hard to Crush Trans People
‘…although visibility has increased and more trans people are able to come out and live relatively ordinary lives, at the same time we are being targeted more than ever.’ — Owl Fisher [link below]
There has been a poisonous anti-trans media shit-storm in the UK in recent months, triggered by a government move to make life a little easier for trans folks. The very notion of our lives getting any easier has brought astonishing loads of focussed and funded hate out of the woodwork, all with the express purpose of vilifying, denying, and further marginalising us. The intensity and coordination and high-profile visibility of these attacks rivals or exceeds that occurring in America, and has been incredibly destructive and demoralising. In the UK, in this day, it’s shocking.
In Owl Fisher’s rather mild response, currently in the Independent, they describe the scope and details of the media attacks and underscore the harmful effects the onslaught has had on the health and wellbeing of trans people in the UK. There you will find links and references supporting what I’ve said above.
As a matter of self-preservation I have done my best to ignore the whole thing, but I have not been spared. Even insulated by my disregard and my pseudo-cis blending privilege, I have felt the debilitating weight of the hate, and it has strongly affected my personal wellbeing; dragging me from the general optimism I had a year ago into a state currently approaching despair. It has eroded my sense of purpose and contributed to my decreased creative output.
I guess the plan is working.
I recently left the UK and feel some relief with the increase in distance. Reading Owl’s essay this morning, I am relieved I am no longer there. Which is peculiar, considering that I have relocated to Egypt, a country where it is de facto illegal to be trans or pro-trans, punishable by torture and imprisonment. There is no ‘debate’ over my legitimacy here, and no one is pretending to be ‘concerned’.
And frankly, that’s less poisonous.
Footnote: Similar attacks have been occurring right here on Medium, and have even been hosted in publications that showcase my own work and that of other trans writers, thus legitimising these attacks as one side of a ‘debate’. And yes, this has toxified Medium and influenced my reduced participation in this space. I now find it difficult to publish in those journals, ironically giving the attackers exactly what they want: my disappearance. Thus are we silenced.