Allsorts director calls for the Observer to apologise to the trans community

Besi Besemar January 15, 2013

Jess Woods, MBE
Jess Woods, MBE

Jess Woods MBE, the project director at Allsorts Youth Project in Brighton has called on the editor of the Observer to apologise to the trans community after he published a piece in the Observer last Sunday, January 13, by Brighton based columnist Julie Burchill described by the former Equalites Minister, Lynne Featherstone MP as “Bigoted vomit”.

Allsorts runs a group for young trans people and in a letter to the editor of the Observer Jess highlighted the seriousness of the attack on trans people by Burchill and the potential damage this type of hate attack does to their mental health.

Her letter read:

“I do not expect to wake up on a Sunday morning, open my Observer and find words of hatred and humiliation directed at trans people (Julie Burchill 13th Jan 2013: Cut it out, you transsexuals). At Allsorts Youth Project  we run a group for young trans people. Why do these young people need additional support? Because daily they face abuse, insult and ridicule. What does this do to their mental health? In a recent survey, we found that 66% of young trans people had contemplated suicide, 22% had attempted suicide and 33% had self-harmed. Nobody will be suprised by anything Julie Burchill has to say these days, but I do think your readers will be, like me, astonished that you saw fit to publish words so carefully crafted to cause maximum harm to such a highly vulnerable group in our society?

Our charity would like to make a formal complaint to the editor of the Observer about this piece, please advise how to proceed?We would also like you to consider publishing an apology to the the trans community and provide an opportunity for representaitves of the trans community to publish a piece that informs your readers why this kind of pernicious journalism is dangerous and irresponsible.”