Saturday, 23 March 2013

A Letter of Concern to MP's

Following on from the ridiculous response I received and yet more incidents of anti-trans sentiment in the media I have written a letter of complaint and concern about the increasingly common occurrences to my local MP in hopes of some kind of action.

I am aware, however that such concerns may fall on deaf ears.  As such I am asking any who read this post and share the same concerns to do the same.  There is also no reason to simply stop at MP’s, but also voice our concerns to other individuals that may be in place to help promote change.

Below is the letter I sent out, please feel free to copy it or simply draw inspiration from it to join in the fight against the anti-trans press.

Dear Mr Hollobone,

I was recently reading about the apparent suicide of transgender teacher Lucy Meadows following the negative attention and public ridicule she faced at the hands of journalist Richard Littlejohn and the Daily Mail.

I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, however, it is becoming clearer and clearer through articles run through various newspapers and magazines that a handful of journalists are using freedom of speech as a way of justifying what can only be described as harassment and hate speech towards transgender individuals. 

A recent example is the much talked about case of Joe Burchill and the Observer, a piece so filled with negative sentiment and prejudice that is was removed from the Observers website.  I joined the scores of people that wrote a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the article. The response I received, however, was shocking. 

The Press Complaints Commission admitted that the article did contain negative views and opinions towards transgender people and used false information to insult and degrade them, yet claimed that as she was attacking trans people as a whole and not any individual person than there was nothing they could do about the article in question.

Now we have another incident where a member of the British press has attacked a transgender individual in what can only be viewed as an attempt at ruining the poor woman’s career and personal life.  The fact that Miss Meadows took her own life soon after must be due in some part to this article.

I want to be able to complain about the incident, to approach the right people and make my case heard in order to avoid any further incidents like this and the Burchill article.  Unfortunately I feel that any complaints raised about anti-trans sentiment will swiftly fall on deaf ears.

As a transgender woman myself I can assure you that such articles are upsetting and damaging to the trans community.  Due to negative stereotyping and prejudice we are not given the respect and understanding we deserve. 

Something needs to be done in order to correct these mistakes and ensure that transgender people are taken seriously and given the respect we deserve.  I cannot believe that any other group of people would be allowed to be openly mocked and bullied in this way.

I hope that you will be able to raise this issue in Parliament and ensure that such incidents don’t happen again in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Yours sincerely,
Amy Walker.


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