Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Sun: Only Outing Trans People Now

"A FIRE station chief amazed colleagues by changing sex while on holiday," reports an amazed-sounding Sun.
"Paul Canning, 45, returned from a five-week break wearing make-up and a wig, then said: "Call me Jessica from now on."
"Staff were summoned to a meeting by the London Fire Brigade's human resources department and told about the sex swap. They were warned they could be disciplined if they did not refer to their boss in Forest Hill, South London, as "she".
"They were also offered a transgender awareness course..."
Perhaps The Sun should send its journalists on one?
There's been a real change in awareness of trans issues in the last few years, but several papers are still stuck in a mindset where someone being trans is seen as "shocking", usually with an insinuation that it's freakish, disgusting, and/or a joke.
The mere fact that this is a news story is surely transphobic?
Why is this of interest to anyone who doesn't know Jessica Canning?
If she is now living as a woman, shouldn't she be allowed to do so without being outed in a tabloid as trans?
Shouldn't a story like this be reported to the Press Complaints Commission as an invasion of privacy?


  1. I complained to the PCC and got the form response below...


    Thank you for your email.

    I should emphasise that the PCC will normally only consider complaints from people who are directly affected by the matters about which they are concerned. Indeed, only in exceptional circumstances will the Commission consider a complaint from someone not directly involved. For the PCC to take this matter forward, we would generally require a complaint from Jessica, or her representative.

    In this instance, an initial examination of your case suggests that you are a third party to the complaint. However, if you believe our normal rules should be waived to allow us to take your case further (or if you do not consider yourself to be a third party in this matter) we would be grateful to hear from you in the next ten days. We will then ask the Commission to make a further assessment of your case in order to decide whether to take your complaint forward. Additional information about third party complaints can be found on our website in the FAQs section. If you would like to discuss your case before replying please do contact us. If we hear no more from you we will close our files on your complaint.

    If, at the end of the complaints-process, you are dissatisfied with the manner in which your case has been handled, you should write within one month to the independent Charter Commissioner who will investigate the matter and report any findings and recommendations to the Commission . Further details are included on our website.

    A copy of the Code of Practice which all newspapers and magazines who subscribe adhere to, can be accessed using this web link:

    Further information about third party complaints can be accessed using this web link:

    Information about our service commitments to complainants can be accessed using this web link:

    Further information about the PCC can be found on our website .

    Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further advice. When you write to us, please quote our reference number on this email.

    Yours sincerely

    Simon Yip


    Press Complaints Commission

    Halton House

    20/23 Holborn

    London EC1N 2JD

    Tel: 020 7831 0022

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