Former UK Labour party leader Ed Miliband is standing defiantly behind discussing gender identity on his latest podcast, Gay Star News can reveal.
It’s after some listeners sent complaints into the podcast for discussing the Gender Identity act.
Others took to social media to troll an under investigation GP Dr Helen Webberley who was a guest on the show.
Dr. Webberley’s clinic work with trans patients has been placed under an ‘interim order of conditions’ after complaints from some NHS gender specialists.
The former leader of the Labour party tells Gay Star News that the large majority of the feedback they received as hugely positive.
However, there were people who took issue with Miliband talking about trans issues at all.
On this, Miliband says: ‘Our podcast is about Reasons To Be Cheerful and the cross-party consensus about the need to update the Gender Recognition Act and the increasing recognition of the rights of trans people are positive developments.
‘We have received a very positive response from trans people and their families and allies.’
Other guests included anti-bullying campaigner Paris Lees and the parent of a trans child.
Listen to the show now:
Guests of the show faced trolling at criticism
Dr Webberley is a passionate believer in helping young trans people with their gender identity.
Therefore, frustrated with the current NHS gender identity referral system, she set up an online service. Specifically, it allows her to help patients, privately, who want to access her sympathetic ear when it comes to their gender identity issues.
She explains to GSN: ‘The investigation comes after my global, patient-led approach to treatment. It goes against the adherence to what can be limiting protocols and lengthy waiting lists. These can be very distressing for patients with gender dysphoria.’
In addition, she defends her approach as ‘in line with modern International Guidelines.’
The criticism came in a ‘flurry of tweets’ after the podcast questioning both Webberley’s integrity and involvement in the show. Webberley shared this tweet as just one example of the sort of trolling she received after going on the show:
Why are you giving a mouthpiece to Dr. Helen Webberley – a dr who is under investigation by the GMC for violating NHS England guidelines with no empirical justification? Why aren’t you talking to people who have transitioned and regret it? Hardly balanced, are you? https://t.co/gXd9ytQG8j
— Morerotethanmeaning (@morerote) November 22, 2017
Webberley found the discussion a ‘welcome relief from all the negative press which the trans community has to deal with on an almost daily basis.’
That’s something Miliband spoke about too.
‘There is a media backlash which often refuses even to hear the voices of trans people. That’s why we gave airtime to the perspective and voice of trans people on this episode.’
‘I hope this will enable more people to understand the terrible bullying and struggles faced by so many trans people. I also hope it increases the number of people who rightly see transgender equality as an essential part of a progressive agenda.’
Likewise, anti-bullying campaigner Paris Lees who was also on the show, finds the criticism of Dr Webberley bizarre:
‘Helen is a highly qualified intelligent woman – so why has this podcast been so controversial? It’s just people directly affected by the issues at hand, citing facts and evidence. In addition to an expert who works in the field – what’s the problem?
‘However, it’s quite clear some people have an agenda and it’s ridiculous.
‘We’ve seen a backlash on every marginalized group who fight for their rights again and again throughout history. Now trans people are the group are targets for everything.
Moreover, speaking about why trans people have seen such a backlash in recent weeks, Lees calls the stories distraction techniques:
‘We see trans people on the front of newspapers, because what can they talk about? How good Brexit is going?’
As a result of the overwhelming about of responses to the show next week’s Reason’s to be Cheerful will have an extended feedback section where Ed Miliband will unpick the responses to last week’s show.
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