Craccum Rejects Transphobic Article from Publication

auckland-university1

I’m into my third week of university as of writing this article, and have been enjoying it very much. I have some excellent classes with excellent lecturers, especially my American history class, I met Jacinda Ardern, David Shearer and James Shaw during O-Week, resulting in a bit of good discussion on Friday with James on the European Union and have been enjoying Craccum, the local Auckland University magazine. There’s generally some fantastic articles, including some from Daily Blog writer Curwen Rolinson, who I also had the pleasure of meeting.

However, on Friday morning, as I went into my law lecture, I discovered some paper across the desk. This is quite common, promoting events and such. However, a Mr Nicholas Kirke had left a two page article on the desks. The article was about objective reality and transgender issues, and had been apparently rejected as not to cause offence to the transgender community. My curiosity was peaked and I decided I would give it a read. I am now wishing that I hadn’t.

Kirke’s introduction doesn’t start out controversially, speaking of objective reality and its meaning. But following that, it’s all downhill. He starts speaking about how disturbed he is gender is being distorted by objective reality, as well as age. He goes on to speak about anatomy and such, but it’s his third paragraph that enraged me. He highlighted a case from the Fox News of Britain, the Daily Mail, of a 52 year old Canadian, with a wife and kids, who abandoned the family claiming he “chose” to identify as a woman and a six year old. While he said he had no hatred for this person, he felt that despite his actions since assuming the identity, he was still the same person and criticised him for abandoning his family to pursue what he would view as a fantasy life, perhaps something along the lines of something you’d see on My Strange Addiction or Taboo.

I had already been horrified but this assumption but he proceeded to make it worse for himself, using two articles of two people, one who believed they were a cat trapped in a human body (what some people from Tumblr will know as an Otherkin) and a man who appeared on Jeremy Kyle, believing himself to be a parrot and having cut off his own ears in pursuit of it. His article was a bigoted attack on the transgender community, saying transgenders are simply people trying to pursue fantasy lives they can’t otherwise have. And from someone who has a close friend who is transgender, I was disgusted at this treatment.

This isn’t the only media I’ve seen bashing the community. There was also a certain episode of South Park known as “Mr Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina,” where teacher Herbert Garrison decides to undergo gender reassignment. His post-surgery persona is portrayed as sexually promiscuous and is, to be quite honest, offensive. It would also be an episode I recommend does not get viewed, especially by men, for another couple reasons.

1. Kyle Broflovski, one of the four boys, gets surgery to become a black kid so he can play basketball. One certain scene would make male viewers’ get sensitive kneecaps and downstair regions.

2. Kyle’s father decides to undergo surgery to be a dolphin. He looks incredibly horrifying.

I do understand the show’s trying to make a message about cosmetic surgery, but comparing transgenders to what happened to Kyle and Gerald is WRONG on so many levels. Transgender people already have to deal with a lot of prejudice, some getting rejected by their families and with a very high suicide rate.

This kind of mockery and insensitivity is simply wrong and it’s people like Mr Kirke that make me disgusted with humanity at times. So, Craccum thank you for rejecting Kirke’s article, you made an excellent decision. I cannot believe that in one of the most socially progressive countries in the world, we’d be seeing this kind of bigotry towards transgenders, but I am at least assured of the fact there are people who will stand up to this kind of disgusting hate speech.

Liam Bateman

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