From Last of the Clean Bohemians:

Paris Lees
July 2, 2013

This post is taken from a speech I made at a conference in Leeds last month, Recognising Diversity? Gender and Sexual Equalities In Principle and Practice.

• We live in a society where we needn’t sit here like open-mouthed chicks waiting for entertainment to be regurgitated down our throats, helpless, squawking recipients.

• Increasingly we have choice in what we consume and it’s just as well – because the media has traditionally offered very little on the menu for people like me.

• When I was little I recall my dad was always saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

• I was called a lot of names as a child, you see, so he had plenty of occasions to repeat it.

• It’s ironic, isn’t it, how people use words to try and make you feel better about other people’s words while simultaneously arguing that words don’t matter.

• I think they do. And I think images matter too.

• But I do know, through my activism and engaging with people online, that I’m not alone in feeling wholly misrepresented by mainstream media.

• I could list statistics that show how unhappy trans people are with the way they are portrayed in the media, but that doesn’t quite capture the depressing feeling of disappointment described, rather eloquently, by American writer and news editor Janet Mock.

• Last year she wrote:

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