Today’s front page of The Sun circulates what looks like a hideous message to every child in the UK. And the Green Party has launched an official complaint over what it calls a “sad mix of scaremongering, discrimination and inappropriate jokes about drag queens”.
The front page
Publishing new education guidance [pdf] on the same day, the Church of England has essentially stated that children should be free to wear what they want. But The Sun does not seem to agree with such a fundamental freedom:
“Feed into the prejudice”
Speaking about its complaint to the mainstream press watchdog, Green Party LGBTIQA+ spokesperson Aimee Challenor said:
On the same day the Church of England issues guidelines to help prevent transphobic bullying, it’s appalling that one of our national newspapers is perpetrating such harassment. The rates of suicide and self-harm for young trans people are staggeringly high and it’s simply immoral for the Sun to feed into the prejudice towards them. We should instead be welcoming the move to improve understanding and inclusivity by talking to children about gender fluidity from an early age.
To prevent such damage to children, the Church of England now recommends [pdf, p24] that:
Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgement or derision. For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the firefighter’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.
“Britain’s all-powerful trans lobby”
On social media, users mocked the suggestion that children are being brainwashed by trans people:
I don't mean to criticise Britain's all-powerful trans lobby but I can't help thinking it could do with a few more high court judges, national newspaper editors, columnists, MPs, mayors, news presenters, army generals, university deans – or even just a lollipop lady or something?
— Paris Lees (@parislees) November 11, 2017
The Sun declined to comment on the allegation that it has been transphobic. But kicking off anti-bullying week, the tabloid seems to be bullying children into only wearing clothes that it deems ‘appropriate’.
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