A petition calling for The Sun to apologise for it’s “vile comments” about trans UK Labour candidate, Emily Brothers, has gained more than 21,000 signatures.
Brothers, who lost her sight to glaucoma as a child, came out as trans in an exclusive interview with PinkNews last week. Reacting to the interview, columnist for The Sun, Rod Liddle questioned how Brothers possibly knew that she was trans considering she was blind. He wrote, “She’ll be standing at the next election in the constituency of Sutton and Cheam. Thing is though, being blind, how did she know she was the wrong sex?”
He wrote, “She’ll be standing at the next election in the constituency of Sutton and Cheam. Thing is though, being blind, how did she know she was the wrong sex?”
The comment was inevitably met with backlash online.
Vile bigoted comment about Labour PPC Emily Brothers by Rod Liddle in the @TheSunNewspaper – beneath contempt. pic.twitter.com/a5e0A5uAAJ
— James Asser (@JamesAsser) December 11, 2014
Just in case we forget the Sun is a rag of a paper: This published by them from Rod Liddle on Emily Brothers. Low. pic.twitter.com/XKJbegFvml
— James Hallwood (@jhallwood) December 11, 2014
Fully support the call on @TheSunNewspaper to apologise for today’s transphobic & disablist attack on Emily Brothers https://t.co/RX4JrqHxEL
— LGBT Labour (@LGBTLabour) December 11, 2014
Since the controversy, Liddle has apologised for his insensitivity, saying,”I wish Emily the very best and I’d definitely vote for her if I lived in Sutton and Cheam. I am sorry for the poor joke!”
The Sun is yet to apologise for publishing the comments, and instead maintains that Liddle’s remarks were “free speech” and did not reflect opinions of the paper.
Speaking to The Independent, Brothers says that she has remained personally unscathed by the comments, but instead worries about the trans community as a whole. “Personally I am ok and not distressed by his ridiculous comments.My position is that I think it’s a cheap comment that doesn’t surprise me coming from The Sun.
“But my concern is how other transgender people feel about these comments, particularly those who are going through the transitioning process and are fearful of other people’s reactions, and fearful of being ridiculed.”
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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