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Hundreds of Guardian staff rise up in protest of the paper’s ‘pattern of transphobic content’

Emma Powys Maurice March 7, 2020

The letter's signatories join a growing movement of people distancing themselves from the paper's 'transphobia' (Bethany Clarke/Getty)

Hundreds of staff and contractors at The Guardian have united in condemnation of the paper’s “pattern of publishing transphobic content”.

338 people from across multiple departments at the paper expressed their “deep disappointment” in a strongly-worded open letter sent to the editor, Katherine Viner, on Friday night.

Seen by Buzzfeed News, the letter was signed by people from all regions, from senior editorial staff in the UK, the US, and Australia to employees in the commercial, digital, and technical departments.

The names of the signatories have not been published but it is understood that they include household names with international reputations and long-standing tenures at both The Guardian and its sister Sunday title, The Observer.

The letter reads: “As employees across the Guardian, we are deeply distressed by the resignation of another trans colleague in the UK, the third in less than a year.

“We feel it is critical that the Guardian do more to become a safe and welcoming workplace for trans and non-binary people.

“We are also disappointed in the Guardian’s repeated decision to publish anti-trans views. We are proud to work at a newspaper which supports human rights and gives voice to people underrepresented in the media. But the pattern of publishing transphobic content has interfered with our work and cemented our reputation as a publication hostile to trans rights and trans employees.

“We strongly support trans equality and want to see the Guardian live up to its values and do the same.

“We look forward to working with Guardian leadership to address these pressing concerns, and request a response by 11 March.”

L With The T protesters lead the Pride in London parade
A group of lesbian campaigners show solidarity with the trans community at 2019’s Pride in London march. (Amy Ashenden)

The signatories join a growing movement against the paper’s repeated anti-trans coverage, precipitated by a controversial column from Suzanne Moore.

On Thursday more than 200 feminists wrote to The Guardian rejecting Moore’s argument that trans rights threaten women, and stating that the views expressed in the paper are not representative of women or the wider public.

This was followed on Friday by another letter signed by more than 2,500 people, expressing the same sentiment.

On the same day Viner emailed all staff defending the paper’s decision to publish pieces that “never shy away from difficult or divisive subjects” and pledging to represent “a wide range of view on many topics”.

The editor and CEO then castigated staff for publicly criticising the work of coworkers: “It is never acceptable to attack colleagues whose views you do not agree with, whether in meetings, on email, publicly or on social media.”

 

More: anti-trans views, suzanne moore, The Guardian, transphobia

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