The Times attacks trans teenager for applying to Jo Cox leadership programme

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The Times newspaper has repeatedly taken aim at a transgender teenager, most recently because she reportedly applied to the Jo Cox leadership programme.

The newspaper last week published an article criticising trans teenager Lily Madigan for being elected as the women’s officer for her local Labour Party after the previous post-holder was removed due to accusations of transphobia.

And has now quoted Labour members attacking Madigan for applying to the leadership programme founded after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last year.

The application, one member tells the Times, is a “monstrous insult” to women in the Labour party.

Another Momentum member said “women in the party are fuming” that Madigan has applied for a place on the programme.

But Madigan has tweeted to say she has not applied to the programme.

She wrote on Twitter: “Haven’t even applied. Shows what a joke the Times is”.

The Times attacks trans teenager for applying to Jo Cox leadership programme

Madigan, now 19, was last year forced to hire a solicitor after her school in Maidstone told the student she was not allowed to adhere to the female dress code, use female toilets or change in the female dressing room.

Times Lily Madigan
Times Lily Madigan

She later complained about tweets about gender identity sent by Anne Ruzylo, 52, a former women’s officer, which led to an investigation into the executive committee of Bexhill and Battle and Ms Ruzylo’s resignation.

Madigan was later appointed as the women’s officer in the Rochester and Strood CLP.

But the Times has published several articles criticising Madigan.

Her application to the Jo Cox leadership programme “defies the whole point of the scheme”, states the most recent article.

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It also mis-genders Madigan, saying that trans women are “people who are biologically male or who have lived part of their lives as men.”

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It also quotes a Momentum member who accuses the party of “redefining” the definition of the word “woman”.

Speaking to the Times, one trans party member criticised the application.

Kristina Harrison, 52, said: “The spaces and mechanisms really should be taken from men. They shouldn’t be taken from a fellow discriminated group. Yes, we need our own positive discrimination but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of women.”

Another trans woman tells the paper: “I would not compete for a place on the Jo Cox scheme against women who had been socialised as girls. As a trans woman, my formative experiences were different and that needs to be recognised.”

The Times attacks trans teenager for applying to Jo Cox leadership programme

Jo Cox was murdered last year

The Daily Mail earlier this week took a break from bashing the transgender community to highlight important issues on Trans Day of Remembrance.

It broke the ranks of other newspapers like the Sun, the Daily Star and the Times, which all ran negative articles about trans people and issues.

Instead, the Mail ran an article quoting the Mermaids charity highlighting the rise in numbers of trans and gender diverse people calling a helpline.

The article cites a Mermaids charity statement which says the number of calls for help has risen from 199 a year to over 1,700.

(Mail Online)
(Mail Online)

It also says email correspondences have risen from 296 a year to over 2,200.

The Mail article quotes an unnamed training manager at Mermaids who says that trans and gender diverse young people are self-identifying at a younger age due to YouTube and other resources including discussions on gender identity.

The source says: “Now young people are recognising someone, hearing what they are saying – they are able to say, ‘That’s me, that’s who I am’.”

The article, which takes a break from negative publicity given to trans rights in general by the Mail, has an overall positive tone and responsibly highlights the issue raised by Mermaids.

(Screenshot from Mail Online)
(Screenshot from Mail Online)

The Mail has previously published damning articles about Mermaids, calling it a “controversial” charity, calling parents “meddlers” and claiming that a mother dressed “her son, five, as a girl.”

Last week the Mail on Sunday published a column by Peter Hitchens, who was a vocal figure against same-sex marriage in England and Wales, who claimed that “trans zealots” are “destroying truth itself.”

A column was also published in September by Richard Littlejohn who claimed that trans inclusivity would lead to “burquas for boys”.

The Times attacks trans teenager for applying to Jo Cox leadership programme
Mermaids CEO Susie Green and Justine Greening (Image by Chris Jepson)

The Mail was one of several outlets that also published damning reports attacking the NHS for the cost of allowing trans young people to access fertility support to have children later in life.

It also published a horrifying report about a transgender rapist in prison and used a trans man’s photos without permission to accompany an article attracking trans rights.

The Times attacks trans teenager for applying to Jo Cox leadership programme

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But today’s report about Mermaids, which won a PinkNews Award in 2016 and was nominated again in 2017, came as a welcome break from transphobia, despite other outlets still publishing negative articles.

The Daily Star published an article with the headline “SEX SWAP’ CROOKS IN OWN JAILS”, which called trans women prisoners a “threat in women’s prisons” and used quotation marks around the term gender recognition certificate.

The Star article does not appear to offer any proof to back up its headline but did claim that a prisoner had falsely sought to transition in order to “make sexual offending very much easier.”

A Sun article about a trans rapist, commenting on her genitalia, misgendering her and criticising planned changes to the gender recognition process to make transitioning easier, claiming that it will remove powers to stop sexual offenders who “have changed gender to make sexual offending easier”.

The Sun trans
The Sun trans

The Mail also recently outed a gay teen against his will, and published an article attacking an out gay military member on the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

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