So, this weekend I was hopeful. I was hopeful that the #TransDocFail stories might hit the mainstream and highlight the treatment that trans* people face at the hands of the medical profession. As a queer, but cis, guy I was expecting some of it, but the sheer scale of it was flooring.
The hashtag was started by @auntysarah in response to the media's general trans* healthcare narrative. I don't want to repeat the story, but it is worth reading Sarah's piece on trying to bait the media with a story of a trans* person regretting surgery - on her hand - and how it all lead to the birth of the hashtag.
And then it's worth reading Zoe O'Connell's collation of the lowlights ranging from Doctor's ignorance of what the NHS offers, long waits, administrative mistakes, misgendering, the idea that every ailment is connected with trans* status, abuse, "doctor knows best", unnecessary hoop-jumping and the rigid enforcement of the gender binary.
And it was being picked up. A little bit. Space in PinkNews and an article in New Statesman. It felt like things were reaching some kind of critical mass which might break through to "mainstream" media.
And then Suzanne Moore went off the deep end throwing vitriolic transphobic comments around in response to people calling her out for a phrase in an otherwise alright piece.
Yes, there was a problem with the original piece, but the greater offence came from Moore's handling of that offence. If she had listened to those who said they were offended the article could have been improved, and maybe, just maybe we could have had a story of the mistreatment of trans* folk by medical practitioners.
Instead Julie Bindel (who can always be relied on to throw oil onto fire with regards to trans* issues) waded in. And the cumulation today was a vile piece in The Observer from Julie Burchill. A piece that shows the true hatred that lies behind the little things that irk and annoy.
Maybe something good can come out. Maybe this time the line has been crossed so far that people will no longer want to associate themselves with Burchill, Bindel and others who spout transphobic crap. Maybe this time the media will understand the hurt that is being caused.
(PS: Also worth looking at the abuse Patrick Strudwick was RTing that he received for calling out Azelia Banks' use of the word "faggot" - thiswill be fairly time sensitive BTW, unless someone storify's it... Oh they have, @jamesrbuk has beaten me to it 8-))
(PPS: Before I could even hit publish, we have GAZE launching soon with Bindel and Burchill...)