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Piers Morgan under fire for transphobia after repeatedly referring to trans woman as a ‘former man’

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  1. I came on here to suggest that it was ignorace rather than transphobia… and then i saw his responses. Could he not have just said, “apologies for the wording, excuse my ignorance”? Learn from it and move on?

  2. That There Other David 5 Feb 2014, 5:39pm

    He really is quite the pompous arse. “Sorry” is once again beyond his vocabulary. I’d say he’d gone down in my estimation due to this incident, but then it’s difficult for me to dislike him any further than before.

  3. Can someone tell me how we define what a transsexual person is without referring to the gender the person was born with? I am sure it’s hurtful and upsetting for the person if it’s not done carefully and with compassion…. but I don’t think Piers was being transphobic.

    1. Because you’re also transphobic, what a shocker.

      1. You didn’t answer the question though. You just called me transphobic. The trans community need to help educate and take the rest of us on a journey. Instead of being too quick to pull out the discrimination card. Some of us want to understand and learn more about a community which is clearly discriminated against. However, it’s so difficult to ask any questions without being called transphobic. As I gay guy I was always happy to answer the stupid questions my friends asked – the more they learned the better they understood me and what being gay was all about.

    2. Her gender didn’t change, she was and is female, if she wasn’t she wouldn’t have put herself through all the crap that being trans entails, I know I wouldn’t have. So to refer to her as ‘formerly a man’ is not only inaccurate, it is an attack on her validity by implying her identity is somehow fake. It perpetuates the ignorance about what it means to be trans. Just refer to a trans woman as a woman, a trans man as a man.

      It isn’t about being careful or compassionate, just getting it right, hell just stopping with the constant tired old sensationalist BS would be a good start.

      Oh and Morgan WAS being transphobic, it’s just so commonplace you don’t even see it. Not trying to be rude but unless you are trans your opinion on what is or is not transphobic means nothing. When hetero people define what is homophobic it is meaningless, when cis people define what is transphobic, same.

      1. The Mock is also transphobic. She refers to herself as having been a boy!

        1. No, imbecile, the article you are probably referring to was not written by her, usual sensationalist ‘journalism’. You people sicken me.

    3. You never refer to the gender a transgender person was assigned at birth. That may be outting them and is very harmful. Some trans* people who have been outted have been hounded and bullied and have ended up committing suicide – remember Lucy Meadows? A transgender person may themselves refer to the gender they were assigned at birth, and they can say how they want to be described.

      It can be difficult if you knew a person before they transitioned but common courtesy suggests you ask the person how they want to be introduced and what if any other information is OK for sharing. Maybe you could imagine a how a person in witness protection feels if you use their former name, potentially exposing them to risk of violence or abuse.

      1. Janet Mock wrote a book outing herself. She refers to herself as having been a boy. Morgan actually read her book. Have you?

    4. Julian Morrison 6 Feb 2014, 12:49pm

      1) Yes it’s transphobic. 2) It isn’t your job to define trans people. The fact that trans as a concept was originally defined (and imposed upon us) by cis people is so far from an excuse it isn’t funny. You are looking in from outside; naturally you are ignorant. Defer to trans people to define ourselves, among ourselves.

      1. You do realize that you are successfully alienating yourself, right?

        According to what most trans visitors here seem to be saying, we are all required to take a course in trans history and education before we say or do anything.

        So, because we’re not all trans and we don’t have a in-depth knowledge of the history, we’re all “ignorant”?

        Well done, it’s this kind of attitude that is keeping you down. Instead of embracing opportunities to talk, discuss and educate society, you attack everyone for not having detailed knowledge of every single trans person in the world, what they’ve been through, their views and preferences… as if you speak for all.

        As I already said, with such a high chance of offending people, I won’t be surprised to see LGBT people being rejected from media, because people will be too scared to even talk about these things knowing there’s a rabid mob of LGBT people on Twitter about to attack them the moment they have an excuse to do so.

  4. Londinium 5 Feb 2014, 6:24pm

    Piers Morgan, Katie Hopkins and their hateful ilk should be starved of the oxygen of publicity they crave. Pink News please take note.

  5. spiritbody 5 Feb 2014, 6:26pm

    Im no fan of Piers Morgan but my god, when is the LGBT community gonna puts its heckles down a bit! Stop getting OFFENDED by everything and lighten up! I know that we are, at this point in time, in the middle of a huge backlash as a result of the big gay marriage debate, which in many ways has increased homophobia, (and heres hoping thats just an unfortunate phase in the fight for equality), but seriously, if people dont quite know what words to use or how to express something ‘correctly, give them a bit of a break. Even I didnt know using the words ‘former man’ to describe a transexual was ‘wrong’.

