The Guardian and Me

I have been thinking about the ongoing obsession of the Guardian with publishing transphobic articles, and it occurs to me that it might all be my fault.

Many years ago, I wrote a profile of Cynthia Payne, the Streatham madame, for the sex education magazine at the time of Paul Bailey’s book on her. I rather got on with Cynthia – I have a fondness for rogues, I fear – and she asked me to the launch party of the book.

I was rather disturbed to see a Guardian diary piece in the aftermath of the party in which I was referred to by name and appearance, and mispronouned; it also assumed that I was at this party in a brothel doing business, as it were. So I rang up the Guardian and spoke to the young journalist who had written the piece, and remarked to him that it was unprofessional of him to assume that a fellow journalist was the other kind of prostitute and that misgendering is simple rudeness.

He got quite humphy with me – I think he felt that assuming that a trans woman was more likely to be a whore than a journalist was not at all unreasonable or something I was being uppity to criticize him for.

Of course, the journalist in question grew up to be Alan Rusbridger, and edit the damn newspaper, but at least he cannot say he was not told.

I really wish I did not live in the land of urban rumour and biographical anecdote.

About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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19 Responses to The Guardian and Me

  1. snakey says:

    Oh lord. O____________O

  2. natalie_456 says:

    This makes me really glad I’m already boyqueercotting The Guardian. it’s nice to know where the transphobes are & how to avoid them.

  3. jessie_c says:

    It isn’t your fault that you couldn’t teach that budding transphobe the real facts of life. It also isn’t your fault that he’s always been a transphobe. He had his chance to learn from you and chose not to. Lay the blame where it belongs.

  4. paulathomas says:

    The Guardian has always had an ambivalent relationship with liberal thought. It is almost struck in a peculiar kind of upper middle class dinner party liberalism. There seems to be very little that is actually radical and rather a lot of conservatism (of which JB is a prime example).

    • annafdd says:

      There seems to be very little that is actually enlightened and a lot of the snobbery of champagne liberals – in other words, seconded.

      • actionreplay says:

        I loathe the Guardian. And I’m a lefty liberal. I actually prefer to get my print news, when I get it, from the FT, which doesn’t really care about anything but the markets. So less spin.

      • x_mass says:

        actually the FT is widely recognised to be left of centre
        albeit with a large side order of capitalism and emphasis on the markets
        look at the economist for a longer example of its attitudes

        I love the FT! I would subscribe if I could afford it everyday

    • natalie_456 says:

      yes! spot on – & unfortunately its readership don’t actually notice this : they’re blinded by the brand name and often think “this is liberalism” ~ when, actually, a lot of it more likely to be privileged idiocy

    • ephemerita says:

      very definitely to this – thirded.

      I think it feels more kinship to the idea of “liberalism” rather than the “thought” part, and a lot of the Guardian is about setting up and maintaining a specific kind of discourse, rather than, y’know, taking positions based on facts and ideals, and, well, good journalism.

  5. And hence in a parallel universe The Guardian is a liberal socialist liberationist newspaper.

    The fail! It’s melts my neurons! ;_;

  6. thedorkygirl says:

    Loved the ending, I laughed. You’re one of my favorite bloggers.

  7. wild_irises says:

    I hear you, but I also find it hard to imagine you outside of the land of urban rumour and biographical anecdote. That seems to be a big piece of your home territory.

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