Saturday, 19 September 2009

Don't let "The Sun" go down on these children

The hate mongering vile British tabloid newspaper "the Sun" continues to put profit before lives. How many more lives will be ruined; how many lives will be lost as a result of such vile journalism as the one they smeared across their front page today. Stories they had featured on two successive days in a national paper like a glorified modern day witch hunt of the most vulnerable in society, children!

There is a UK support group for gender variant children & teenagers called Mermaids http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/ for any who may have been effected by the issues raised.
Further information is available at the bottom of this page.

I am loathed to give the Suns article any publicity or insult the intelligence of the kind folk who visit this blog but for those who wish to http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2645444/Gender-swap-boy-aged-9-is-a-girl.html

The Sun editorial comment today quoted the following :-

"A crass act
NO child can know his or her sexuality at nine.
So it is alarming that a school has allowed a boy of nine to start term as a girl, with the headmistress's approval.
The situation calls for sensitivity.
But it also demands more intelligent handling than we have seen. "

The editor of the Sun appears to have been blind to the levels of crass insensitive unintelligent hate filled bigotry directed towards one of the remaining minority groups they seem to believe are open to abuse without legal protection. They seek to deliberately sensationalise to sell copy by deliberately misleading people by mentioning sexuality which is nothing to do with the gender issues these vulnerable children are experiencing. Gender & sexuality are not the same issue but sex sells tabloid papers.

Lets hope as was suggested on a recent support forum that the children & their families involved, can take this tabloid newspaper to the European court for breach of Article 8* of the European Convention on Human Rights.

* Article 8 .1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

I am ashamed to say my parents have had this paper delivered to their house since my adolescence & still do today. Sadly even now they believe some of the filth they continue to publish including parts of this article. If only these were the beliefs of a bygone age! An alarming indictment of the society we live in is that so do many others; because if people stopped buying it & they could not sell copies, they would not write such hate filled filth.

I am also ashamed because although I felt so angry about this article I am not able to find the courage to stand up for our rights & there in perhaps lies the uncomfortable truth of my angst. I also had a very distressing discussion with my parents raised by the ignorance in this article & even now a life time on, I lack the confidence or eloquence to convey just how upset frustrated, angry & frightened for these children I feel. This kind of malicious journalism further generates ignorance & destroys whole families lives.

In the end, humanity conserves only what it loves.

We only love what we understand.

We understand only what we are taught.


Thanks to journalism like that in the Sun newspaper, gender dysphoric children who are so vulnerable & are often critically endangered, may one day very soon become extinct.

I am still haunted by my parents comments regarding similar articles about transgendered people, at the breakfast table when I was a child getting ready for school. The fear of bullying, the trauma they contributed to my life is something I will never ever forget or forgive. In those days the articles did not appear to directly target vulnerable children in what appears to be a modern day witch hunt as the Suns articles have done today but they still had an impact on gender variant children. These children in the Sun article are so brave & must have been through so much to do what they need to go through so early in life. I am one of the lucky gender dysphoric youth of yesteryear. I still very much have a life to live for.

The saying "Sticks & stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" could not be further from the truth. Words can hurt & ignorance is no excuse.

How many gender dysphoric children's lives have been ruined or have taken their own lives without any one knowing the reason why, since the Sun went down & down? How many more innocent children will have to die at the hands of hate filled bullies before journalists stop publishing such insensitive ill informed stories?

Please dont let the Sun go down on these children
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2EV3w2QxII

Further videos are available from http://www.gendervision.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=28


There is a uk group called MERMAIDS WHICH IS A SUPPORT GROUP FOR GENDER VARIANT CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS. THERE AIM IS TO SIMPLY SUPPORT CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS UP TO AGE 19, WHO ARE TRYING TO COPE WITH GENDER IDENTITY ISSUES
In support of this one aim, they also intend to:

Offer support to parents, families, carers, and others
Raise awareness about gender issues amongst professionals (e.g. teachers, doctors, social services, etc.,) and the general public
Campaign for the recognition of this issue and the increase in professional services.
Helpline: 07020 935066 (12 noon - 9pm UK time, when staffed)
Website: http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/


This was a song from my past & I thank God I have a future
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWaEOCfc1Wg

6 comments:

Lucy Melford said...

