Staff at the United State branch of The Guardian have issued a scathing response to a recent editorial about trans people.
In October, the UK Guardian posted a controversial editorial during public consultations about the country’s Gender Recognition Act (GRA).
The GRA is desperate need of an update since it first became law in 2004. Trans advocates have called for the legal transition process to become more streamlined and to allow people to self-identify their gender rather than get a medical panels approval.
But many groups opposed these recommendations including many anti-trans feminist groups. The Guardian claimed not to take any side in the debate, but said women should have the right to question ‘male-bodied’ people’s access to female spaces.
‘The struggle for women’s empowerment is ongoing,’ the editorial read.
‘Reproductive freedoms are under threat and the #MeToo campaign faces a backlash. Women’s concerns about sharing dormitories or changing rooms with “male-bodied” people must be taken seriously. These are not just questions of safety but of dignity and fairness.’
This doesn’t speak for us
But in a freshly published response, the US Guardian staff hit back at the editorial. According to US journalist, Sam Levin, almost all journalists in the US disagreed with the editorial.
The staff pointed out the high levels of abuse trans people face.
It also condemned the UK’s editorial’s assertion that ‘trans rights “collide” with cis women’s rights; that equality for trans women “could adversely affect other women”; and that allowing trans women to access public spaces threatens cis women’s “safety”’. It said these claims were unsubstantiated.
‘The editorial’s unsubstantiated argument only serves to dehumanize and stigmatize trans people. Numerous academic studies have confirmed that trans-inclusive policies do not endanger cis people,’ the US editorial read.
The US journalists pointed out The Guardian’s long history of fighting for the ‘voiceless’.
‘Our journalism should be grounded in the principle that trans women are women, and that trans people should have the right to feel safe to live as themselves,’ it read.
The @Guardian published an editorial about trans rights that many @GuardianUS staff felt was transphobic. Nearly all reporters and editors from our US offices wrote to UK editors with our concerns. https://t.co/QnJXdJxihY me w/ @MonaChalabi + @SabrinaSiddiqui
— Sam Levin (@SamTLevin) November 2, 2018