The Daily Mail has just forced another trans woman to come out.
Lilly Wachowski, co-director of blockbuster films such as The Matrix Trilogy and V for Vendetta, was doorstepped by a journalist for The Daily Mail. He threatened that if Lilly didn’t do an interview with the paper that she would be outed.
Let’s be clear. Outing of trans people literally puts lives at risk. A staggering 41% of trans people attempt suicide at some point of their lives, leaving them incredibly vulnerable when outed without their consent.
Of course, The Daily Mail has first-hand experience of this -- because after the paper outed primary school teacher Lucy Meadows in 2013 as a trans woman, she committed suicide.
This has to stop. Let The Daily Mail know that they must no longer out trans people and put lives at risk.
Lilly Wachowski is one of the lucky ones -- she had the support, influence, and resources she needed to fight back against The Daily Mail. Even though her hand was forced, she was able to release her own statement and have her own voice.
Not everyone is so lucky. When Lucy Meadows was mocked in the press with an attack piece by the Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn, she committed suicide.
Leading with the mocking headline "He's not only in the wrong body... he's in the wrong job", Littlejohn belittled and harassed Meadows, referring to her “personal problems” and playing on the outdated scare tactic that LGBT people are a threat to children.
The vile article led to a witch-hunt targeting Meadows. Newspapers offered to pay parents for a picture of her, and she complained of having to leave home by the back door and arrive early to school to avoid the packs of journalists. This treatment led Meadows’ coroner to accuse The Daily Mail of “ridicule and humiliation”.
Enough is enough. Let The Daily Mail know that they must no longer out trans people and put lives at risk.
We know that there is a lot of support out there for trans people. After the death of Lucy Meadows, 200,000 SumOfUs members signed a petition asking The Daily Mail to sack Richard Littlejohn. We’ve also seen more and more trans people taking up prominent places in popular culture, such as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner.
Being trans is no longer breaking news -- it’s time The Daily Mail understood that. It’s time The Daily Mail was held accountable for its actions.
Second Wachowski filmmaker sibling comes out as trans, Windy City Times, 8th March 2016
Daily Mail denies trying to force Matrix director to come out as trans woman, The Guardian, 9th March 2016
Daily Mail urged to fire Richard Littlejohn after death of Lucy Meadows, The Guardian, 22nd March 2013
Lucy Meadows coroner tells press 'shame on you', The Guardian, 28th May 2013