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Negative stories about trans people are on the rise in UK media

Negative stories about trans people are on the rise in UK media

a screenshot of young man with blonde hair sitting on a lounge room couch talking to the camera

LGBTI groups are becoming concerned about the upsurge in media stories portraying trans people in a ‘very negative light’. The upsurge comes as another young trans person died by suicide last week.

Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids an advocacy group for young trans people said the ‘press coverage is very worrying’.

‘Media needs to be held accountable for the damage done. Last week yet another young trans person chose to end their life,’ she told Gay Star News.

‘We know that the stories told discourage parents from supporting their children and this has a knock on effect on mental health.’

‘It is well documented that transgender people suffer from mental health issues due to prejudice and discrimination. They are not broken, society is.

Mermaids have had a quadruple rise in reports of ‘hate and prejudice’ against young trans people. The demand is so huge Mermaids has taken on a legal caseworker to deal with the incidents.

‘These have increased over the last year, and already they have had over 50 issues come through, which is more than quadruple what we had last year,’ Green said.

Green has worked at the coalface of trans rights for at least two decades. She hears personal stories about the how negative media stories immediately leads to transphobic incidents.

‘I have at least a dozen different accounts of negative media leading to wider family rejection, immediate transphobic abuses and violence,’ she said.

‘We are working to change the world into a kinder place for all, yet the constant barrage of daily anti trans pieces is appalling and validates hate.’

Raising awareness

Mermaids worked with Stop Funding Hate (SFH) and RAW Pictures to create a powerful video about the issue. They hope to raise awareness about negative media portrayals of young trans and non-binary people and their families.

‘We know that negative media portrayal has devastating effect on families and young people. Immediately after each press piece we see the distress discussed on the boards by families and young people,’ Green said.

‘The media environment is absolutely toxic right now, and when SFH contacted us, we wanted to help to highlight how this impacts families and young people.’

The video shares accounts from parents of trans children and also young children. They talk about the impact of negative media on themselves and the hate they have faced immediately after.

‘I feel as though the media portrays us like we’re not human beings,’ one young trans person says in the video.

Watch the video here