A transgender employee at the Guardian has shared her reasons for leaving the organisation with Buzzfeed News, citing an anti-trans culture that “is not contested in any way”.
“An incredibly transphobic organisation”
The employee, referred to as Victoria in the Buzzfeed article, sent a resignation email to her whole department in July. In it, she described the Guardian as “an incredibly transphobic organisation”, and went on to say:
As a trans person myself I’m often conflicted because while being here gives me immense power to try and fix that […] it also means I’m supporting an institution that fundamentally not only stands against my own values but also against what I am.
Victoria describes a hostile work environment where she was afraid to use the women’s toilets and received transphobic remarks from colleagues both within and outside of the workplace. Another trans member of staff also reportedly resigned weeks later, giving similar reasons.
The Guardian’s coverage of trans issues in the UK has also caused a rift between the media outlet’s UK and US offices, with the latter being more pro-trans. The outlet’s American employees have openly criticised an editorial on the Gender Recognition Act published by the Guardian in October 2018. They clarified that “Guardian journalists in the US had no input in the editorial”. They went on to say that the editorial was “misplaced and misguided” and “promoted transphobic viewpoints”. The statement continued:
nearly all reporters and editors from our New York, Washington DC and California offices wrote to UK editors with our concerns.
The editorial was an attempt to make sense of a growing debate about trans rights in the UK. While focused on the Gender Recognition Act, the editorial and resulting conversations have exposed some of the fundamental divides between American and British feminism and progressive politics – and highlighted for us an alarming intolerance of trans viewpoints in mainstream UK discourse.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Mainstreaming of transphobia
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Victoria expressed concern over the Guardian’s mainstreaming of transphobic sentiment in the guise of balanced debate:
The way it works is [to suggest]: transphobia is actually a ‘woke’ way of thinking. I think it misleads people into thinking the respectable thing to do is to raise these issues.
In response to the allegations, a Guardian spokesperson said:
Guardian News & Media is committed to being an open and tolerant place to work for all our employees. We value and respect our staff and diversity and inclusion are central to our workplace culture.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has recently launched an enquiry into how UK media reports on trans issues.
Featured image via Wikimedia/ Bryantbob.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?