Media’s ‘detransition’ narrative is fueling misconceptions, trans advocates say

From NBC News:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/media-s-detransition-narrative-fueling-misconceptions-trans-advocates-say-n1102686

They say the current narrative makes “transition regret” seem more common than it is and contributes to misconceptions about transgender people in general.

By Liam Knox
Dec. 19, 2019

In early October, the United Kingdom’s SkyNews ran a story about the “Detransition Advocacy Network,” a new charity founded by Charlie Evans, a former transgender man who detransitioned in 2018. Evans told SkyNews that “hundreds” of young trans people were seeking her help to return to their sex assigned at birth, and she said more resources are urgently needed for people experiencing post-transition regret.

“I’m in communication with 19- and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it,” Evans told SkyNews. “They don’t know what their options are now.”

Following SkyNews’ interview with Evans, news outlets across the U.K. and the United States covered the phenomenon of detransitioning. The BBC dedicated an hour to the topic on two of its flagship programs in late November, and right-wing outlets such as The Daily Wire and Breitbart covered the topic with an explicitly transphobic spin. New York magazine published a piece last month about another advocacy group for ex-trans people where one interviewee expressed concern that “many teenage women … have been convinced too quickly that the only solution is to change their sex.”

No one disputes that transition regret does exist and that there are trans people who return to the sex they were assigned at birth. However, trans advocates say some of the recent coverage around the topic portrays detransitioning as much more common than it actually is, fueling misconceptions about the gender transition process and painting trans people as just temporarily confused or suffering from a misdiagnosed psychological disorder. This misleading information, they say, can have serious real-world consequences, from misguided policy proposals to social stigma.

“I think the reason why detransition stories are popular in this given time is because it neatly fits into this idea that young people especially are being made to be trans,” Lui Asquith, a legal counselor for U.K.-based LGBTQ group Mermaids, told NBC News. “The media are conjuring up a panic about trans lives, and the first victims of that panic are the young people who are indirectly being told that they’re a phase.”

There are an estimated 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, and the U.K.’s Government Equalities Office “tentatively” estimates there are between 200,000 and 500,000 trans people in Britain and Northern Ireland.

While the information regarding how many trans people detransition is sparse, those who work with the trans community say it is uncommon. “The actual numbers around them are significantly low,” Asquith said.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/media-s-detransition-narrative-fueling-misconceptions-trans-advocates-say-n1102686

 

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U.K. Voter Reform Plans Could Prevent Trans People From Voting

From Forbes:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2019/12/21/uk-voter-reform-plans-will-prevent-trans-people-from-voting/

Jamie Wareham
Dec 21, 2019

Boris Johnson’s electoral reform plans that will require a photo ID to vote could prevent trans people from voting, say campaigners.

The bill, first announced in the October Queen’s Speech and reintroduced this week, will make voters provide ID to get their ballot paper.

But the reform suggested and welcomed by the Electoral Commission is already facing opposition from disability, youth and trans campaigners.

Speaking to me, trans and non-binary activist Jamie Windust says:

“It’s a deterrence for many people, not just trans people, as it creates a level of hostility around our democratic right to vote.”

The reform aims to tackle voter fraud, where people impersonate others. A trial in this month’s election saw 800 people turned away from voting.

But the change could have a significant impact on trans people, unable to change their legal gender who present in the gender different from what they were assigned at birth.

“Many people, like myself, don’t have passports or ID because of the very reason that we are then forced into choosing a gender identity that isn’t correct.”

The electoral reform comes at a time of high hostility towards trans people, not least in the media.

This was highlighted this week when J.K. Rowling divided opinion again, in a now long running debate in the media about trans rights.

Rowling and was called a transphobe for siding with Maya Forstater who lost her job after an employment tribunal detailed she had shared transphobic material.

At the appeal, the judge ruled on the matter of being fired for holding anti LGBT+ opinions. Judge Tayler stated, no matter Forstater’s views, she doesn’t have the right to be transphobic.

However, Rowling’s tweet suggested the case was about whether it was OK to “force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?” Adding “#IStandWithMaya

If Forstater had won the case, it would have set a landmark ruling preventing employers from dismissing staff expressing similar views about LGBT+ rights, as the Guardian reported.

Continue reading at:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2019/12/21/uk-voter-reform-plans-will-prevent-trans-people-from-voting/

 

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