Trans athlete Ricki Coughlan took to Facebook to contrast a cover the Sunday Telegraph published about her transition in 1991 with the transphobic slur the paper used in a headline last weekend.
Coughlan said she called the newspaper’s editor to explain why the use of the slur was inappropriate.
“I called them to explain that the use of the word “Tranny” in a headline in their paper was extremely disrespectful.
“I asked them to consider that in 1991 in the same publication an article about me, written by Mike Hurst, was fair, balanced and respectful.
“It didn’t attempt to be titillating or to incite anger or hatred or [be] disrespect in any way. It was positive, straightforward and factual,” the post continued.
“Fast forward more than 25 years and we have the same publication blatantly and knowingly using disrespectful language and, by their own admission not out of ignorance.
“This leaves us with the impression that the Sunday Telegraph acted with a desire to create anger and a culture of hatred and disrespect for transgender people,” she wrote.
Coughlan’s bio on AthleteAlly.com describes her as a “Runner/Transgender Athlete & Advocate”.
“I explained that I was saddened to see such a slip in standards and that the publication seemingly wishing to position itself as a negative force in a conversation about marginalised people,” she said in the post.
The Telegraph was criticised on Monday for its use of the transphobic slur in a headline about Scarlett Johansson’s decision to drop out of a film project in which she was slated to play a trans man.
Seriously @dailytelegraph??? Like, actually? Two sundays in a row you’ve printed vile, transphobic rubbish. Replace that word with another similarly racist or homophobic term and see if it makes it to print. This is never ok, it’s appalling, and the editor needs to be sacked pic.twitter.com/f2TgPjhXvv
— Hannah Mouncey 🤾♀️ (@HannahMouncey) July 15, 2018
Writer Benjamin Law slammed the use of the word as “truly vile”.
You can read Coughlan’s post and view the December 1, 1991 cover in full below.