Complaint to RTÉ regarding Transphobia on Liveline

Today we sent the below to RTÉ in response to the transphobia broadcast on Liveline this week. We stand with the trans, non-binary and intersex community today and every day.

The Abortion Rights Campaign would like to register our disgust at the framing of the “debate” on transgender rights during yesterday’s Liveline programme. The Abortion Rights Campaign stands in full solidarity with the trans community in Ireland in the face of this organised and coordinated attack, facilitated by the national broadcaster during Pride month.

These attacks should not be viewed in isolation but as part of an insidious ramping up of far-right, transphobic rhetoric among certain factions of the media in recent times. We see this most notably in the British press and it is horrifying to see RTÉ and others attempt to import this manufactured trans panic in an attempt to sow seeds of division and hate against a vulnerable minority in our community.

The programme yesterday went against RTÉ’s own standards or respect for marginalised groups and diversity and honesty of programmes. Far-right talking points were amplified and disinformation was shared without challenge. There have been a number of attacks on the LGBTQI+ community in recent times and airing such hate on our national radio station can not be dismissed as not correlated with such attacks.

We are very surprised that a protest of 8 people got such long air time considering protests held by us and other organisations with 100s of people wouldn’t get anywhere near the time on air.

In particular, we are deeply disturbed by scaremongering attempts to undermine and roll back the basic legal rights trans people have achieved in Ireland. Ireland introduced gender recognition certification through self-ID in 2015, and has been functioning for seven years with no adverse impacts. Those who oppose the introduction of self-ID in the UK are aware that Ireland’s experience directly challenges their dire predictions and so they are invested in trying to dismantle the legal protections that trans people have in this country.

There is growing awareness in Ireland of the lived experience of trans people and greater understanding of the significant barriers that they face accessing gender-affirming health care. We at the Abortion Rights Campaign are steadfast allies with the transgender, non-binary and intersex community as we recognise that our struggles are intertwined. Whether it’s gender-affirming care or abortion rights, the fight for bodily autonomy and self-determination are human rights. We appeal to whoever has editorial oversight for the Liveline programme to consider the framing of human rights issues with the care and rigour they deserve.