In common with much of the UK Trans community, I’m too angry to write a coherent post about this right now. The Daily Mail have just published an article about the defendant in the recent death on the London Underground also being Trans. This gives them the perfect opportunity to engage in mis-gendering, bad stereotypes and all the other bigotry beloved of that publication, particularly given the possible sex worker angle too. (I’m sceptical on this point, a renowned human rights lawyer would not typically need the extra money)
I’m not just angry with the Mail though, I’m also angry with British Transport Police and the courts. The only reason the press got wind of this story was because the BTP told the press a “man” had gone under the train, in direct contradiction to eyewitnesses who stated it was a woman so they looked into it further. It’s really not hard to write a press release without gendering someone if you’re not mentioning their name anyway – most people won’t even think twice if it fails to mention if it’s a bloke or woman. Via The Sun, whose article is marginally better than the Daily Mail but only just, we know there was no initial confusion that lead to this outing by the police as those on site at the incident initially had no reason to believe she was a Transwoman.
And then we have the courts. We don’t know the full story for now, perhaps it was bought up by the defence team for some reason but if not why did the Courts allow the defendant to be outed in this way? It’s possible this will prejudice any future trial in such a way that it can’t be a fair trial. (It would possibly have to come out anyway as a defence against any allegation that it was a hate crime, but that decision was months away and could have been handled better) Even if it was an accidental outing, the Judge could have prevented the gutter press from reporting that particular fact.
To top it all off, we learn the defendant has been taken to a male prison. I do not know the defendant so I can’t be sure how far down the road to transition they are, but if they are full time this seems grossly inappropriate and may be putting them in serious danger.
And finally, notice that the Daily Mail “reporter” writing the article gets anonymity. One rule for them…