The Sun newspaper is under fire for a ‘scaremongering’ and ‘discriminatory’ trans story about the group Drag Queen Story Time.
Today the newspapers front page headline states ‘The skirt on the drag queen goes swish, swish, swish. Trans classes for kids aged two.’
Including in the digital version of the headline saying: ‘Drag queens are being sent to nursery schools to teach kids as young as two about “gender diversity.”‘
Aimee Challenor the Green Party LGBTIQA+ spokesperson has already filed a complaint with UK newspaper regulating body IPSO.
‘The Sun’s coverage of gender fluidity classes is a sad mix of scaremongering, discrimination and inappropriate jokes,’ Challenor says.
As with other trans activists, Challenor is frustrated at another story whipping up hate, while trans suicides are at such a high rate:
‘The rates of suicide and self-harm for young trans people are staggeringly high. It’s simply immoral for the Sun to feed into prejudice towards them. We should welcome the move to improve understanding by talking to children about gender fluidity from an early age.’
The story came out on the launch day of Anti-Bullying Week
Adding salt to the wounds for those who work with young trans people, it’s the UK’s Anti Bullying Week.
Speaking out today about news headlines, anti-bullying campaigner Paris Lees says was bullied violently at school.
‘Like many LGBT kids, home wasn’t always much better. But being anti-bullying is apparently now part of some evil trans agenda,’ Lees tweets.
Equally, anti-bullying week is something even the Church of England has been speaking out on today. They have released new guidance on homophobic and transphobic bullying:
2. All bullying – including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying – causes profound damage. It leads to higher levels of mental health disorders, self-harm, depression and suicide. #AntiBullyingWeek
— Justin Welby ن (@JustinWelby) November 13, 2017
The Drag Queen Story Time at the heart of The Sun story is actually much like any kids book reading session. However, it just happens to be led by drag queens.
Moreover, their stand out appeal is how their stories are trans inclusive and get young people thinking about gender identity. Notably, this is what has led to so much positive coverage from elsewhere in the media; including in BBC Three’s Amazing Humans series.
In the Sun, they quote the queens who lead the session as saying: ‘We’re not aiming to pitch narratives, just introducing the concept of it existing.’
Remembrance Day: *happens*
The Sun: PARENTS ARE LETTING DRAG QUEENS READ STORIES TO THEIR KIDS pic.twitter.com/UoKKYxhEPz
— Joe (@joelsmallman) November 12, 2017
How do you complain about transphobic newspaper stories?
In the event that you wanted inspiration for making your own complaint too, Challenor has shared the complaint she has sent to press regulator IPSO:
I wish to make a complaint under the Editors’ Code of Practice relating to the Sun’s coverage on November 13, 2017.
I believe the Sun has breached clause 12 by publishing prejudicial and pejorative coverage of ‘trans lessons’ for children.
The paper’s front page headline: ‘The skirt on the drag queen goes swish swish swish: Trans classes for kids aged 2’ pokes fun at the issue and ignores the very serious reasons why talking about gender fluidity from an early age are so crucial.
The article itself treats drag queens and the concept of gender fluidity lessons with contempt. The coverage is not only sensationalising but blatant scaremongering about the influence drag queens will have on toddlers.
We live in a society where eight out of 10 trans young people have self-harmed. And almost half have attempted to kill themselves. When our national newspapers publish attacks on the LGBTIQA+ community they are fostering a wider climate of hostility, fear and aggression towards us.
For this story to be published on the same day as the Church of England publishes guidelines to prevent transphobic bullying – which the Sun has also reported on and is well aware of – shows just how necessary these steps to prevent bullying are.
Please will you consider if this coverage has breached the code. If so, please take action against the Sun to ensure this does not happen again.
You can send your own complaint to IPSO here: https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/