Wednesday, 13th September, 2023
Statement regarding Channel 7’s “Spotlight”
Albany Pride would like to take the opportunity to address Channel 7’s recent ‘Spotlight’ program on “detransitioners”.
From the offset, the program was promoted as being “controversial” – and follows all the hallmark features of throwaway tabloid “journalism” – provocative sensationalism, a biased narrative with little nuance, unapologetic misrepresentation and misinformation, exploitation, and frankly, a “dumbed down” approach to a subject that appeals to the prejudices, ignorance, and biases of those that already have very little understanding of the subject.
The cut-and-paste path of tabloid journalism is well-known: it requires a “threat” or “boogeyman” and will clutch at any straw it can to create it. Transgender people, and the larger gay, lesbian and bisexual community, have once again become the cannon fodder for tabloid journalists, who have consistently proven there’s no depths they won’t sink to in order to sell a “story”, however fabricated and based in fear-mongering. There’s no shortage of reasons for why tabloid journalism is known as “the gutter press”.
This is what this comes down to: a desperate and pathetic attempt by Channel Seven to further demonise and vilify a minority group for advertising revenue and entertainment. We will make no bones about this: it is truly revolting.
We can understand that Channel Seven, and other tabloid outfits, are getting increasingly desperate – after all, they are now competing with social media, internet-based news outlets, and an ever-growing myriad of other streaming services, but the LGBTIQA+ community (and the other minority communities that have, and continue to be targeted in this sense) do not exist, and do not deserve to be, their scapegoat, nor their desperate, senationalised attempt to claw back viewers. The transgender community is already facing increased levels of hostility, prejudice, and abuse, and Channel Seven was willing to further jeopardise their safety in order to garnish viewing figures. It is reckless, morally reprehensible, and everyone involved should feel deeply ashamed.
We would encourage all of those that would like to be equipped by the facts, rather than the sensationalist nonsense presented by Channel Seven, read the following post from Parents of Gender Diverse Children (available to read here on Facebook).
It is very telling that the ‘Spotlight’ program was unable to provide any evidence for many of the claims they made, and that these can be easily debunked (although, of course, those that are championing this program tend to have little interest in the truth). It is very telling that whilst they presented ‘detransitioning’ as being an issue of such huge magnitude in Australia, they were only able to find three women who have ‘detransitioned’ – and further still, only two of them were from Australia and had transitioned as adults, not as teenagers.
Then there are the promotional advertisements beforehand that featured videos and images of transgender people that don’t regret their transition at all, forcing Channel Seven to apologise before the program even went to air.
Desperate is indeed the word.
Of course, we have no surprise whatsoever that groups like the Australian Christian Lobby, Binary, and various other anti-trans groups have praised the episode – it speaks to all their ill-informed, bigoted and sensationalist views.
We would also like to draw your attention to a post made by our friends at Out In Perth which has encapsulated the situation very well, and presents further information on the minute rates of detransitioning and the reasons why: https://www.outinperth.com/criticism-of-channel-sevens-spotlight-program-grows/
Albany Pride proudly stands by our transgender community. We also stand by those who have ‘detransitioned’ – however comparatively minute their numbers are – because everybody has the right to bodily-autonomy and an identity that they feel comfortable and complete in.
Our young folk particularly deserve better than this: they do not deserve to be the targets of older people’s ignorance and ire, nor to be the wedge-issue for politicians and journalists wishing to make a name for themselves in lieu of integrity.
If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:
QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.
Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au
Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au