BBC research into “diverse communities” excludes trans people

January 23, 2010

This is hardly a surprise and I only post about it ‘for the record’. Via the BBC News website:

The BBC has commissioned a wide-ranging investigation into how lesbian, gay and bisexual people are portrayed on TV, radio and online.

The research will ask a variety of people across the country what they think about subjects such as jokes, dramatic storylines and stereotyping.

The BBC’s Tim Davie said it was “vital” for the corporation to reflect the “diverse communities” across the UK.

He added that the findings would “deepen our understanding” of viewers.

The three-part study will include audience research, an online survey and a consultation with lesbian, gay and bisexual community groups across the UK.

So “diverse communities” include cis LGB people – but not trans LGB people? How unusual.

“This is the most comprehensive piece of research ever carried out in this area by the BBC and we’re doing it because, as a public service broadcaster, we have a responsibility to serve all of our audiences.”

“It’s vital that we reflect the differences among all of the UK’s diverse communities, nations and regions.”

And this transsexual woman will look forward to that vital reflection, Mr Davies. What a shame that you missed the ideal opportunity to do that with this research project.

4 Responses to “BBC research into “diverse communities” excludes trans people”


  1. *groans* When even the BBC lets you down it’s hard not to lose hope. It’s maddening because you just know that they *deliberately* had to exclude us; “Oi, what about the T?” “Eh, not worth the trouble.”

    There is a possibility that many of the folks at the corporation think that we’re just extremely gay people; it’s a misapprehension that countless cis people are under which leads to all sorts of trans people being presumed to be drag queens. But even so, it’s their *job* to know better than the rest of the public.

    Things like this make me giggle when I hear rightists whine about the BBC’s supposed liberal bias. I wonder if I could write to them…

  2. Helen G Says:

    Yeah… Makes me wonder how they square it with their diversity policy:

    Diversity for the BBC is a creative opportunity to engage the totality of the UK audience. That includes diverse communities of interest, as well as gender, age, ethnicity, religion and faith, social background, sexual orientation, political affiliation and so on.


  3. Last year the Human Resources people where I work were setting up ‘equalities focus groups’. At the first meeting of the sexual orientation committee they explained that the problems trans people might face were to be dealt with by the gender equality committee because gender and sexual orientation were different things. (Unfortunately I don’t know how many trans people were involved on the gender committee, if any…)

    I don’t know whether the BBC has also picked up whatever piece of guidance these HR people had been using….

  4. Helen G Says:

    It’s interesting, but perhaps not especially surprising, that the SO and GI committees of a major communications organisation are apparently unable to, well, communicate with each other.

    “It’s vital that we reflect the differences among all of the UK’s diverse communities, nations and regions.”

    Yeahrite…


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