A decision by The Sun to splash on its front page the personal story of a six-year-old trans boy has been branded “irresponsible and potentially harmful” by Trans Media Watch.
Tuesday’s UK edition of the paper carried the headline “I’m a boy, says twin girl, 6″ – complete with a photo of the child and his identical twin sister.
The paper featured an interview with the boy’s mother who talks of the difficulty in persuading doctors, teachers and social workers that her son should be allowed to grow up male.
Trans Media Watch (TMW), the charity that works to improve media coverage of transgender and intersex issues, said the issue of trans children should be discussed in the media without reference to individual cases.
TMW told PinkNews.co.uk that it was deeply concerned by The Sun’s article, particularly as it named the child’s school.
In a statement it said: “TMW regards the story about the young trans boy published by The Sun today as irresponsible and potentially harmful to a minor. Not only do some trans children not grow up to be trans adults but many may wish to live lives in their real gender where they are not known by people around them to be trans. An article like this being available in perpetuity online therefore represents a breach of the child’s human rights.
“The Sun should not have published this, and in particular should not have published the name of the school he attends. In addition The Sun misgenders the child throughout, which is clearly in breach of TMW’s style guide; a child who identifies as a boy is going to find being publicly referred to as a girl particularly traumatic.
“The issue of trans children is an important one and one which should be discussed in the media but which should be discussed without reference to individual cases. There are a number of trans children in schools in the UK who do not wish to be in the public eye, the publication of this article by The Sun is a direct threat to the privacy of those children.”