‘The Age’ removes transgender opinion piece as editor offers apology

The Age newspaper in Melbourne has removed an opinion piece attributed to an anonymous mother of a transgender teen after members of Melbourne’s LGBTQIA+ community labeled it “ill timed” and “lacking credibility”.

The opinion piece published on Sunday was purportedly from the parent of a transgender teenager. The mother argued that it is too easy for children to access treatment which allowed them to change gender.

Members of Melbourne’s LGBTQIA+ community took to social media to criticise the newspaper for publishing the piece when many people were mourning the suspected death of Bridget Flack.

The wider Melbourne community had banded together over the 11 days to search for the missing woman, and were grieving after a body was found on early on Friday evening.

When Dr Yves Rees highlighted the issue to the paper’s editor Gay Alcorn on Twitter, she responded with an apology, saying the opinion piece was commissioned by the newspaper’s sister paper The Sydney Morning Herald.

Alcorn said given the sensitivity surrounding the recent death she would organise for it to be removed from the website of The Age.  

When Michael Koziol, the Deputy Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, promoted the piece on his personal Twitter account he received a swathe of negative comments.

Several people questioned Koziol on whether his team had verified the identity of the anonymous author after noting that the opinion piece read like it was written by anti-trans lobbyist. Koziol responded saying the veracity of piece has been checked.

In the article the mother of a teenager referred to her child by the gender they were assigned at birth, and described claims of experiencing gender dysphoria as akin to teenage rebellions such as being a beatnik or hippy.

In Western Australia the opinion piece was published on the WA Today website.

OIP Staff

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