Between aggressive Anti-Trans campaigners on social media and conservative publications such as The Times, the circulation of propaganda targeting transgender people reaches millions of readers every day, in one medium or another.
It would be impossible to scrape the entirety of twitter for all of the accounts dedicated to espousing bigotry toward and misinformation about the transgender community, but there are a few very high profile influencers who make it their mission to shape public opinion on transgender people.
Graham Linehan, one of the most notorious anti-trans lobbyists has over half a million followers on Twitter. The content of his account primarily targets transgender woman. He refers to trans people as self-mutilating for having gender confirmation surgery. He has used his platform to tell his audience that we’re dangerous to children, misogynistic and uses extremist language to convince them that transgender women are erasing women and lesbians, threatening their rights and even making them vulnerable to rape.
Linehan has postured himself as a savior to the same women he has deliberately panicked with his rhetoric. He uses a string of lies, malformed opinions based on his own prejudices to manipulate and control his followers into sharing his skewed perspectives. Linehan has no limit to his relentless attacks on transgender women he targets and dog whistles his audience to virtually harass. Last year he was given a formal police warning after engaging in a debate with transgender woman, Stephanie Hayden, on gender identification. Linehan even posted a picture of her revealing her pre-transition name, urging his followers to join him in a vicious take-down. Hayden was dead named, misgendered, and overwhelmed with transphobic abuse as a direct result of Linehan’s provocation.
Hayden isn’t the only one who has found themselves in Linehan’s crosshairs. Linda Riley, who serves as Director on the bard of GLAAD, has been called names, mocked and attacked by Linehan for simply expressing solidarity with the transgender community.
Bizarrely, Linehan sees himself as something of a spokesperson for women, especially lesbians who he recruits into his belief that transgender women are men that are intent on harming them- and if you do not believe what Linehan tells you to believe, you are a “misogynist.” Ironic, isn’t it. A man attempting to control the thoughts, ideas and opinions of women, posing as their great white hope while clearly implying he doesn't believe they’re smart enough to draw their own conclusions is dubbing other women who defect from his hive-think as misogynists. That’s what he called Linda Riley, a lesbian who expressed publicly that she did not believe Linehan spoke for all lesbian women. She took a poll, and most agreed with her.
So, he had to callously attacker her again when the results weren’t faring well for him.
So, because Riley didn’t fall into formation with Linehan, he reduced himself to calling her names.
Ah, what a gleaming example of feminism. It’s no surprise that some LGBTQ communities, recognizing his reach, have stepped forward to rebuke him.
But Graham is just a small symptom of a bigger social disease. The Times and Sunday Times has a circulation of roughly a million readers, not including their online site. In the last several months alone, the Times has published dozens of Anti-Trans articles — once publishing four transphobic pieces in a single issue. They have been sued by their former night editor, Katherine O’Donnell, who underwent gender reassignment surgery while working at The Times and was subject to harassment, bullying, refused raises and saw opportunities for promotions blocked by transphobic colleagues. O’Donnell disclosed the internal temperament toward transgender women and the bias within their stories. Behind closed doors, even covering transgender murders was met with flippant jokes and even blamed on the victims.
“ On one occasion, O’Donnell alleges, during a news meeting with two senior editors in which a murderous attack on trans women in India was mentioned, one of the editors made a transphobic joke about it being a “lifestyle choice.
I left the room in shock,” O’Donnell told the tribunal. “I didn’t know I was going to vomit until I got to the loo.” O’Donnell says she was then sick.
In her witness statement, she wrote: “The callous and dehumanising nature of the comments, however intended, left me feeling as if the floor had opened up beneath me and that I had fallen into a reality in which what these men really thought of me and people like me was revealed.” — Katherine O’Donnell
The Times, in the last few months, have launched an aggressive smear campaign against Mermaids, a children's charity that serves families of transgender kids. They provide counseling referrals, resources, activities and education. Andrew Gilligan and Janice Turner, both Times Journalists not only used their respective bylines to attack the charity, but their social media as well. Turner even threatened another children’s charity, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) with starting a protest to stop all direct debit donations. Why? Because the NSPCC enlisted Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf to help expand their campaign reach to LGBTQ children- the most vulnerable of all. Turner branded Bergdorf a “Porn model” -a blatant lie- but got her wish.
Immediately, the NSPCC unceremoniously severed ties with Bergdorf in a controversial act that was met with enormous backlash. The charity bent to the will of hatred.
The Times’ anti-trans agenda has caused insurmountable grief, not only for those in the transgender community, but for organizations whose function is to support us. Rarely is the information they report accurate, fair, or even honest. Instead, It’s rife with personal bias rather than actual journalism. This is why they have been taken to task for their disturbing fixation on transgender people and riling up the uneducated or misinformed in chorus against us.
While The Times is the kingpin in the Anti-Trans mafia, other publications like The Guardian have also published ill-informed propaganda pieces, one that was so derogatory, the United States division of Guardian journalists wrote an op-ed condemning their colleagues for their senseless attack on trans rights in the UK.
It is a reasonable conclusion that platforming social media users like Julie Bindel- who refers to transgender women as “The Trans Taliban” as well as organizations like Mumsnet, A Woman’s Place UK and conservative media like the Times are certainly not without blame when it comes to the increasing hostility toward transgender individuals. These people and publications have used their audience and bylines as a megaphone solely intended to stoke the ire of the pubic.
They work in concert with one another in a great vicious circle. Andrew Gilligan writes glowing articles about Mumsnet, while Mumsnet stages protests at trans positive events. Janice Turner works with Andrew Gilligan in their effort to create a violent culture for transgender people by constantly challenging the authenticity of our identities and vilifying us by implying we all possess some ill-intent. They all follow each other on social media, retweeting each other’s daily hit piece on transgender women, children or service.
And no one is holding them accountable.
Quite simply, the opposition have newspapers, audiences of millions who they’re manipulating into alignment with their corrupt ideologies. This seeps out like a toxin into the mainstream, saturates our culture and it breeds only more bigotry based on the rhetoric they regurgitate. They claim to be freedom fighters, champions of women, safeguarding children or whatever else they can muster to feign altruism. In fact, they don’t care about anything but aggregating a mob of pitchfork carrying, torch brandishing flagellants to brutally pursue an innocent, vulnerable community of people who aren’t hurting anyone… but now must live in fear of being attacked, wounded or killed as a result of reckless reporting and abusive social media use.