[UPDATED] Int’l trans community comes to the defense of UK doctor; transphobic article published in “The Guardian”

Dr. Richard Curtis (Photo guardian.uk)

Dr. Richard Curtis (Photo guardian.uk)

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — [UPDATE: Transphobic article pulled. See below.] In recent days the international transgender community has responded angrily to two different incidents, both potentially impacting the well-being of trans people in the United Kingdom in a negative way.

The first began when it became known that the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) was investigating Dr. Richard Curtis, a rare physician who does gender re-assignment support outside the NHS. Although not everyone can afford his services, he is respected among many trans people for providing a rare alternative to the NHS path.

Trans activists fear the GMC’s actions could eliminate trans patients options, leaving everyone with just one choice — the NHS system, which some trans activists say is ‘slow, controlling and unsympathetic.’

The response from the trans community not only focused on Dr. Curtis but also revealed the many shortcomings of the NHS from the trans perspective.

Read more about this uproar in this piece by trans woman Jane Fae: The real trans scandal is not the failings of one doctor but cruelty by many | Jane Fae | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.


The second storm followed the publication of a transphobic article in the UK’s The Guardian. Written by Julie Burchill and titled “Transsexuals should cut it out”, the piece clearly crosses the border into deep transphobia territory.

Here’s a snippet: “Shims, shemales, whatever you’re calling yourselves these days – don’t threaten or bully us lowly natural-born women, I warn you.”

That’s quite enough to get a flag thrown for me.

UPDATE — Jan. 14, 2013: The Guardian has pulled the transphobic article. See below:

Following an uproar from the trans community, the publication’s Readers’ editor says he will be looking into the matter, however, you can still contact them and voice your opinion:

Statement from John Mulholland, editor of The Observer

Observer.co.uk, Monday 14 January 2013 12.48 EST

Statement from John Mulholland, editor of The Observer:

We have decided to withdraw from publication the Julie Burchill comment piece ‘Transsexuals should cut it out’. The piece was an attempt to explore contentious issues within what had become a highly-charged debate. The Observer is a paper which prides itself on ventilating difficult debates and airing challenging views. On this occasion we got it wrong and in light of the hurt and offence caused I apologise and have made the decision to withdraw the piece. The Observer Readers’ Editor will report on these issues at greater length.


Write to: Readers’ Editor
The Observer
Kings Place
90 York Way
London N1 9GU
Tel: 020 3353 4656

Here’s the entire article [Trigger Warning]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/13/julie-burchill-suzanne-moore-transsexuals?mobile-redirect=false#comment-20580194

Dr. Richard Curtis (Photo guardian.uk)

Dr. Richard Curtis (Photo guardian.uk)


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Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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3 replies

  1. Do we know what Dr Curtis is actually accused of?


  1. UK’s “Observer” owns up to transphobic article publication blunder « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes

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