A frenzy of falsehoods about vaginas and penises? It’s how trans “debate” goes nowadays. Don’t expect it to improve any time soon.

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Adapted from The Victory of Truth over Heresy by Peter Paul Rubens (17th century): public domain

Debate is one thing. But when discussion of trans healthcare is regularly sidetracked by out and out falsehoods and misinformation, there can be no meaningful exchange of views. Here I tackle a couple of the worst examples that keep coming back, despite having zero basis in fact.

The abominable vagina!

Did you know that the trans vagina — or, as the medics like to call it, the “neo-vagina” — is in fact an open wound? A bloody unnatural abomination that can only be sustained by daily dilation? No. Me, neither. …

To the prosecco feminists of the UK media, transgender is the real threat

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Image by Ben Sutherland released via Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

Through work with Trans Media Watch, i am all too aware that the UK press is obsessed with trans people. A mix of insomnia and curiosity led me to do some very basic research and the results are shocking.

Now read on.

Media obsession

It has long been a given that the obsession shown by the mainstream media with anything trans-related is unbalanced. Out of all proportion to either the numbers involved or the actual impact on society at large, i noted sourly a year or so back, as the Times monstered yet another trans campaigner. Their crime? …

If English judges are so troubled by my orgasms…the least they could do is ask me about them!

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Adapted from The Romans in their Decadence (Les Romains de la décadence by Thomas Couture (1847): public domain

Central to the recent Tavistock ruling over the use of puberty blockers for trans kids was a panel of cis folks pontificating on the potential impact, further down the transition road, of their impact on fertility and “sexual function”.

Bad enough that these remarks demonstrate a degree of absolute ignorance about trans sexuality: the equivalent of blowing smoke out of their perfectly manicured legal bottoms. The fact, though, that they could hold such a discussion without inviting a single trans person to comment is beyond shameful.

Now read on.

Legal duplicity

Over the last week I have mostly left the recent Tavistock judgment on the prescribing of puberty blockers to trans children to the lawyers. After all, I would trust that such people are far better qualified than I to indulge in such legal nit-picking. …

Do i smell transphobia? Or did someone just pass wind?

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Based on The Soul of the Rose by John William Waterhouse (1908): public domain

Earlier this week, many in the trans community were dismayed by news that alternative cosmetics retailer, Lush, had been smearing large quantities of money over some already plump and deeply transphobic bodies. Donations to Women’s Place UK (WPUK) were cited as evidence of badness, and the LGBTQ rumour mill ran rife.

How true is this? And what does it say about Lush’s commitments to the trans community? Now read on.

It all began with the publication of accounts by Women’s Place UK. These revealed, to the consternation of many, that they had received some pretty large handouts from Lush UK over the last few years. Shock! …

Balance is for the birds, “debate” absurd. And the Beeb’s policy is just so many meaningless words.

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Based on “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh (1889): public domain

When defending itself in public, the BBC makes much of its claim to be “balanced”. The problem is: not only is the concept of “balance” dodgy in the extreme — a tool for inserting whatever tinfoil conspiracy theory takes the fancy of editors — but the BBC does not apply its own rules even-handedly. A lack of balance when it comes to balance, so to speak.

Now read on…

In the pink corner, today, we have jane, who will be arguing that the BBC is biased in its coverage of minority issues and bordering on not fit for purpose. And in the very blue corner, we will have Mr Raving-Bigot, who will explain how the BBC is doing no more than abiding by its patriotic duty to weed out all the freaks and weirdos wilfully polluting this Land of Soap and Tory with their Equal Opps Opsession. …

A Baker’s Dozen of tropes, techniques and total tripe that the UK media reach for when trash-talking trans people

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An allegory of Truth and Time by Annibale Carracci (1584): public domain in US and elsewhere

Over the last three years, the UK press and broadcast media have unleashed an unprecedented wave of hate against trans people. To the enormous chagrin of our media barons, it is not (yet) permitted to publish articles composed entirely of the phrase “trans people suck”. So they have to find other ways to have a go. Here, at the start of Trans Awareness Week, is a handy guide to some of the ways in which they do so.

And a Bingo card.

It begins with the lie direct: the statement, as fact, that a thing that is definitely untrue is true. …

Apparently it is all about free speech: tell that to the trans woman who ends her evening out battered and bloodied

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Based on an original image: Le Meurtre by Paul Cézanne (c.1870): public domain

The last three years have seen an unprecedented level of vicious, sensationalist, misleading and outright untrue stories in the press and broadcast media painting trans people as abnormal and a threat. Little wonder that we are now seeing that work its way through into actual physical attacks on trans people going about their lawful business in public.

TW/CW: Extreme violence against trans people. Transmisogyny.

This is not going to be an easy piece to write. Not easy to read either and, seriously, if you are of a sensitive disposition, or just reeling from the hostility of the anti-trans campaigns over the last few years, just don’t!

The sorry truth, though, is that attacks on trans people are on the up. Or, before the transphobes and bigots get to work pushing their alternative agenda, which all too often boils down to “they were asking for it”, reported violent crime against trans people, and trans women in particular, is up across the board in the UK. …

“Not Again!” declare trans people cheesed off at yet ANOTHER inquiry into their everyday lives

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Norwegian Forest Cat, Mr Paws, unimpressed by Women and Equalities Committee Decision

Just as trans people were beginning to get used to NOT being the focus of intense press intrusion, yet another inquiry into the GRA heaves itself over the horizon: and you just know the UK media will misbehave. Again.

I know. I heard the collective groan from the trans community when it was announced. Not another “trans inquiry”! This time, it’s the Women and Equalities Committee picking over the bones of the government decision on Gender Recognition (GRA) Reform. Well-intentioned. Because members of that committee were not impressed by Liz Truss’ damp squib of an announcement in September.

It won’t exactly be a “let’s-pile-in-on-the-tranz” exercise. In fact, we don’t even know if they will call witnesses or merely confine themselves to giving Truss a good grilling. An exhilarating experience, no doubt for so ardent a turophile (that’s cheese-lover, for those who prefer English). …

…if it’s Monday, it must be time for the cis to obsess over every aspect of trans lives. Again

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A stack of newspapers by Daniel R Blume (2007): image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

In a week when trans folk reacted with concern at a trio of new news stories that hint at yet more controversy facing the UK community, we should console ourselves with the thought that it could have been worse. Much worse…

Whew! For once, the week in trans news has been good. Well, not bad. Or at least, less than dreadful.

I know. How can I possibly say that when every day brings new awfulness? Look on the bright side. J K Rowling has launched her cross-dressing book, hit her sales target, and suddenly her trans tweeting has dried up. Not that the two events are remotely related. …

Time to do better

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Hatred by Edvard Munch (1907): public domain

English Hate Crime Laws are a mess. Different levels of protection for different groups, and significant groups, such as women, excluded altogether. A new consultation from the Law Commission envisages fixing many of these issues. Here, explore background to the consultation and highlight some of the issues that might arise.

A few years back, one anti-trans organisation, incensed that its meeting had been cancelled by a football club tweeted out to supporters of that club, questioning their virility if they allowed themselves to be upstaged by a bunch of “men in dresses”. …


jane fae

Feminist, writer, campaigner on political and sexual liberty who also knows a bit about IT, the law and policing. Not entirely serious…

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