Trans Labour candidate writes Sun column to respond to ‘joke’ about her

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Labour candidate Emily Brothers has written a column in The Sun in response to Rod Liddle’s joke at her expense.

The columnist had joked in his Sun column about the blind, trans parliamentary candidate: “Thing is, being blind, how did she know she was the wrong sex?”.

Mr Liddle later apologised for the “poor joke” – but the Sun’s head of PR Dylan Sharpe had insisted that it was “free speech”.

Ms Brothers, who came out on PinkNews last week, wrote in the Sun today about the overwhelmingly positive reaction she had received.

She said: “Last week I decided to ‘come out’ as transgender. One reason was that I didn’t want the decision forced on me – to have a powerful newspaper hold me up to ridicule and notoriety.

“The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive…. The one negative was a silly question from Sun columnist Rod Liddle asking how a blind person can know their sexual identity.

“I wondered aloud how he knows he’s a man when he turns the light out.

“I believe strongly in press freedom. But it should hold the rich and powerful to account, not mock and undermine the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

“So I support transgender campaigners who are calling for a more effective press code to ensure papers show respect and sensitivity.”

Of reaction in general, she said: “I have had encouraging words from the two men I need to beat – Lib Dem Paul Burstow and Tory Paul Scully.

“Also from my party leader Ed Miliband and thousands of ordinary people. I’m emotionally overwhelmed by the feedback. It is very humbling to hear that my personal story is inspiring people.”