Current Affairs

Major LGBT Foundation review says media representation damages transgender wellbeing

May 9, 2017
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A project focussed on transgender people’s wellbeing has found the media is doing serious damage.

Transforming Outcomes, produced by Manchester’s LGBT Foundation, aims to assess the health needs of trans people and their experiences of accessing services.

Alarmingly, the report finds that one of the biggest factors negatively affecting trans people in the media – with 51% saying it has damaged their wellbeing.

Major LGBT Foundation review says media representation damages transgender wellbeing

One respondent, who had spoken to the Trans Mental Health Study, stated that “tabloid stories about trans people are often exploitative, invasive of privacy, inaccurate, irrelevant or intended to drum up transphobia in their readers… [Reading these] shows how hostile many people are to trans people in current society.”

According to the report, 67% of trans people have reported being a victim of a hate crime, which is much higher than among gay and bisexual people.

80% of transgender people experience anxiety before accessing hospitals due to insensitivity, misgendering and discrimination, the report cites.

The report also finds that negative experiences with transition-related healthcare, higher rates of mental ill-health and a lack of research around transgender people’s health as key barriers.

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said: “Transforming Outcomes is a call to arms for all our work moving forward – the realisation of our vision of a fair and equal society where all trans people can reach their full potential.

“To achieve this we need to widen the road to include all trans people and this report is an important step towards that vision.”

Transforming Outcomes infographic

The report aims to assists health professionals, public services, local authorities and support groups in working with trans people and overcoming their issues.

It comes after the BBC has warned production companies it won’t commission shows unless they employ a representative amount of ethnic minorities, the disabled and LGBT people.

The Guardian reports that the broadcaster set out diversity guidelines for independent production companies this week.

They put the onus on production companies to ensure representation of ethnic minorities, the disabled and LGBT people, both on screen and behind the camera.

New internal BBC diversity rules set out earlier this year committed to 8 percent of on-screen stars and execs being LGBT by 2020, and 8 percent being disabled.

The guidelines say: “We now expect each commission to be doing everything it can to meet these guidelines.

“The positive steps you plan to take to address under-representation will be factored into commissioning discussions ahead of productions being green-lit.”

You can read the full report here.

Related topics: Gay, human rights, LGBT, LGBT Foundation, Manchester, Media, Trans, Transgender, UK

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