The Trans Writers Union is calling on our trans comrades, our allies, and anyone disenfranchised with the recent Irish Times editorial decisions, to join us in boycotting the paper until they accept and meet the demands outlined.

We as members of the Trans Writers Union will not write for, pay for, nor read the Irish Times until these demands have been met. We as writers will not add prestige or financial support to a paper publishing anti-trans rhetoric, and we urge you to refuse with us.

We demand that:

  1. The Irish Times withdraw and apologise for their recent conversion therapy article, published August 9, 2021
  2. The Irish Times take practical, committed steps to adopting a trans-inclusive editorial line

By “practical, committed steps”, we mean more than empty promises from the Irish Times. We are tired of lip-service diversity, tired of asking for basic respect from our national media.

By “practical, committed steps”, we mean the Irish Times must accept that their recent editorial stance has been anti-trans, that this does not serve in the interest of debate, or journalistic balance.

By “practical, committed steps”, we mean the onus is on the Irish Times to actively integrate a trans-inclusive ethos into its publication, by working with the many available trans bodies to achieve this.

By “practical, committed steps”, we do not mean “hire one trans journalist”, or “have Zoom conversations with a trans writer”. This is not the aim of the boycott.

The aim of this boycott is to effect a long-term, genuine acceptance of trans people as deserving of fair and humane treatment, not abstract fodder whose healthcare is demonised and withheld by the colluding forces of state and media. Please join us in this demand, join us by demanding better from a national paper.

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Meanwhile, the cis person’s colleagues are still posting hate speech and getting their opinions published in the papers. These people are still getting books published. There is little I can do about this, as I cannot take down the myriad systems that make this true, but I can at least try for some clear-sighted, robust critical conversations about why it is happening.

“The Formation and Aims of the Trans Writers Union” No Parties Magazine, August 27 2021

Most of all, however, it was easy to boycott the Irish Times because we actively and absolutely condemn any kind of conversion therapy, as writers, as trans people, as gay people. We do not accept a literary landscape where conversion therapy is implicitly supported by any writers or readers, and we condemn a literary landscape where these issues are ignored, and propped up by the silence of writers and publishers.

“Trans Writers Union share why they are boycotting Irish Times” GCN.ie, September 6 2021

The most famous Irish trans novel is by a cis man who defends transphobia at Pride; a transphobic book disavowed by the American Psychiatric Association is given a glowing review in the most widely read paper in Ireland; the Irish paper of record publishes an article in favour of conversion therapy for trans youth. These are not minor problems. Books and newspapers are culture-shaping things. To demand better from their publishers and editors is to demand better for all trans people and for Ireland.

“Happy Almost Birthday, Trans Writers Union” GCN #368, October 2021 (Page 38)

“For the past few years, the IT has been publishing articles expressing hostility towards trans people,” they said. “Some might say these articles are engaging both sides of a debate, [but] human existence is not a debate.” […] “The Irish Times facilitates public debate on certain topics. This is meaningful and appropriate in many contexts, but any invitation to a discourse as to whether our legal rights should be taken away could not be reasonably considered either.”

“Irish Times accused of ‘hostility’ towards trans people as students support boycott” Business Post, 31 October 2021

Support for the Boycott

Abortion Rights Campaign
Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition
Catatonic Daughters
Channel Magazine
DCU Students’ Union
Fringe Festival
IADT Students’ Union
The Liminal Review
NUIG Students’ Union
SAOI (Safe Arts of Ireland)
Shon Faye
UCD Students’ Union
Trinity News