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Metro newspaper profits twice from transphobic advert: Pay the money forward

Metro newspaper profits twice from transphobic advert: Pay the money forward

media Young trans youth showing their Pride in New York | Photo: GenderFamilyProject Instagram / Daniel Tepper

Today over 100 organizations, including Gay Star News, have published a full page advert in British newspaper Metro supporting the UK’s trans community.

But this means that twice in one week, Metro has profited from the transphobia whipped up by the proposed reforms of the Gender Recognition Act. 

Last week, transphobes crowdfunded an estimated £40-45K to spend on a full page advert from those opposed to allowing trans and non-binary people to self-identify. Today’s Metro advert appeared from pro-trans organizations.

The UK government is currently holding a public consultation to reform its 2004 Gender Recognition Act.

Currently, trans people wishing to legally change gender have to provide extensive documentation to a Gender Recognition Panel.

The consultation has questions about whether to change this process. It could even open up the route to self-identification: an important milestone for the UK trans community.

But transphobes have been rallying around this consultation, to whip up hate.

The ad in the Metro by Fair Play For Women.
The ad by Fair Play For Women. | Photo: @christineburns/Twitter

I’m a proud trans ally. I believe anyone profiting out of the pain and bullying of anyone is wrong.

I’m proud that we at Gay Star News were a co-signature to today’s advert. I fully admire and stand by the action.

But I won’t stand by as anyone profits, twice in one week, from one vile act aimed at stirring up hate against trans people.

Metro should now pay any profits it earned from these ads to a trans charity.

The trans youth charity Mermaids, a co-signature of today’s letter, who do incredible work supporting young trans people – is just one suggestion.

The full-page advertisement coming out for trans equality (Photo: Stonewall)
The full-page advertisement coming out for trans equality (Photo: Stonewall)

What is the best thing you can do to fight against transphobia?

Trans people want to be able to change their gender by ‘self-identification’. They say the current process is long, costly and overly-bureaucratic.

They say too many get turned down by the Gender Recognition Panel and appealing any decision is near impossible.

Just last week one friend was telling me exactly why this process was putting them off continuing the process. It’s a demeaning process stopping so many trans people all over the UK from even applying for legal recognition.

It was heartbreaking to hear them tell me about their dysphoria, only to say ‘why bother changing it all – it will just become harder being out as trans anyway.’

That is devastating.

Various international studies around the world show that nearly 1 in 2 trans people try to take their life. Other studies have shown trans people are also more likely to put themselves at risk with drugs and alcohol.

Last year, an investigation carried out by Gay Star News showed that only one of just 12 gender clinics in the UK were meeting the NHS waiting time requirements for this process.

Whether you are a UK LGBTI person or an ally, this week is your chance to act.

Flag saying respect transgender trans
A call for respect and equality | Photo: Flickr/Franziska Neumeister

Fill out the GRA Consultation

Anyone can fill out the consultation. Many of the questions need answers from trans people. But many allies can help by filling out the consultation too.

This guide, by LGBT rights charity Stonewall, takes you through the consultation question by question. It has help and advice on how best to support trans people in your answers.

There is also advice out there from Mermaids, the National Union of Students and the LGBT Foundation.

The most important questions to answer are about self-identification, and de-medicalizing the current process in the UK. So even if you only answer a few questions, it will make a huge difference.

If you need more persuading or evidence for your answers:

I’ve just filled out the GRA,  from the point of view of a trans ally, which took me no more than ten minutes.

It could change the lives of generations of trans people.

Take a stand.

Jamie is Video and Digital Pride Production Manager at Gay Star News – Follow @jamie_wareham on Twitter.

Read more from Gay Star News:

Suicide risk in trans teens is as significant as deaths caused by cancer and drugs

A message to anyone who believes self-ID for trans people will end society