Sunday, 7 June 2015

Transphobic media articles: Edginess, Balance or Desperation...?

It has become as regular as the annual September/October gutter media hunt for trans children used to be; a celebrity comes out as trans and the press searches high and low for the fanatics, the people with persoanlity disorders, the sad cases, to write articles dripping with transphobia in order to… well, in order to what…?

Balance maybe? Like everyone else, when it comes to trans issues, the media has to publish something by trans haters, after all when Nick Gibb, a junior government minister came out as gay, to balance the positive response he got the media was full of homophobia… Oh wait…! 

Edginess perhaps? Since high-profile trans people like Chelsea Manning, Kellie Maloney, Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner have become household names, these organs have to compete with the sensitive, positive and informed coverage of other publications. Their disingenuous and dishonest attempts to paint trans people as somehow representing a new othodoxy, against which their brave, insightful, maverick writers courageously struggle; “trans people are not who they say they are but who we say they are.” As if there was something new, radical, heroic or audacious about applying your own definitions to other people you hate. History is littered with the most conservative, duplicitious, violent, authoritarian and oppressive tyrants who have done just that.

Desperation perchance? Articles by those with obvious personality problems seem to be sought and published mostly by rags strugging with circulation problems. Editorial teams hunger for those whose personal problems they can exploit; clickbait by people whose fanatical obsession with trans people seems to have eaten away at what may once have passed as souls, just as the Murdoch propaganda machine is prepared to exploit the fanaticism of Katie Hopkins’ troubled mind.

The problem with these articles is not their content; trans people have encountered such concentrated drivel many times before, it is the way the editors of these media platforms expose these individuals’ problems in the raw. Reading the material spewed out by the likes of Brendan O’Neil and others is like being exposed to the worst recesses of a profoundly and desperately troubled personality over one’s muesli of a morning. There are many such individuals whose output exposes their inner obsessions and torments; it seems that the existence of trans people only brings out the inner fanatic in some people. 

Hatred is never edgy, hatred can never provide balance, the only reason I can see for media editors to publish hate-screeds is desperation, desperation for pageviews, for below-the-line loathing and antagonism from acutely lonely, intensely malevolent and poisonously vindictive spirits. These editors should take a more responsible attitude towards the poor individuals they exploit. It is time for them to ask themselves whether they would unleash the troubled personalities of the likes of the Westboro Baptist Church every time somone came out as gay or lesbian. If not why are they dragging up from the gutter the same old predictable transphobes?

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