On Wednesday 24th April, Trans Media Watch ran an event at the House of Commons, in support of an Early Day Motion condemning the continued misrepresentation of trans* people in the media.
This action comes after TMW’s submission to Leveson, and the later hounding by the press of Lucy Meadows, the trans* teacher who subsequently committed suicide. The intention was to demonstrate that the case of Lucy Meadows was not an isolated one, and that the Daily Mail, and in particular Richard Littlejohn, are not the only people with bad form when it comes to reporting trans* issues, especially odious though they may be. Evidence was heard from three trans* people, Teraina Hird, Delia Johnson and Dru Marland. They described their own experience of press bias and misreporting. Jane Fae, trans* media pundit, described the imbalance between the ease with which the press can misreport a story, and the difficulty with which a retraction can be forced upon it.
Bristol was well represented at the meeting, with MPs Stephen Williams (Lib Dem, Bristol West) and Kerry McCarthy (Labour, Bristol East) signing up to the EDM.
Here is the EDM.
MISREPRESENTATION OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA
Date tabled: 26.03.2013
Primary sponsor: Huppert, Julian
That this House condemns misrepresentation of transgender people in the British media; notes that some media organisations continue to misrepresent transgender people deliberately and publish their private information in spite of the findings of the Leveson report and in breach of the editors code; believes that such misrepresentation has an extremely damaging impact on those individuals who are named, on the wider transgender community and on the public’s perception of transgender people; condemns the harassment of transgender people, their families and colleagues, of which the experiences of Lucy Meadows are the latest; calls for the Press Complaints Commission to issue a public notice to editors immediately reminding them of their existing obligations under the letter and the spirit of the editors code when reporting transgender stories; further notes with concern that the reporting of Lucy Meadows reflects the wider culture of inappropriate language when it comes to stories relating to transgender people; and further calls for an immediate end to misrepresentation of transgender people in the press.