The Daily Mail puts transgender people in quotes, reminding us we don’t exist

Britain is considering following in Australia’s footsteps and expanding the passport gender options for transgender and intersex folks. Check out this headline from the always classy Daily Mail’s story on the subject:

The gender-free British passport: UK travellers may no longer have to declare their sex, to spare feelings of 'transgender people'

OK first of all, the passports would not be “gender-free” (see, I can use de-legitimizing quotation marks too). They’d simply add a third option for intersex folks. The media has a habit of flipping out and deciding we’re completely destroying gender whenever trans issues come up. Which is just not true. UK travellers will still have to declare their sex, the new option would just mean intersex folks could be slightly more accurate. And “spare feelings?” Seriously? Yeah, being publicly outed and going through hours of humiliating searches and questioning is just a small matter of hurt feelings.

But the real highlight of the headline is putting quotation marks around transgender people. Intersex also appears in quotes in the article. Because remember, trans and intersex folks are like unicorns. There’s nothing quite like quotes to not only dehumanize whole communities of people but negate our existence entirely.

Oh, and the article also uses the super accurate term “sex-swap” right after throwing quotes around transgender again.

Here’s where you can contact the “Daily Mail,” I guess to ask them to stop behaving like the “Daily Mail.”

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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