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To undo some of the hurt and damage caused by The Metro‘s highly controversial anti-trans ad last week, Stonewall and Diva clubbed together to buy a full-page ad in support of the trans community, revealing the backing of the UK’s top companies. In the ad, about 100 organisations all offer their support to the trans community.
The original ad (below) was paid for by a group known as Fair Play For Women, and sent shockwaves among LGBT people and supporters of trans rights across the country.
“When I opened my copy of Metro this morning on the way to work, I was shocked and dismayed to find they’d published a full-page ad which was full of misinformation and scaremongering about trans women like me.” https://t.co/mjfrs2Ta8W
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) October 10, 2018
The same group had previously tweeted with an ‘evil grin’ about pregnant trans people being overwhelmed by a virus ‘like a 1000 cancers’.
Hi @tedbyoung, the group behind the advert Metro ran this week sent tweets laughing about transgender women being overwhelmed by a virus “like 1,000 cancers.” In light of this will you publicly distance yourself and @MetroUK from this anti-LGBT hate group? https://t.co/7Uk2oLV0O9
— Paris Lees (@parislees) October 12, 2018
Other tweets have since been deleted, although some remain. Fair Play For Women Director Nicola Williams claims ignorance of the tweets, saying, ‘We utterly reject transphobia, homophobia, misogeny [sic], racism and bigotry of any kind.’
The messages are "really quite horrifying and distressing." https://t.co/eU0OatYcyq
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) October 12, 2018
Some people have accused the group of being an example of astroturfing by American fundamentalists, and have noted that some of the claims of this group are inaccurate.
The Government recently published an article to clarify what the Gender Recognition Act consultation was and wasn’t proposing, and clarified that the exemptions under the Equalities Act 2010 to allow single and separate sex spaces would continue. This is in stark contrast to the claims of FPFW, which argues that men will be given access to women-only spaces.
The new ad shows a range of supporters of trans rights, and reads: ‘To all our trans family, colleagues, customers and friends, we are proud to stand alongside you in the fight for trans equality.
‘We support your right to be yourself and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in all parts of daily life.
‘We will keep on playing our part to make that happen and we send you our support and strength in the face of the hostility directed at you. We are proud to come out for trans equality.’
Great to see @PinkNews, @stonewalluk, @amnesty + more backing an advert in today's Metro, standing with the trans community and for trans equality. It comes after an (awful) anti-trans ad was printed in the paper a week ago, paid 4 by Fair Play For Women. https://t.co/mRXCNZtXjY
— Ella Braidwood (@ella_braidwood) October 17, 2018
The ASA is currently investigating the first ad to see if it breaches its guidelines.
The consultation closes tomorrow, but you can fill it in with guidance from Stonewall.