Tag Archives: transphobia

Attitude Magazines Politician of the Year


Last night the Attitude Magazine awards were handed out.

It is with great pride for us in the Liberal Democrats that Lynne Featherstone has been named their politician of the year. Until recently she was the Equalities Minister working to bring forward the consultation leading soon to legislation on equal marriage. Also working with our sports governing bodies to wipe out homophobia and transphobia in sports. With our schools to deal with homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Within hours of announcing that the Government would be launching a consultation on how to bring equal marriage into England and Wales at party conference in Autumn 2011, she was applauded at the LGBT+ Lib Dems AGM. But also fielded questions about why it was only partial party policy that she was bringing in. Last night she was being applauded for going further than Labour managed to go when they had a majority Government and fighting hard against some hard line Conservative opposition (including some in the cabinet) to bring equal marriage so far to the fore and along the road.

Other awards including TV Personality of the Year to Clare Balding for a stellar year in sports presenting.

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18 Key Recommendations from Policing Board LGB&T Thematic Review

Panel discussing the thematic review (L-R) Cara McCann LASI, Jennifer Clifford The Oyster Group, DCC Judith Gillespie PSNI, John O Doherty The Rainbow Project, Alyson Kilpatrick Human Rights advisor to Policing Board and Conall McDevitt MLA Picture by Arthur Allison

On Thursday the Northern Ireland Policing Board  launched their Thematic Review: Policing with and for LGB&T Individual (you can read the full review here and the summary here).

There are 18 key recommendations:

  1. PSNI should finalise its draft protocal
  2. PSNI should consider development of hate crime partnerships in each district (as per part of evaluation in rec. 9)
  3. PSNI should consider hate crime investigators in each district
  4. PSNI should include specific target for detection rate of homophobic and transphobic hate crime
  5. PSNI should circulate statement to all officers to accept without challenge victim or other person that crime was motivated by hate on one of the defined grounds
  6. PSNI should analyse the effectiveness of online reporting initiative alongside LGBT stakeholders checking effectiveness and seeking improvement
  7. PSNI should ensure all victims of homophobic and transphobic crime in Belfast Area given details of the LGB&T Advocacy Service
  8. PSNI should evaluate the implementation of the LGB&T Advocacy Service and report back in 6 months
  9. PSNI should evaluate Hate Incident Minority Liaison Officers (HIMLO) as currently undertaken by neighbourhood officers and report back in 6 months
  10. As per the above evaluation consider whether PSNI policy Police Response to Hate Incidents requires amendment
  11. PSNI should develop as part of its integrated training strand an LGB strand and Transgender strand for officers and staff
  12. The PSNI Training College should develop an LGB&T skills assessment of the organisation
  13. As part for HIMLO evaluation (rec. 9)  PSNI should review post-training analysis of equality and diversity training of officers who are to assume HIMLO duties
  14. When police response to Domestic Incidents is next reviewed, it should include a within it a review of issues faced by victims who are transgender and guidance on how officers should treat them
  15. When providing progress report on Equality, Diversity and Good Relations Strategy PSNI should include information on specific applications from LGB people and from Transgender people.
  16. PSNI should amend its Equal Opportunities Policy to explicitly reference that it does not discriminate against, or treat anyone less favourably on the grounds of ‘gender identity’
  17. On completion of Cultural Audit, provide copies to Policing Board’s Human Rights Advisor, and summary of findings to the LGB&T Independent Advisory Group and Policing Board’s LGB&T Reference Group
  18. PSNI should consider what steps it takes of may take to ensure that LGB&T officers and staff are supported and report the results within 6 months.

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Paddy Power lose their leg to stand on as advert pulled

Remember the defense used by Paddy Power about why they wished to continue showing the Transphobic advert for Cheltenham:

Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad, and it was also cleared by Clearcast [which pre-vets TV ads] before airing. This ad is simply a bit of mild-mannered fun in the runup to the Cheltenham festival.

Well Clearcast have now issued the following statement:

Last week we approved a tv ad for Paddy Power featuring references to transgendered people. When making our decision to approve the ad, we took into account the fact that the advertiser had sought a view from the Beaumont Society (a body run by and for those who cross dress or are transsexual) which did not find the script idea offensive.

However following a number of complaints over the last few days, it appears that the ad has caused offence and in consultation with broadcasters, it has been decided that the ad should no longer run on their TV or VoD services in its current format. We regret offence that may have been caused.

