This morning after reading about the vigil held outside the Daily Mail offices in memory of Lucy Meadows, I felt a dull thud of anger spreading through my body. I’ve experienced this feeling just about every morning this week as I’ve woken up to read something new in the press which has set out to erase or invalidate the very real trauma which her death has caused in the trans community.
As many others have pointed out, there is not a single one of us who has not feared tabloid monstering at some time during our transition and few of us who have not contemplated … over a third have attempted … suicide while dealing with the real or anticipated social stigma directed against those who transition.
There is one irrefutable fact … Lucy Meadows asked for her privacy to be respected. Instead she was MONSTERED by The Sun and The Daily Mail among others at a hugely vulnerable time in her life as set out here with the utmost clarity by Dan Waddell. She was just one of a steady stream of victims who have been harassed and had their privacy invaded over the years. Trans Media Watch’s horrifying published submission to Leveson barely scratches the surface because so much had to be submitted anonymously to protect the identity of witnesses terrified of a revenge monstering. How trans people experience the media more generally was clearly illustrated in this piece of research also by Trans Media Watch.
Every morning also as I wearily contemplated setting my thoughts down in a blog, I have found something clear and emotionally powerful which Jane Fae has written and which says everything I would have wanted to say.
Thank you Jane. Please everybody read this …
Also, if you have not already, please consider signing this petition calling on The Daily Mail to sack Richard Littlejohn which at the time of posting is rapidly approaching 200,000 signatures. Some people have been saying this petition is pointless or misdirected and I doubt it will lead to the sacking of Littlejohn although I wish it would. BUT I think they are missing the point … Apart from the fact that Littlejohn has consistently written unacceptably prejudicial comment pieces about trans individuals or the whole trans community which have negatively impacted on the lives of innocent people and their families, the way the petition is snowballing is sending out a very clear message that there is a strength of feeling out there which the press are going to have to take into account of if they are going to continue to sell newspapers … a revulsion at the barbaric intrusion of privacy which can and does ruin lives. There is really only one conclusion to be drawn from all this and anything else is disingenuous bluster, obfuscation and irrelevance. David Allen Green summed it up:
Such monstering pieces really must now come to an end.