OPINION: The Telegraph are transphobic – and here’s why

Brittany Tijou-Smith comments on the transphobic content created by the major news organisation and their latest actions.

The Telegraph recently gave their employees the opportunity to openly help LGBT+ staff by wearing little rainbow badges as a sign of support, sharing pins around their offices in hopes that employees will help to spread the positive message.

An anonymous employee posted this new workplace initiative online.

The message reads: “By wearing this badge pinned to my lanyard, I commit to being a visible support to my LGBT+ colleagues. I will embody The Telegraph values and support diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all regardless of personal identity. I am proud to be a part of Out Loud at The Telegraph.”

If you identify as a male or female, your biological anatomy is irrelevant – despite this, The Telegraph has used derogatory words that are offensive to the trans people.

There has been backlash from the LGBT+ community, who have branded the news organisation as ‘transphobic’, after using headlines such as: “Boys who think they are girls allowed to join Guides for first time” and “Trans row as men get access to women’s NHS wards.”

The Tweet above shows the contrasting language used when reporting on trans issues – the headline stating: “Sex-change men will soon be able to have babies”, which was soon edited to “Babies born to transgender mothers could happen tomorrow.”

The article show below was published online on January 10th and identifies trans women as men.

Another article by the Daily Telegraph in Australia,  transgendered people were described as ‘trannies’, a disrespectful slang term.

It seems contradictory that language like this would be used, despite their apparent ethics and values stating that they “support diversity.”

A conscious choice in more inclusive language would be welcomed enormously, and the introduction of little rainbow badges is just a way to over their backs to anti-trans comment.

As a cisgendered female, I understand that I cannot fully understand the impact of transphobic language, however I show sympathy and understanding towards the LGBT+ community. Not only that but I strive to help spread awareness about these issues in a small way, as an ally.

If you have experienced transphobic or any other threatening behaviour towards the LGBT+ community, you can report the incident on Galop, an anti-violence organisation that gives advice and support to those who are victims of domestic and sexual abuse, as well as hate crimes.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments

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Brittany Tijou-Smith

Brittany is a third year Multimedia Journalism student, her work has been featured on KentLive and KentOnline. Her filming work also won ‘Documentary of the Year 2018’ at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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