What is behind the rise in transphobia in the UK?

Hostile discourse in the media around trans people is making it harder to live private lives, says Christine Burns.

“We made all these advances,” says Christine Burns, activist, editor of Trans Britain: Our Long Journey from the Shadows and OBE recipient. “And most people didn’t even notice we were there because we don’t impinge on people’s lives. We just want to get on with having private lives. And it wasn’t until about 2017 that a confected campaign was launched with certain of Britain’s newspapers. Suddenly we went to having, with some newspapers, three or four very negative articles a week.”

That volume of coverage by the media, along with the tone and nature of the coverage, has led to increasingly uncomfortable scrutiny for transgender people, says Nancy Kelley, chief executive of Stonewall UK.

“Our press regulator saw that between 2009 and 2019, you see a 400% increase in coverage of trans people and their lives. And that’s just kind of too much to be talking about such a small population.”

This week on UpFront, Marc Lamont Hill speaks with Christine Burns, editor of Trans Britain: Our Long Journey from the Shadows, and Nancy Kelley, the chief executive of Stonewall UK.