Ranting at the BBC about factually inaccurate trans reporting

The below was sent to the BBC today at 23:18. It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to fix the article – or if they even bother, given they don’t usually cover trans issues at all. (I count exactly one direct reference since the start of June – the Cory Mathis bathroom case in the US. The remainder are references in passing, generally as part of defining what “LGBT” means and discussing pride events.

It seems you’re more likely to get referred to on BBC News for being a cis person making boots in large sizes or being a cis person getting an MBE for volunteering to help trans people than you are if you’re actually trans and campaigning on something. (The first story does mention a trans person in passing. It old-names them and uses some problematic and transphobic language presumably due to missing context in their quoting)

Dear BBC,

I am writing in relation to the article “Same-sex marriage set to enter law later this week” posted today on BBC News Online. It says:

MPs decided not oppose a number of minor changes agreed by the House of Lords. Among these were protections for transgender couples, which will allow people to change sex and remain married.

Ignoring the misleading statement about “opposing minor changes” (They were mostly, if not entirely, government amendments in the first place) the mention of amendments for transgender couples is incorrect. The provision to allow people to gain recognition of their gender whilst staying married, subject to a spousal veto, was part of the original bill. The Lords amendments altered the wording used to define the spousal veto and reintroduced a simplified version of gender recognition for those who transitioned many years ago.

The amendments would not allow anyone to gain gender recognition and remain married who would otherwise have been unable to do so.


Zoe O’Connell


  1. To be honest Zoe, I still do not understand the new legislation, The BBC’s take on it, or your response to it.
    And I am one of the few who it will affect!
    I married over 20 years ago (in Scotland) to a CIS woman. I had already transitioned prior to this. But as the law only allowed at the time, I was married as male to a female.
    We are still together after all these years, I’ve been prevented from obtaining GRC despite having surgery over 15 years ago. My partner is fully supportive. Whre the hell do I stand now?

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