I am crying and sad and afraid – watching yet more hate and fear-mongering thrown at trans children, specifically at girls like my daughter.
The BBC Victoria Derbyshire show (05/03/18) want a discussion on the Gender Recognition Act. An act that at present only applies to adults and only relates to birth certificates. Not, as they are discussing, access to changing rooms or toilets.
An act that bears zero relevance to the Girl Guides having a progressive policy of welcoming trans girls.
Yet the BBC gives air time to the worst type of bigotry – raising fear about the threat my young daughter poses if she goes on a camping trip with her friends. .
No wonder trans children are struggling in the UK RIGHT NOW
Take any other minority. Take Muslim children, or black children or Jewish children, or neuro diverse children.
Would the BBC give air time to a person saying that Jewish girls are a threat to other girls? Would they say that parents need to be made aware of any Muslim girls going on a camping trip?
Would they allow such hate to go unchallenged?
Why is it fine to throw my child under the bus time and time again?
And to have this dangerous, scary, legally and morally wrong rhetoric of trans children being a threat utterly unchallenged?
With two trans panellists who were clearly out of their comfort zone on the topic of trans girls like my daughter.
One trans panellist even seemed to agree, focusing on the importance of careful ‘trans’ risk assessments before camping trips for children.
My child is not a risk. She is not a threat. She does not need a risk assessment. She is not to be feared.
She would love to go camping with her friends. She is a child.
She’d love to stay up late and eat marshmallows and tell ghost stories and play and laugh
How dare the BBC present trans girls in girl guides as a safety concern?
How am I meant to keep my child safe when even the lovely Victoria Derbyshire gives space to this outrageous hate and fear-mongering?
How dare the panel nod and agree that this scare-mongering against vulnerable children is balanced?
I don’t blame Rebecca Root or Clara Barker both incredible women.
They did a better job than I could of at staying calm in the face of such prejudice.
They were brought on to talk about the Gender Recognition Act not to talk about trans children.
But wake up people! We know that those opposed to trans rights are targeting trans children.
We know they quickly turn discussions to focus on children.
This is their standard approach. One of the panellists was even the public face of a website which explicitly states trans children are a ‘trend’ simultaneously denying their existence.
They do this because focusing on children is an easy win for those opposed to trans equality. They are defenceless.
They know that, like today, trans adults are often hesitant about speaking up for trans kids, possibly as the experience of socially transitioned trans kids today is outside of their direct experience.
They know that the UK public are totally ignorant about wonderful trans children like my daughter.
It is hard to stir up fear about trans women when sat opposite kind intelligent articulate trans women.
But without any young trans children on the show it is easy to spread fear about an unknown.
It’s easy to paint trans girls as a scary shadow.
The people who know trans children like my daughter see how preposterous this fear-mongering is.
She is just like any other girl.
But those raising anti-trans fear know that the public don’t know any trans girl guides.
They rely on this ignorance. They don’t care about the impact of this fear-mongering on my child.
Can you imagine being a 10 year old girl, happy to be moving up from Brownies to Girl Guides, excited to be going camping.
And watching the BBC describe you as a threat to your friends.
No wonder trans children are at breaking point in the UK.
The UK is not a safe place for my child and with every ‘debate’ which allows lies and misinformation to go unchallenged it becomes more dangerous.
How am I meant to tell my wonderful kind sweet (brave, clever, strong, funny) girl that everything is going to be alright when I just don’t have hope?
This country is a scary place to be a trans girl.
I am scared and I have had more than I can bear.
This is not balanced debate.
This is hate.
This is intent to incite fear and prejudice against a defenceless and vulnerable group of children and the BBC has once again provided the platform.
This is not ok.
This is never ok.
World. Be Better.
P.S. The photo is not my daughter. But is a wonderful trans girl (Rebekah) who deserves all the care and kindness and happiness the world can send. That girl’s mum (Jamie) blogs here
6 thoughts on “My Daughter is that ‘Scary Trans Kid’ the BBC warned you about.”
Thank you for sharing this, just to answer your final question on what to tell her, you tell her that she as a community and a history of amazing trans woman and cis woman who did make it even with the difficulties they faced on the way and that she can to and be anything she wishes to be. That hopefully we will get this sorted before she as to join the fight and that she can focus on her guiding for now as we got this one for her, and she is loved.
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I wanted to say sorry for not shutting down the debate on trans children better. It should not have been a point of discussion. The conversation flicked around so quickly, and with so many people, that it proved hard to discuss things properly. Live TV is an odd thing, and it was so important that I remain calm in order to not give them easy fodder. Of course, afterward I had answers, but not then. I have learned from the experience. I don’t intend to let that happen again if I get the chance.
What I will say is that this is a very vocal but very small group of people who think that way. There is no discussion about the GRC because it will be amended. There is no discussion about whether trans people are the gender they identify as because the equality act already covers that. There is not actually a discussion to be had on these things – certain people are just lashing out. (Or just trying to make a name for themselves – to them trans people are just a tool.) My job yesterday was to listen to their ‘concerns’, but I know they will find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Your daughter is strong, courageous and amazing. And I will do everything I can to make sure her future will be an accepted one.
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Thank you Clara for this kind message – it really means a lot! I thought you did a great job of staying calm on the panel and I do appreciate you speaking up for trans rights in a public forum that puts you in the direct line of fire from such bigots. I would not have been able to stay so calm and I think you are right that by remaining calm and dignified you will have won over more on the fence viewers, as your intelligence and calmness directly contrasted with their bigotry. I do think the panel was badly chaired by the presenter – there is no way you should have been thrown a question basically along the lines of are trans girls a
threat. What on earth are the BBC and VD (who is normally better on trans kids) thinking giving this platform and endorsement to such bigoted fringe views. Thank you for getting in touch x
Strange to think there was a time I used to be proud of the BBC as a national institution. Now ashamed to think of that as I wonder how many other minorities it has been casually trashing, since it has repeatedly shown itself hostile to me and mine. Thank you for speaking out on this, and for supporting your daughter in the face of all this hate and ignorance.
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I’m sorry that’s happening. Wishing for better, and kindness.
Your daughter is amazing but she is the future. Society has got to get away from this idea that being transgender is just an aberration. It is part of being a human being, part of the wonderful world we live in. The TERF’s are wrong and should be shown up for what they are transphobic liars who bully children and threaten trans women. Their hate filled rhetoric should have no place anywhere not just on the BBC. Their strident whining about freedom of speech is meaningless. When does freedom of speech include prejudice, threats of violence and discrimination. Social justice should include everyone. I hope your daughter when she grows up as a beautiful woman becomes a pilot, or an engineer, a doctor, an astronaut whatever she reaches for… Peace