So where does Paddy Power stand now? Well they have issued the following statement:

Paddy Power’s Ladies Day commercial has been pulled from TV.

The decision to suspend the clip wasn’t made by us – it was done by the British TV advertising regulator along with television broadcasters.

This is especially frustrating given the commercial was already pre-approved by British television advertising clearance body Clearcast, just one week ago, who then considered the humour in the advert, while not to everyone’s taste, fell short of causing offence.

The Beaumont Society said there was “nothing untoward with the advert concept” and felt it was not inappropriate since “the entire campaign would be a tongue-in-cheek look at the Ladies Day race meeting where these days a large number of cross dresser’s make a day of it”.

Furthermore, Paddy Power cast members of the trans-community in the various transgender roles in the commercial.

Given the attention and diligence we demonstrated throughout the development of this commercial, we are very disappointed by today’s decision.

So Paddy Power are frustrated and disappointed that they can no longer show this ad, that the decision on decency wasn’t made by them but by bodies outside their control.

Having one group, and one that many in the transgender community are sceptical of, agree with your point of view may not reflect the other groups dealing with Transgender issues who have disagreed with your stance, that much is clear. Paddy Power unlike Clearcast have not shown any remorse for the offence they have caused to others, but rather go on to boast about the number of YouTube views they have received of the ad.

The ad has been removed for the screens though no doubt will still be available of Paddy Power’s YouTube channel. Hopefully in future advertisers will think how to positively include transgender people in their adverts.

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ESPN Pull Plug on Paddy Power’s Transphobic Ad

Broadcasters are taking mixed approach to Paddy Power’s Transphobic ad, which is currently under referral by the Advertising Standard Authority.

Here is the current state of play.

ESPN have pulled the ad saying:

“We’ve reviewed the commercial in question, and have made an internal editorial decision that it will not run on ESPN.”

Channel 4 home of terrestrial racing coverage in the UK will run it they say that while they as a channel have a duty to make sure that all ads meet the advertising code, they will:

 “leave it up to our viewers to make their own judgment about the adverts they have seen”.

This from the channel that showed the issues of transgender individuals in My Transexual Summer in recent months!

BSkyB will also continue to show it, they have said:

 “Prior to transmission all advertising is checked by Clearcast, an independent body dedicated to applying the ASA rules and regulations on advertising. If, retrospectively, any ad is thought unsuitable for broadcast, the ASA can step in. When they do so, we always comply with the judgments they make.”

Clearcast clearance was also the excuse that Paddy Power gave in their statement on this issue:

“Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad, and it was also cleared by Clearcast [which pre-vets TV ads] before airing. This ad is simply a bit of mild-mannered fun in the runup to the Cheltenham festival.”

I wonder how many members of the Clearcast clearance panel have ever heard a transgender woman talk to them one on one about the fears that they have of being publicly outed in the way that the advert wants to call a game to liven up Cheltenham Ladies Day? How many of them have seen the fear and trembling of a transgender women talking about an instance where someone has been threatening toward her when they guessed or discovered their birth identity.

Well done to ESPN on coming to their own conclusion on seeing the public reaction to this advert and shame on BSkyB and Channel 4 for not realising that the public have already spoken.

Update both BSkyB and Channel 4 subsequently reversed their decision and along with Clearcast decided to not screen the ad any further. This led to the total withdrawal of the ad on Thursday.

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Paddy Power still haven’t got it on Transgender issues

I’ve just read on Pink News that Paddy Power are actually taking their (in their words) “mild-mannered”, “harmless fun” from their transphobic advert for real to Cheltenham Ladies Day!

According to the article they will be ‘planting’ trans women in the crowd and encouraging race goers to play the sick ‘game’ from their advertising campaign for real.

At Lib Dem conference last Autumn LGBT+ Lib Dems NI Coordinator Stephen Glenn spoke about a number of reasons that the accreditation system for conference was unfair. One of the reasons stated was that some of the transgender members had refused to go through additional police checks for the fear of being accidentally outed to employers and others as a result of the process.

Yes Paddy Power, most transgendered people, especially women, often live in fear of somebody finding out they are trans and taking offense, being offensive or worse. Yet you are going to take that real fear and play games with it. Indeed many of them have experienced adverse effects. Many as a result of the constant specualtion, often behind their backs but often all to obvious, become reclusive scared to go out, even to the corner shop for supplies. It is no game for them.

