A couple of years ago, at a National Union of Journalists event in London, I heard a speaker from Trans Media Watch talking about the way in which the tabloid papers had ‘outed’ and hounded Lucy Meadows, a transgender schoolteacher who subsequently committed suicide.
The incident was an example of the gutter press at its most despicable – and ignorant. Trans Media Watch condemned it, of course. But they also set about working with even the most bigoted and offensive sections of the media to try to change the way in which transgender people and their issues were reported.
The work of transgender organizations is often two-fold – to provide practical and emotional support to transgender individuals, but also to undertake the massive task of educating non-trans or cisgender people.
This month’s Big Story shows some of the progress being made, as well as the many challenges ahead. Most of the stories and illustrations are the work of transgender writers and artists, from different countries, while invaluable help has come from Christabel Edwards and Jennie Kermode of Trans Media Watch.
Elsewhere in this edition: as Burma heads for the polls, what is in store for its ethnic minorities? Worldbeater, meanwhile, takes a closer look at Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister and darling of the ruthless.
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.
It’s in the air – and calling for a mindset reset. Vanessa Baird tracks the course of transgender rights and their liberating potential for us all.
The sun streams in through the open windows of a corner house in Old Street, East London.
Inside people are milling about, making coffee and tea, rifling though second-hand clothes – including an original Vivienne Westwood T-shirt. Buying hand-knitted bears, home-made cakes, and getting their nails done.
Most are teenagers, a few are parents, some are volunteers. The teens chat about the usual things – music, social media, college courses. And puberty blockers, hormones and transitioni...
Small things, as suggested by CN Lester. But if every cis – or ‘not trans’ – person followed them, we’d be living in a kinder world.
Three million concerned Europeans signed a petition against a controversial new trade deal that will undermine human rights, explains Mark Dearn.