    1. Gabrielle 5 Feb 2014, 6:50pm

      You may not have known it, but it’s also not your job to present information on a national media channel…

    2. James Orpin 5 Feb 2014, 6:53pm

      Well maybe try asking the person how they would like you to refer to it or better yet not mention it at all – after all it’s none of your buisness.

    3. So, when you are called out on getting it wrong, you apologise…that is what “100%” do and have done – the trans community has had many genuine apologies from supportive celebs, like Tim Minchin, who made a mistake. You don’t, as Piers did, come flailing your fists in all directions.

      It is not just that Piers got it wrong, but that he denied and/or defended it.

      Ignorance is not crime. I think that, perhaps, arrogance is.

      1. Morgan did nothing wrong. If Mock was offended by any comment or question Morgan asked, why didn’t she say something on the show? She is the one who squandered an opportunity to educate people about transgenderism. BTW, the first publication in which she came out as transgender was an article in Marie Claire entitled “I was born a boy.” Throughout the article, she refers to herself over and over again as having been a boy.

  6. In light of potential controversy out of misunderstanding when discussing trans issues, I do have sympathies with both parties. Whilst one would hope that if he were to interview a person he would be appropriately informed and prepared for the interview. Interviews and topics can veer unpredictably if a relevant thought or misunderstanding needs to be elaborated upon or clarified.

    As I come to a better person, my learning, understanding and informed insight has made me aware how times innocent misunderstandings can be wrongly interpreted. So I am curious (without intending to offend) if a person instead used the expression “at one time perhaps perceived to have been a boy/man” would this still have been considered inappropriate?

    1. Julian Morrison 6 Feb 2014, 12:59pm

      It wouldn’t be inappropriate to say that or “raised male” but what’s inappropriate is how the conversation always gets dragged back to that when it isn’t relevant, it’s just gawping and pointing. Like how people always talk about “gay sex”, like the only thing gay people do is sex. I imagine if a trans woman landed on the moon, Buzz Aldrin style, the media interview would be all “so, putting this moon stuff aside, tell me about transition”.

      1. Did any of you actually see the original interview? Please do so. Morgan said nothing inoffensive, and Mock made absolutely no objection to anything he said. If she was offended, she should have corrected and clarified. She did not. BTW, she has repeatedly referred to herself as having been a boy.

        1. I’ve seen both videos, and I completely agree.

          The only explanation I can find is that she is using this as a publicity stunt to get more attention, she seems to be pretty ruthless and ready to throw anyone under the bus for more attention and money – in my opinion.

          He said nothing offensive, he was completely involved in the interview, clearly admiring her and appreciating everything she said.

          It was a good interview, flattering and intelligent, entirely positive. She has then used this to create a storm of controversy where there was none, for her own selfish needs.

          The people being played here are Piers and the Trans community backing her. I very much doubt anyone will be inviting her to talk openly on any TV show again, unless they’re prepared to spend a couple of months in training, with a script in front of them, and a lawyer standing behind them.

          She’s committed career suicide from that perspective.

  7. Mort in Detroit 5 Feb 2014, 7:15pm

    It took me a while to learn that everyone is in a different place on lgbt issues–both as far as acceptance and as far as understanding where we are. Different things trouble different people. For me, a gay man in his 40s, even accepting the alphabet soup that now refers to me, let alone the word queer, isn’t easy. Just because Piers Morgan, or anyone else, doesn’t use your preferred verbiage or puts a foot out of line (from your perception) doesn’t make him worthy of attack, or even correction.

    People need to try to be as understanding of others as they wish others to be towards them. Otherwise, we push away friends and potential friends.

    1. It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual words used, it’s the outright and incorrect assertion that she used to be a man, when she was NEVER a man. That absolutely deserves correction. It’s a bit similar to the old assertion that being gay wasa result of sexual perversity, the same assumption that still disallows men who have sex with men to donate blood. It might not be a situation you’re familiar with, but have some human empathy. Seeing things from a static point of view inside of their own experience is what racists and homophobes do, it’s what people who stand in way of civil rights do.

    2. It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual words used, it’s the outright and incorrect assertion that she used to be a man, when she was NEVER a man. That absolutely deserves correction. It’s a bit similar to the old assertion that being gay was a result of sexual perversity, the same assumption that still disallows men who have sex with men to donate blood. It might not be a situation you’re familiar with, but have some human empathy. Seeing things from a static point of view inside of their own experience is what racists and homophobes do, it’s what people who stand in way of civil rights do.

  8. Saying ‘the emperor has no clothes’ – calling a ‘spade a spade’ , calling a man a man , is now branded a ‘phobia’ ! .Piers was wrong to call the person a ‘former man’ he should of been referred to as a man , who remains a man but is deluded to think he is a woman (despite genital mutilation) .

