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Understand the LGBTQIA+ news: "Bigoted" and "hostile" journalists spent time outside trans inclusive rape crisis centre
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Understand the LGBTQIA+ news: "Bigoted" and "hostile" journalists spent time outside trans inclusive rape crisis centre

QueerAF
QueerAF

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For the last few weeks - a small part of me thought we might just have gotten away with it. Maybe the election campaign might not be defined by journalists and politicians scoring points with transgender people afterall.

That naive hope, of course, was shattered this week - in large parts thanks to a single Telegraph headline that set the agenda for the week ahead of a Kier Starmer visit to a school.

The headline said 'Labour to rip up school trans ban'. That artcile's first line had the true reality of course: "Labour could ditch guidelines banning children from being taught there are more than two genders, a shadow minister suggested". Could, being the crucial word.

At this stage, the Shadow Education Minister Bridget Phillipson said she simply intended to complete the consultation and review it. She said she'd do this with children's "wellbeing" as her paramount priority, adding that the guidance did have some "good and straightforward principles" while other language was too "partisan and unnecessary". She'd also been grilled by The Times Radio and LBC on what transgender toilets people should use - and again gave a pretty nuanced and compassionate answer to both outlets, too.

But with the front page focus from the Telegraph whipping up a moral panic around 'the guidance being dropped' – a policy announcement that never was – Kier Starmer told journalists later that day at the school "ideology" should not be taught in our schools "on gender".

It was a classic, on the fence, Labour approach where the words gender and ideology were separated intentionally. It means the party hasn't commited to anything. But, it gives something from all sides something to claim. For the mostly right-wing UK press, this allowed them to get Starmer on record as saying 'Gender ideology' should not be taught in schools'.

It shows the power gotcha-obsessed journalists and outlets have over the way our nuanced and complex lives are set to be led, even under a potential new government.

So amid all this, I've been blown away by the last few weeks too, though, where you've signed up in your droves for our membership drive.

As Pride month draws to an end the sale we've been running alongside it ends on Monday at midnight. We're already smashed our first target in The Public News Interst Foundation match funding. And now, we're pushing to have 50 new members sign up this month - we're just four members away!

What's all to clear by the above tale of headlines forcing a policy change, is how much we need more of us in the newsroom. We can't let the next five years be dominated by what the media want. It should instead report on what LGBTQIA+ and other marginalised communities need.

So, if you haven't signed up, please - consider doing so today before our sale ends. It will directly help us counter these harmful narratives at their source:

You'll join new members like Adie, Julie, Hannah, Rev Amy Philip, Joshua Littleford, Julie Hussey, Adrian, Emma, Hannah and Hugh, who are just a handful of the 46 new members who have signed up in the last few weeks.

And to show you we're putting our money where our mouth is - we've got a new Queer Election Watch piece out every day from today until the election Thursday to put the focus on the issues that matter most to our community. Plus, next week, a new queer creative is joining us to support our socials and help even more people understand the LGBTQIA+ news.

We're a non-profit, regulated and totally unique newsroom. Help us invest in a new generation of LGBTQIA+ journalists, and then let's change the newsroom - so we can change the country.


Understand the LGBTQIA+ headlines and keep track of the latest queer content and perspectives. QueerAF is written by Jamie Wareham and a different queer creative every week.

πŸ’¬ This week:

  • ERCC: Following an intense media focus on a leading Scottish rape charity, one user of the service writes for QueerAF about the "bigoted" and "hostile" journalists that spent time outside the centre which provides counselling to vulnerable survivors.
  • David Tenant: After a speech at the British LGBT+ Awards, the actor has been the centre of a media-manufactured political storm about transgender rights.
  • Infected Blood Scandal: Sunak used language that blamed some people who are diagnosed with HIV for the transmission. Eliot Rose writes about we must call out that dangerous slide into old-school homophobia and HIV stigma in the Queer Gaze.

Skip the doomscrolling and support queer creatives instead. We are QueerAF – and so are you.


"Bigoted" and "hostile" journalists spent time outside trans inclusive rape crisis centre

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