All About Trans meets BBC

Trans* Media Interactions in Cardiff

All About Trans* media project visits Cardiff

All About Trans meets BBC
A proportion of my working life is dedicated to activism and human rights work promoting equality and diversity awareness, much of it related to Trans*, LGBT and disability – aspects which have personal relevance to me and important people in my life. Most of this work is behind the scenes, contributing to consultation processes and participating on working groups shaping and informing policy at organisational and governmental level but sometimes there’s an opportunity to do something a bit different to advance the cause – in this case of trans* awareness.

So, today saw me in Cardiff at Coffee #1 in Wood St (which is one of my favourite haunts) meeting with three senior figures from the BBC Governance and Accountability (Wales) Council. and two of the guys from the All About Trans media project.

Transgender Activist Alex Drummond

All About Trans* have been coordinating face to face interactions between trans* (transgender) individuals and media people to promote understanding in a series of informal meetings. Here we are in Coffee #1 in Wood Street Cardiff discussing programming governance issues and helping inform future policy on handling issues and character representation relating to Trans*.

Trans* Activist Alex Drummond meets BBC

Trans* identity & representation

Coffee #1 offered the perfect informal setting to enjoy coffee and flapjack which discussing the significance and impact of media representations of trans* lives on trans* people. There was a meeting of minds as we shared understanding of the ethical principles underpinning governance (and ultimately programming decisions) at the BBC, and the bigger social responsibility of a world respected broadcaster. A guiding principle in the representation of ideas is that trust in the BBC is maintained as a source of factually correct information, whilst respecting the identities and rights of a diverse audience.

Alex Drummond meets BBC

The time flew by as we explored the tensions between reflecting society as it is (accurate portrayal of culture) and social responsibility around the unwitting promotion of hurtful prejudice. I recalled how a television series like ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ in the 1970’s promoted racial prejudice in a way that some recent BBC output has equally promoted trans* prejudice – at what point does a broadcaster have responsibility to pull back from representing an aspect of society that causes injury to a vulnerable minority.

Our input helped the BBC team understand more about the complexity and diversity of ‘transition’ for trans* people and that felt useful. As a group we reflected on the idea that life itself is about endless transition – its just that the Trans* community are at the tangible edge of that.

The event was a great success and it was informative for all concerned: with thanks to All About Trans for co-ordinating the event and to the BBC team for sparing time.

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