ITV’s Loose Women is under fire after panellists Gloria Hunniford and Andrea McLean called trans women “men” during a debate.
The comments came during Friday’s (January 11) episode of Loose Women, during a discussion based on a controversial article in the Daily Telegraph newspaper that criticised long-standing NHS trans-inclusive policies for hospital wards.
Transgender women were referred to using male pronouns throughout the debate by two of the panellists, Gloria Hunniford and Andrea McLean.
Gloria Hunniford and Andrea McLean called trans women as ‘men’
Hunniford said: “I’m very clear cut, because I like the idea of separate wards for men and women.
‘If I was walking around with a gown open at the back and my rear end sticking out, I would not want a man in the bed across the road.
“I think if a man still has his willy and has all the tackle, far as I’m concerned, he/she is a man, and I don’t think that works in a women’s ward.”
“I really understand it, but when you’re in hospital you’re ill or susceptible, but… I would be embarrassed,” said Hunniford.
Hunniford went on to say that “80 percent” of trans women have not had gender surgery and should not be allowed on women’s wards.
Panellist Stacey Solomon made a passionate defence of trans inclusivity, responding: “I totally see where you’re coming from, but just because someone identifies as woman but hasn’t had the operation, which is a really extreme operation… they have all their life felt like a woman.
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“All their lives they felt like they’re inside the wrong body. For me, personally, if you wouldn’t want to be on a ward with the opposite gender, these women feel exactly the same as you. They do not want to be on a ward with men.”
When Solomon described trans women as “women, who identify as women,” Andrea McLean cut in to describe them as “men, who identify as women.”
McLean said: “If there’s 10 people on a ward, that’s nine people feeling uncomfortable for the benefit of one.
“Practically, how can you put the vulnerabilities of one person over nine?”
Michelle Visage hit out at ‘ignorant’ Loose women panellists Gloria Hunniford and Andrea McLean
The debate has come under fire online for the hosts’ perceived ignorance of the issues and the repeated description of trans women as “men.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage said: “Here’s an idea Loose Women how about you have a TRANS woman on there to speak rather than be spoken ABOUT? no one is equipped for this conversation and that’s NOT fair.
“Surgery and ‘all the bits’ does NOT make a woman. THIS CONVERSATION IS SO IGNORANT AND TRANSPHOBIC.”
Other users praised Stacey Solomon for her lone defence of trans rights.
One wrote: “The support @StaceySolomon was giving the trans community on @loosewomen this morning was a breath of fresh air. Thank god for empathetic people like her on daytime TV.”