11 times the right-wing press trashed LGBT people in 2017

Joseph McCormick December 24, 2017
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The right-wing press sometimes takes a break from attacking LGBT people – but that is a rare occurence.

So here are 11 times tabloids and other right-wing outlets got a bit hysterical about LGBT issues in 2017.

Drum roll, please…

1. When papers got hysterical that a gay man had sex with another man


Kicking off 2017, a famous athlete allegedly had sex with another man, and predictably the press span out of control.

A British tabloid uncovered the “affair” in which “physical” liaisons were had, and because it is apparently one of the most interesting things to happen today literally nobody can stop talking about it. 

Newspapers, LGBT outlets and basically every online publication you can name is pitching in on the scandal which supposedly happened three years ago.

The celebrity also happened to be single at the time, which is some top-notch headline material.

2. When the Mail Online outed a gay teenager against his will

A teenage Conservative Party activist said he was “devastated” and “living in fear” after he was allegedly outed against his wishes by the MailOnline.

The right-wing newspaper website published a story entitled ‘Not very Conservative behaviour!’, about young Conservative activists enjoying a night-out after the Tory Party Conference in Manchester. 

The article included photographs of young party members kissing.

A PinkNews investigation revealed how the online newspaper outed the teenager to his anti-LGBT parents.

3. When newspapers attacked the NHS for providing fertility services to trans young people

Photo illustration of Cryos, the biggest sperm bank worldwide, taken December 15, 2016, in Aarhus. / AFP PHOTO / Henning Bagger (Photo credit should read HENNING BAGGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Tabloid newspapers attacked transgender teenagers who might want to freeze their sperm or eggs before starting hormone treatment.

The Daily Mirror published an article misgendering transgender teenagers and criticising the NHS for allowing people to freeze their sperm or eggs so they can have kids later in life.

Titled “Transgender children ‘as young as 12 having sperm saved so they can still have children after sex change’”, the article scrutinised and criticised the NHS for funding the freezing of sperm or egg or fertility treatment.

As well as quoting the MailOnline, the article also included a quote from Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former chairman of the ethics committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

It also uses quotation marks to describe trans girls.

Of course, MailOnline commenters had to have their say, with one writing: “Shouldn¿t be allowed at all.”

4. When a trans man’s photos were stolen to attack trans rights

The Mail on Sunday used photos posted by a trans man without his permission alongside an article attacking trans rights.

Alex Bertie, a trans rights campaigner and YouTuber posted today that his photos had been used without his permission. 

The photos showing Bertie at different stages of transition were used to illustrate an article titled ‘NHS pressured our kids to change sex’.

Bertie posted a photo of the article with the words: “Woke up to the @DailyMailUK [sic] using my pictures without consent to fuel their hateful anti-trans article. Disgraceful.”

5. When an out gay military member was attacked by papers

The Daily Mail celebrated the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality by publishing a vile homophobic hit piece on a Navy officer.

Richard Littlejohn, an outspoken Daily Mail columnist, penned a piece today attacking a military official who had tweeted support for transgender people currently serving in the Armed Forces, after a decision to ban them in the United States. 

Rear Admiral Alex J. Burton, who is the Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces as well as a Royal Navy LGBT champion, had tweeted of Trump’s ban: “As an @RoyalNavy_LGBT champion and senior warfighter I am so glad we are not going this way.”

The single tweet provoked anger from Littlejohn, who wrote a 1500-word piece focused on attacking Burton, peppered with old-school homophobic jibes.

6. When papers wrongly accused a trans charity of condoning violence

Trans rights protest in Chicago (Getty Images)

The Daily Mail and The Times wrongly accused Action for Trans Health (ATH) of condoning violence against anti-trans activists.


The two outlets misreported that the trans group had called for violence in light of a fight between ATH activists and trans-exclusionary radical feminists in Speakers’ Corner.

Of course, ATH released a statement attacking violence in all forms, and did not condone violence against anyone.

7. The way this trans prisoner was reported on by tabloids

(Google Maps & Mail Online)
(Google Maps & Mail Online)

The Daily Mail was again under fire after coverage of a transgender rapist.

What happened was that a convicted rapist made unwanted sexual advances on fellow prisoners.

What the MailOnline did was mention her deadname, call her “a father,” and implied that her actions were down to the fact she has a penis.

(Mail Online)
Deadnaming is discrimination, guys (Mail Online)

Jessica Winfield, a convicted rapist, was segregated from other inmates at HMP Bronzefield, in Surrey, south-east England.

The Mail stated: “Transgender rapist who was moved to women-only jail despite still having a penis is segregated”.

Trans activists raised issues with the piece, suggesting it was attempting to link the convicted prisoner’s crimes to their gender identity – leaning on the irrational belief that transgender people are actually lying to gain some sort of benefit.

8. How ‘spit hood’ reports continued to spread a falsehood about HIV


More than 30 years on from the start of the AIDS crisis, tabloids were this year still spreading a basic falsehood about HIV.

The claim was repeatedly reported in newspapers amid a row over the use of police ‘spit hoods’ to prevent detainees from spitting at officers.

Amid a clash on the proposed use of spit hoods by the Metropolitan Police, outlets repeated claims that their use will reduce the chances of officers being infected with HIV or hepatitis C – despite three decades of evidence that it is impossible to get HIV from saliva.

9. When this newspaper decided a transgender woman was actually a man

A newspaper in Kent, England faced a backlash after a reporter wrote a piece about a local transgender woman, concluding that she’s a man.

The opinion column was published in the Kentish Gazette newspaper, published by the Kent Messenger group, alongside a story about transgender people in prison.

The piece, written under the ‘Harry Bell’ pseudonym by a member of staff earlier this month, took aim at a local trans person.

10. After an Australian newspaper said being LGBT was ‘unhealthy’ for young people

The headline of the article, published in The Australian Daily Telegraph, was “Fat Chance of Being Healthy”.

This was positioned directly above an image titled “Young Aussies only have themselves to blame”.

Alongside troubling figures on obesity, alcohol and drug consumption and mental health was a completely untroubling statistic about the LGBT youth.

It showed that 16.8 percent of Australian secondary school students are homosexual or bisexual, according to a report which the article was based on.

11. Newspapers accused of pushing ‘new Section 28’ by attacking transgender issues in schools

Anti-LGBT MPs have launched an attack on schools mentioning that transgender people exist – in a row reminiscent of Section 28.
The Daily Telegraph ran a front-page story in December criticising a healthcare survey given to pupils in UK schools. 

The survey asked a number of questions about the pupils to gather data on health issues, including exercise, weight, mental health, drug use and smoking.

The Telegraph spoke to vociferously anti-LGBT MPs Tim Loughton and Jacob Rees-Mogg, who both criticised the inclusion of the gender identity question.

Tim Loughton said: “At a time when children are growing up and having to deal with all sorts of challenges of the modern world, now they are being asked to confront their gender, which for many will be unsettling.

“Clearly we need to be sensitive about the issue of gender and sexual orientation but forcing children to question whether they are the right gender so early on can be deeply destabilising.”

More: PinkNews

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