Cheltenham may be a national hunt meeting but it it isn’t right to hunt transgender women for sport. We have a ban against such things, it is call the Equality Act 2010Section 26 says:

26Harassment

(1)A person (A) harasses another (B) if—

(a)A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and

(b)the conduct has the purpose or effect of—

(i)violating B’s dignity, or

(ii)creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.

What if a transgender woman attending Cheltenham, who is not one of your plantees, gets hassle and grief all through Ladies Day, is that offensive, is that a game? What if a CIS woman gets “outed” incorrectly as a man, or as you advert says “a stallion”, is that going to be mild-mannered and harmless fun?

I don’t think so. Nor should Paddy Power.

Paddy Power have said “[They] don’t believe it [the ad] is offensive in any way” and indeed that “[They]’re quite proud of the ad.” I’ve seen a comment that says it all.

“What right does a CIS person have to tell a trans person what they might find offensive. Or that what a Trans person has found offensive can’t possible be so, isn’t that lack of listening just as offensive?”

Paddy Power the founder of the chain has told the Daily Mail:

‘I’m really surprised that it has had some negative responses but overall it has had a mixed reaction.

‘It won’t be pulled because we then run the risk of taking ourselves too seriously or pandering to political correctness.

‘We are surprised with some of the reaction because members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community helped us put the ad together and were featured in it.

‘It is not meant to cause offence.

‘This was checked by Clearcast (which vets adverts) so it wasn’t as if it was a guerrilla style attempt to offend – it is meant to get people talking.’

I’m sorry Paddy if being respectful and obeying the law is pandering to political correctness. Actually no I have no reason to be sorry about that, but Paddy you do.

I have a cunning plan for Ladies Day. Let’s have some harmless fun

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Paddy Power in transphobia ad shocker

They say that the Cheltenham Festival of racing is one of Ireland’s finest hours every year. Even if the Irish are losing money hand over fist at the trackside bookies.

However, Ireland’s largest and most successful bookmakers Paddy Power have brought shame on themselves with their current advert leading up to Ireland’s biggest betting week for their mobile app.

In the ad they say that they are “going to make Ladies Day even more exciting by adding some beautiful transgendered ladies: Spot the Stallions from the Mares.”  They then proceed in an inane guessing game as to whether ladies are men or ladies. There is even a clip at one point where a women walks out of the gents as the voice over says “dog, err man”.

To use the subject of transgender is such a degrading and mocking way is a clear cut case of transphobia. I suspect that most of the actors were actually drag artists and not transgendered people at all.

What is worse is that the advert appeared during Sky Sports very popular Soccer Saturday not just once but three times. So while we have the UK government running a campaign to wipe out transphobia in sport we have the nations number one sports channel showing such an advert.

We should be beyond mocking people’s differences in 2012, but sadly Paddy Power and Sky Sports once again show that in the macho world of sport that is not necessarily the case.

TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland)

Read also the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) have also written about their call on Paddy Power to remove this advert.

Update The Cheltenham Festival have picked up on outrage that many people have made about the advert. However, instead of distancing themselves from the advert which uses their event as the premise they say:

“Watch their Ladies Day Ad below. Some people might find it offensive. Some people thought it was just a bit of a laugh. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!”

I’m glad to report that the comments they are getting are largely coming out on the offensive side.

Update 2 – 20 Feb 11:20 This blog post as well as the comments LGBT+ Lib Dems NI Coordinator Stephen Glenn posted on the Cheltenham Festival website have both appeared in The Guardian today. 13:20 And now also in Pink News. 19:25 Even the Daily Mail are quoting from the above at length.

Update 3  In the comments below we have been forwarded the standard response that Paddy Power Customer Service have been issuing in response to complaints it reads:

Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.

Paddy Power has a long-held reputation of breaking the mould and doing things that are new and innovative for our customers and viewers. Our aim though is always to entertain, never to offend, and we apologise for any upset caused.

Sadly if Paddy Power, their advertising executives, anyone who has run these ads or the Cheltenham Festival, feel that this ad poking fun at Transgendered women or playing a game of spot the CIS or Trans woman is new or innovative they really should wake up to the 21st Century.

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Filed under transphobia