Transphobia Revealed:Part II

Firstly I know I promised a blog about Brighton, and I will get to it, but  this seemed more pressing.

Reveal have again excelled themselves in the transphobia stakes, with this gem of a headline.

“Dump TRANNY Alex” says Jordan…”

Now after they have been slated for angering the trans community so much in one week, to do so again is contemptible. One could allow latitude perhaps if the company, Hearst had been contrite and gracious about the matter. But they were not. Instead they apologised to anyone they had offended and promised to bear it in mind for future issues.

Clearly, they are honouring that pledge then, said she, sarcasm notwithstanding. 

The wider story here of course is a war of words between Katie Price,Alex Reid and his new girlfriend, Chantelle Houghton.

 So in many ways, is it natural that Katie Price, as perhaps the somewhat bitter ex, would want to discredit Alex by exposing the parts of him that he is most sensitive about. But she is hardly offering the advice with the kindness and warmth, and cuddly gentle persona of Cilla Black now is she?

If Katie Price did use those words, then fine. She can says what she likes in her own life. However, when you are an object of public interest, it is basic human common sense that you watch what you say. If this is a verbatim quote from Katie Price, then she should be ashamed for perpetuating ignorance around an already misunderstood, and maligned issue.

However, it is possible that Reveal have manipulated or doctored this quote to suit their own emerging agenda on this issue. In which case, that is also bad journalism and worthy of condemnation. If this was the scenario that unfolded here,I condemn it utterly and unreservedly.

But that said, Reveal have form on this issue. Just saying.

But when it comes down to it, I am not writing this to indulge in a gdame of who-said-what, nor am I doing it to point the finger. What I am doing though, is setting out the facts. The most aggrieving thing for me is that those words, in a wholly pejorative context, are out there at all.

The mission to set up every minority group as something deviant or bad is a hollow one. I myself have no problem with the fact that Alex Reid crossdresses, if indeed he does. What people do in life is largely up to them I think and we should keep our noses fairly and squarely out of it.

But crossdressing as a pursuit is very different from transvestism or transsexuality. The three things are very different, and should be treated as such.

Crossdressing in particular does not necessarily have any allusions to gender dysphoria, nor does it allude to the fetishistic overtones of transvestism.

However, what Reveal have done is conflated the three things together, which is unacceptable. Alex Reid is not a transvestite, nor transsexual, so therefore the use of the word Tranny, as a pejorative, or even trans as a non pejorative is redundant here, since it is irrelevant to the context of Alex Reid’s crossdressing.

Frankly, it is contemptible that trans people and sexual minorities are being used to engender fear in this way. Fear on one level and titillation on another.

Crossdressing may not be a universal practice, but that, transvestism and transsexuality, plus transgenderism are not an example of abhorrence or a freakshow. Abhorrence would be murder or rape. Crossdressers are now more socially accepted. So Reveal are also propagating an outdated prejudice which has no place in modern thinking.

Whether the verbatim rantings of Katie Price, or quote twisting to suit an agenda, the trans community has the right not to be used to create a cheap headline. Which bit is funny Reveal? The struggle for  self-acceptance or the struggle for the acceptance of others? The suicides? The self harm? To use the trans community in this way is shameful, and to treat Alex Reid’s crossdressing as some freakish underground pastime is awful.

We do not deserve to be used to create cheap, comedic headlines and I feel sure the PCC will agree.


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