Dear Independent Press Standards Organisation,
People are entitled to their views on proposed changes to the law on gender recognition.
But debate must rest on facts, shared respect, and must not deny self-determination for transgender people and their right to exist. Instead, under your watch, discourse about transgender rights has become toxic and abusive.
In place of facts, newspaper coverage has relied on conjecture and false information. The authoritiative Women and Equalities Committee Report on transgender equality has been widely misrepresented.
In place of respect, coverage has become discriminatory. The very right of transgender people to exist has been repeatedly questioned and attacked.
It is clear that these attacks encourage the discrimination, harassment and violence that are suffered by members of this minority community every day. Research by Stonewall suggests that more than a third of all trans people suffered hate crimes or incidents in 2017.
The complete lack of any effective regulation has meant a free-for-all with disregard for the lives of thousands of vulnerable people, let alone their families, friends and colleagues. Your code does not even cover group discrimination complaints, while complaints about accuracy and other areas are routinely dismissed where they relate to transgender equality.
Your recently-announced toothless review of transphobic coverage is no more than lip-service: nothing will change until you adjudicate fairly, order equal prominence corrections and apologies, and allow complaints about the abuse of transgender people as a group.
We write to express our deep dismay and to ask you to address this problem urgently and publicly. While the press must be free to do its job, your implicit condoning of transphobic hate and disinformation must stop.
Hacked Off | Joss Prior - Activist | DIVA Magazine | Linda Riley - Co-Founder of the British LGBT Awards | Kacey de Groot - Co-Secretary (Women’s) of the National Education Union Trans and Non-binary Educators Network | Chay Brown - TransActual UK | Annie Wallace - Actress, campaigner, patron of Mermaids | Helen Belcher - Campaigner and Leveson Witness | Gemma Thompson - Parent of trans child and trans advocate | Helen - Parent of trans child and trans advocate | Sarah O’Connell - Chat Show Host and Film Critic | Christine Burns MBE - Author and retired trans rights advocate | Jennie Kermode - Chair, Trans Media Watch | Jane Fae - Writer and Trans Media Watch | Trans Media Watch | Kathy O'Donnell | Munroe Bergdorf | Lisa Moorish | Rhiannon Spear - Chair of TIE Campaign | Jack Monroe |