A Channel 4 documentary featured a transgender man being outed and people are furious
The premiere of the Genderquake series of documentaries on Channel 4 has caused controversy after a trans man was outed by another participant.
The show put 11 young people, each with different views on gender and with a range of gender identities, into a shared house in order to discuss changing attitudes towards gender in millennials.
During Monday’s episode of Genderquake, Markus — who identified himself as “a gay man who wears makeup” — discovered that fellow housemate Romario was a transgender man.
Prior to Markus’ discovery, Romario had not disclosed this to the other housemates and had only identified himself as straight.
As well as featuring several trans, non-binary or gender-fluid people, Genderquake also features cisgender people with a variety of sexual orientations.
After confronting Romario when realising he was transgender, Markus outed him to fellow housemate Filomina, who had kissed Romario earlier in the show and held a very traditional view of gender.
“This is a privilege you knowing this information, this is not an entitlement, it is mine to keep,” Romario said to Markus after he was outed.
Viewers flooded to social media to criticise Markus for outing Romario.
One viewer wrote: “Romario obviously doesn’t want to talk about it, leave him alone. Talking about him behind his back is disgusting. Confronting him is wrong.”
Another added: “What a bunch of hypocrites, talking about acceptance and then outing that guy the first chance they get. Gossiping behind his back is ugly.”
Many people criticised the fact that Markus, as a gay man, should understand the implications and dangers of outing someone.
“The fact that Marcus, identifying as a gay man, can so openly ‘out’ Romario is appalling. So utterly pathetic to do so under the guise of wanting total honesty because of a cheating ex.
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“Just horrendous. Romario handled it with such admirable self-respect.”
Despite this, many viewers praised the show for opening up a discussion about gender to a wider audience.
“Seeing a lot of hate about Channel 4’s Genderquake so I’d like to weigh in and say we need more of this on TV. Everyone is valid, let people who they want to be.”
Monday’s episode was the first half of a two-part series airing this week exploring the changing understanding of gender in modern society.
The second half of the show will air on Tuesday and will feature a debate with panellists including Munroe Bergdorf, Caitlyn Jenner and radical feminist Germaine Greer.
Other programmes in the Genderquake series have been announced to air later this year, including a documentary featuring model and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf exploring womanhood and femininity.