The Times has compared being transgender to anorexia, self-harm and disease

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The Times has caused outrage after using a trans activist’s mental health to question young people’s claims of gender dysphoria.

The article, by Janice Turner, has sparked a backlash from YouTube star Alex Bertie and his followers due to its transphobic comments.

Alex, who recently released a book detailing his transition, explained in the interview the depression he experienced in his childhood due to his gender dysphoria, and how much his mental health has improved since transitioning.

The Times has compared being transgender to anorexia, self-harm and disease
(YouTube/Alex Bertie)

Turner went on to ask why “so many teenage girls now believe they are boys”, referring to the number of children seeking treatment at the Gender Identity Clinic in London.

The journalist failed to consider that more children may be seeking help understanding their gender identity due to growing acceptance of trans people in society, as well as there being more positive trans representation in the media than ever before.

Throughout the interview, Turner critiques Alex’s appearance and focuses on his ability to have children in the future, rather than his improved mental health or his tireless activism.

“After 18 months on testosterone, injected into his buttock every three months, Alex’s voice is low; he has a passable beard and has filled out a little, but is still a birdlike 5ft 4in and his hair is receding.

“His periods have stopped and he is now probably infertile,” she continued.

Alex’s boyfriend and fellow transman Jake hit out against the unfair article over Twitter

Turner then begins to imply that the gender dysphoria experienced by these children is down to undiagnosed autism, or the result of sexual abuse.

She even says that the increase in the number of young people exploring their gender identities and choosing to transition is a “social contagion”, and one she compares to anorexia and self-harm.

Alex and his fans expressed disgust at the article on social media, and Alex let his frustration over the article’s harmful representation of trans people show.

He went on to admit to his fans how the article affected his emotional well-being.

His boyfriend, fellow transman and Youtuber Jake Edwards, showed support on Twitter and expressed anger at Turner’s blatant exploitation of his boyfriend’s story in order to push her transphobic views.

Jake then posted another article in which he and Alex were interviewed, which he encouraged his followers to read instead of Turner’s, saying that unlike how Alex must have felt when interviewed for The Times, Jake felt “thoroughly respected”.

Alex Bertie and Jake Edwards are inspirational figures within the trans community and beyond.

By sharing their stories and their journeys transitioning through social media, they are allowing a growing number of young people to understand their feelings of gender dysphoria, and are helping eliminate feelings of shame within the LGBT community.

This is unfortunately not the first time Alex Bertie himself has been used to push an anti-trans message in the media.

Last month, The Mail on Sunday used pictures of Alex without his consent to illustrate an article titled “NHS pressured our kids to change sex”.

The article, which describes trans girls as “young boys who want to be female”, showed pictures of Alex during different stages of transition, completely without his consent.

Alex posted on Twitter, saying the incident was “disgraceful”.

Alex Bertie Twitter
Alex Bertie Twitter

Comments below the Times article were not very encouraging, with many praising the piece, calling it “brave”, and one reader suggesting Alex’s decision to possibly adopt instead of conceiving naturally was “very disturbing”.


Other commenters did not hold back on their transphobia, with one describing it as a “tragedy” that young people are exploring their gender identity, and another calling herself “TERF and proud”.

The Times
The Times

Turner recently wrote another anti-trans piece targeting performer and activist Travis Alabanza.

Travis, who identifies as transfeminine and uses the pronoun “they”, was repeatedly misgendered by Turner, who referred to them as “he” throughout the piece.

She used Travis’ recent post calling out Topshop for not allowing them to use their all genders changing room as a way to push the view that the trans community is “doctrinaire” and “uncompromising”.

In the article, Turner even compared the acceptance of young people using binders to feel more comfortable in their bodies as “endorsing a practice reminiscent of Chinese foot-binding”.

She added that the idea of adults choosing to accept their child’s genuine feelings of gender dysphoria was comparable to affirming an “anorexic’s delusions that they are fat”.