My parents took the Daily Express and the Sunday Express, and it was much the same story. They were intelligent and caring people, but undoubtedly absorbed many basic attitudes from these papers. It was disturbing to see how they worried over articles about immigrants, people on benefits, homosexual marriage, Princess Diana, and whatever else the Express was crusading about. And they'd expect me to share the same illiberal and skewed points of view! It was often difficult to remain cool and sometimes I just shut up. Very early on, I grew to mistrust and dislike what I read in papers. Occasionally I'd see an article about something to do with my job and (reading of course with an insider's eye) would be dismayed how one-sided and misinformed the article was. Papers haven't changed, have they?

Anji said...

I heard about this via Nicky's blog. it's such a pity, a newspaper like the Sun is in a position to educate people. I suppose if they tried sales would go down.

Lets hope that this will draw people's attention to what transgender means and serve to educate in a positive way. The video was very beautiful.

Debbie K said...

Dear Lucy & Anji
Its a tragedy for so many. Not just those with gender issues as you rightly point out. When hate is preached & the ignorance breads fear. Those fears are then transferred to the masses. Sometimes those fears irrationally become our own. Until we release who actually owns those fears & separate them from our own, even the most compasionate emphatic people can be poisioned.

Like you dear Lucy I felt compelled by my owm weakness to stay silent & withdraw. Echo's of the Nazi's evil resonate in my heart.

Education does not sell tabloid newspapers but what an awful price society pays for such hateful words.

Lucy Melford said...

Peoples' attitudes to gender can only rarely be based on the depth of understanding you'd expect from a medical professional, and almost never on any first-hand experience. So it is absolutely essential that the media, the NHS, national and local government, and of course schools get the right basic message across. It can be done. I remember a time when all kinds of disabled people were the butt of jokes. A gradual change in social attitudes has made it extremely bad manners and a sign of profound ignorance to poke fun or be unkind to those with (for example) Down's Syndrome or facial disfigurements. One hopes that gender issues will also see the same turnaround in perception. But I will probably be a bent old crone before it happens.

Meanwhile there may be trouble at any moment. I am sure I got a few stares in Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton today (I'm on holiday) but my self-confidence and grey hair saved me from molestation. If however I'd been forty years younger there would have been attention from other teenagers, and I might have been set upon. And why? Because I was 'different'. But in a wheelchair I'd have been safe. Illogical!

chrissie said...

One thing that has struck me as odd lately is that there has been a positive boom in the nuber of Trans stories in the press. I can think of at least a dozen in the last few months.

On the whole they were mainly positive, although one or two were certainly hostile.

The other odd thing was that there seemed to be little rhyme or reason as to which ones were reported with hostility and which were not.

The Sun ran a midly prurient story on Jenny-Anne Bishop and her partner, and a fair-ish story on a German teen trans-girl. The Mail ran a very positive story on an ex-Para officer who had transitioned and joined the Police, and even ran it in the FeMail section!

As far as I can recall, the only hostility in these on-line stories was in the comments posted by members of the public at the end.

Ignorance of the subject matter seems to be the wosrt offence most of our papers commit, rather than hostility and rabble-rousing. Having said thta, this incident is a bad one and needs investigation by the PCA. This was dreadful coverage of a story that did not need to be run at all. They stayed inside the law (just) by not revealing the names, but what public interest was served by running the story at all? None, except to gratify bigots.

love
chrissie
xxxx

GirlWhoShould said...

Coming across more stories in the intervening weeks, I have nothing but respect for the bravery these children show.
Lucy x