Daily Mail attacks LGBT activist for (rightly) saying half of people experience gay attraction
We’ve all been misrepresented.
Seeing false reflections of ourselves in news outlets and popular culture is also pretty common – but sometimes, it goes too far.
Sometimes, you have to speak out.
I’m not angry, Daily Mail Australia – just disappointed.
Today, it ran an article which was wrong on so many levels, it requires analysis.
First, the facts.
Until recently, British-born academic Roz Ward managed the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, a programme she co-founded which aimed to stop bullying and support LGBT students.
She quit last year, following years of her and her programme coming under extensive scrutiny due to campaigns from the homophobic Australian Christian Lobby and anti-LGBT MPs – who claimed it was “dangerous” and “brainwashing” students.
After a ‘review’ of the scheme, the right-wing federal government gutted Safe Schools of much of its content – restricting LGBT resources from being used in classrooms, banning sessions in primary schools, and cutting off government funding.
But the attacks on Ward didn’t stop there.
Speaking this week at a Pride Week event, she made the true, supported statement that around half of young people are not completely straight.
“It’s more like 40 to 50 percent of young people who are not exclusively attracted to the opposite sex,” she told the crowd.
In 2015, a YouGov survey found that this was indeed the case.
The study found that when “asked to plot themselves on a ‘sexuality scale’, 23% of British people choose something other than 100% heterosexual – and the figure rises to 49% among 18-24-year-olds.”
The research was reported under the heading: “1 in 2 young people not 100% heterosexual”.
Seems pretty cut and dried, right?
Nevertheless, Daily Mail Australia attacked Ward and her statement.
It stated she claimed “half of all young people are gay.” She didn’t.
It also wrote that “her assertion is not supported by Census data, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that only 0.7 percent of couples – or just 33,714 people nationwide – in 2011 were gay.”
Again, being gay is not the same as being anywhere from 1 to 6 on the Kinsey Scale – in other words, anywhere but 0, which represents total heterosexuality.
Extraordinarily, the publication contradicts itself in its bullet points at the top of the article.
First, it states that Ward “claims half of all young people are homosexual” and then says that “she suggested 40-50 percent of youth had some level of same-sex attraction.”
The first point is false. The second is true. They do not go together.
It wasn’t all bad, though.
The publication called Ward a “controversial Marxist lesbian academic who believes primary school children should choose their own gender”.
A politically, academically and sexually aware person who believes children know their gender better than other people?
Sounds alright to me.