United Nations expert slams media coverage of transgender youth

The United Nations independent expert on preventing violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has criticised the Australian media’s coverage of transgender youth and the medical professionals who work with them.

Writing in The Guardian Victor Madrigal-Borloz attempts in the Australian media and public debate to paint transgender youth – and the doctors who serve them – as part of a new “social fad” or “ideology” were profoundly incorrect, but also perpetuate harmful stereotypes which delegitimise the identities of trans people and ultimately impede access to their human rights.

Madrigal-Borloz highlights that transgender people have existed in societies, including indigenous Australian communities, for thousands of years.

The UN expert urged the Australian media to include the voices of transgender people in their reporting.

“I am of the view that some aspects of the public debate in Australia misrepresent the lived realities of trans people, particularly trans youth.” Madrigal-Borloz said.

“Australian trans youth are not being influenced by social media as part of a social fad, and classifying trans-inclusive healthcare as “experimental”, “gender engineering”, or as part of a broader political agenda is reductive and offensive to a deeply personal decision which is often made at great risk to a person’s own safety.

“In this context, access to trans-specific healthcare, identity documents, or even bathrooms, are basic human rights and must be treated as such.” Madrigal-Borloz said.

Read his opinion piece at the Guardian.

OIP Staff

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