    It’s ironic the chap’s book is called ‘Redefining Realness’ – maybe ‘Real-o-phobia’ is a better title ?

    1. Speaking of clothes, your material is wearing thin. Go die already. *yawns*

    2. Sinead Harkin 6 Feb 2014, 8:15am

      Get back in the moldy bacon with the other maggots.I doubt you’ve ever had a girlfriend let alone a classy,beautiful lady like Janet

  9. Christopher Gough 6 Feb 2014, 9:37am

    The problem here is with the terminology used. Describing Janet Mock as “formerly a man” is clumsy and incorrect. She never lived her life as an adult as a ‘man’. It seems (forgive me if I am wrong) that she was identified biologically as a ‘male’ at birth (different thing) and her parents agreed with her personal identification as a female from around six years old.

    People should also remember that some people are born with intersex conditions where the decision to label someone with a gender can have disastrous consequences – especially where doctors make the decision about which gender is most appropriate.

    Piers Morgan is just demonstrating his usual insensitivity as a former ‘red top’ journalist and missing the point completely.

  10. I understand how his comments could be viewed as transphobic. However a lot of people are not educated correctly as what is insulting or not for trans people. Therefore jumping down someones throat when they misstep, hardly helps in this education, if anything it just encourages more transphobia.

    1. Mark in Halifax 8 Feb 2014, 7:06am

      Couldn’t agree more. Whatever Janet Mock may say, biologically she was formerly male. For everyone to witter on here about how that’s not true is just wrong. She may not have identified as such, but Piers Morgan – who I normally have no time for – was just stating a truth. Sure, he went on to sensationalise it when he shouldn’t, but the more these issues are talked about, the more people will understand them. Reacting in this over-the-top manner may just serve to alienate trans people. I can see how some of these reactions appear to have ticked many people off on here. If that happens amongst ourselves, imagine how the wider world sees us!

  11. Janet was so defensive in her second interview, i was disgusted. she couldnt even apologize for going behind Piers back and tweeting negatively…

  12. Geric Frost 6 Feb 2014, 4:48pm

    I’m disgusted by her comments. Watched it yesterday and can’t believe what she posted. I’m gay and have a very close friend who went to Thailand and did the switch. She knows she was a boy but grew up knowing she was a girl. Hated her “toy” but is very honest and real about it! Piers was spot on and what’s her name should appreciate the publicity of this matter. As a gay man it took me about a year to understand my trans friends plight! Sad she couldn’t answer questions, instead abused Piers with the same rhetoric and absolute denial and respect to let him speak and or answer his questions. I’m grateful you said your not part of the gay community. This may sound terrible, but people like you make people like me want to separate and completely separate ties from people like you! Think before you tweet darling. Thank you Piers! Geric

  13. I suspect this whole absurd brouhaha is a publicity stunt initiated by Janet Mock and then carried on by Morgan’s response. In any case, Morgan did absolutely nothing wrong. See John Aravosis’s post about this, which includes the original interview in which Morgan absolutely gushes over Mock. And Mock indicates in no way that she thinks he is sensationalizing anything. Here is an url to the Aravosis post:

  14. Having seen both these videos, I am of the firm opinion that Mock is the one in the wrong here, and that she has deliberately sought out an opportunity for self-promotion.

    I am no fan of Morgan, far from it, but he was gushing in his positiveness welcoming her to the show. I don’t think I have ever seen an interview like it, where trans issues were so openly accepted and talked about. And, to help her cause, she slapped him in the face AFTER leaving – to get more publicity for her own work.

    The rate we’re going, TV and Radio personalities are going to stop discussing LGBT issues completely, because every single time they do there’s some militant in the “community” ready to attack them with hoards of troops the moment they say something mildly “wrong”.

    If I were working in TV or Radio, as an openly gay man, I would avoid all LGBT issues right now. It’s not worth the potential fallout from militants itching to be “offended” and going on a crusade.

    1. Because as a gay man you have, metaphorically speaking kissed enough hetero arse to have achieved tolerance, only while you are being a ‘good’ gay handing out the cookies to allies of course.

      So sorry that trans women who are deliberately misrepresented by most people demanding basic human decency may make people think less of this mythical community. Especially since cis gays have shown so much concern about trans being the right wings new favourite target since gay marriage.

      Morgan’s “gushing” was the equivalent of if a gay person was being interviewed with this attitude – “You seem nice, I would never have guessed you were gay…” “So you were born normal but changed, good for you!” “You say you were born gay? No you weren’t but that’s OK *pat’s on head*”

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