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Portraying the LGB community on the BBC

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Tim Davie Tim Davie | 09:37 UK time, Friday, 22 January 2010

lgb.jpgToday the BBC announced that it has commissioned a piece of research to help us gain a deeper understanding into how the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community are portrayed across all our services.

We will talk to audiences up and down the UK so that we get the widest range of views and opinions about how they think we're portraying LGB people across everything we do; whether it's television, radio or online

We'll ask people their views on language, tone, stereotyping, on screen talent, humour and scheduling to name just a few areas, and I'm sure will uncover many others that will deepen our understanding of you.

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 and it's vital that we reflect the differences among all of the UK's diverse communities, nations and regions.

The work- which is being conducted by research agency 2CV who have experience in in-depth audience research - will be supported by an online questionnaire which you will find at http://www.perceptor.com/perceplive/survey/bbc_lgb_portrayal. This questionnaire is open for anyone to answer and we are actively encouraging as many people as possible to participate and have their views recorded.

Additionally throughout the process we'll be in contact with LGB community organisations across the UK. In this way, through the research, via the online questionnaire and engaging with grass-root organisations we will hear from as many voices as possible.

This work is being driven by a pan-BBC Working Group on Portrayal and Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Audiences, which I chair. It was set up last year to examine how we portray this section of our diverse audience - in part because we know that LGB communities are concerned about how they are portrayed in the media - but also because the licence fee and our public purposes means it is our job to reflect the diversity of the nation and to do that well.

The remit of this working group reflects our overall diversity strategy and builds on similar work we have carried out in recent years with other distinct audience groups.

For example, last year we conducted audience research looking at disability portrayal and we are currently looking at regional audiences - all as part of our ongoing commitment to serve all licence-fee payers.

As part of an ongoing conversation we have with our audiences on a range of issues and topics we want and expect it to make a difference.

When the research findings are delivered this summer I think we can expect an in-depth - and perhaps surprising - reflection of your range of views on how we're serving you.

The findings will be embedded in programme making at the BBC - made available to all programme makers, commissioners and other key decision makers at the BBC to ensure that when we make editorial decisions that there is continued consideration of LGB storylines or characters based on the best information and research about what audiences want and expect.

We will also make recommendations to the BBC's Diversity Board, chaired by Mark Thompson, and we intend to publish a full report which will be made available widely.

Like all my colleagues on the working group, I am genuinely excited about the prospect of getting to that stage.

We are aware that people may have strong views, both positively and negatively, about how the BBC is portraying the LGB community across our services and that's why it's so important to hear what you're thinking. Only in this way can the BBC be part of a real step change in delivering accurate, authentic portrayals of LGB people's lives.

I look forward to sharing the research when it's complete. Until then I encourage you all to get involved, click on the link below and tell us what you think.

Click here to complete the questionnaire.


  • Comment number 1.

    You will also, according to a report in the Guardian, be seeking the views of 'ethnic and religious groups, with some respondents expected to express homophobic views.' However, you have made no mention of that in this blog post.

    Why not?

  • Comment number 2.

    As a Lesbian its something of rare accurence when a programme comes along that tells my stories - usually when the latest Sarah Water's novel is adapted for TV!

    It's nice that the BBC is acknowledging that the LGB community actually pays licence fees like the hetrosexual majority. All minority groupings are woefully unrepresentated in programming and it is time to address this. I am not naive enough to think there will be change any time soon but unless we are shown as being an intrinsic part of the society we live in it will take longer for people to accept the inevitable; that we are not going away and we are not to be feared, nor will we cause the downfall of the moral structure of life. We are your neighbours, work colleagues, we help to provide and deliver your goods and services and we pay taxes like everyboby else. All we ask in return is acceptance, equality and representation. Not much really is it?

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm curious as to why the BBC has chosen to exclude transgender people from this research. Trans people are traditionally considered part of the larger LGBT community, and are often among the most marginalized, stereotyped and unfairly portrayed people in contemporary media. It's regrettable that the BBC has chosen to continue this mistreatment by ignoring them in this otherwise vital research.

  • Comment number 4.

    Apparently in an attempt to improve the portrayal of Gays and Lesbians on TV "It is understood the BBC will also approach people who hold homophobic opinions."

    Should the BBC then use this approach when portraying other groups by e.g.

    Approaching racists to gain views on the portrayal of black people.

    Having a chat with a few paedophiles on childrens programming.

    Chairing a focus group of murderers on the presentation of chrime watch.


  • Comment number 5.

    Well done BBC for at least looking at lesbian, gay and bisexual portrayals and those people form these communities who are its viewers. However, non trans input is noted, the research agency does not show any overt specialism on the website in LGB issues and the questionnaire is banal and over simplistic. Why is this?

  • Comment number 6.

    It is good to know that the BBC wants to address the issue of ensuring that all sections of society are reflected in it's output,and that it appears to recognise that homophobia and discrimination on the basis of sexual identity and orientation are a problem within the BBC but why on earth exclude trans people from this consultation? As has been pointed out by other commenters, trans people suffer even greater discrimination that other members of the wider GLBTQ communities (witness the BBC's failure to include them at all in this consultation)

    Having completed the questionnaire, I was also disappointed at how simplistic it is. I find it hard to see how any useful information can be gathered from such a poor-quality tool.

    I'm also curious as to the reasoning behind approaching ethic and religious groups. Do you specifically approach GLBTQ groups when carrying out research about how particular ethnic and religious people are portrayed? If not, why would approach religious or ethnic groups about how GLBTQ people are portrayed?

  • Comment number 7.

    I want to agree with Margo's point. You SHOULD approach GLBTQ groups when carrying out research about ethnicity and religion. Just as religious people can be homophobic (as your remit seems to suggest) so too GLBTQ people can be religious! If you want a mix of views, how about approaching some religious people who are respectful to GLBTQ people? Why give homophobes a voice?

  • Comment number 8.

    Oh right! So now you want to hear my views??? The BBC didn't seem to give a damn when I complained about your portrayal of homosexuality in Apparitions. What a joke!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Whilst I applaud the BBC for wanting to make sure their broadcasts are inclusive, I can not see how they can do this by using this questionnaire. Having completed the survey I am shocked at how poorly phrased the questions are and how little factual data could gathered from it.

  • Comment number 10.

    1) Like Judas72, I also complained about LGBT portayal in past programmes, without a single one of my comments published!

    2) I also echo the challenge of the BBC's decision to consult with the religious right; can LGBT people now reasonably expect to be consulted about portrayal of the religious right as 'legitimate faith', as opposed to 'rabid, unhinged hate-mongering'?

    3) Why is it that this consultation' had to wait until a veritable tsunami of complaints hit the "World Service Have Your Say' page, for its odious question "Should homosexuals be executed'? The BBC should have consulted on this issue years back, but didn't. WHY NOT?

  • Comment number 11.

    I am Head of Diversity at the BBC.

    We have begun an in-depth detailed research process to help the BBC gain a deeper understanding of attitudes towards LGB portrayal across all our services. We are here to serve all audiences, so this research will be conducted across the country with participants drawn from the widest possible range of people including both LGB and heterosexual audiences. As well as commissioning in-depth research, we made the decision to simultaneously launch an online consultation form on the BBC website as part of a wider public consultation process, as this will allow us to capture even more valuable information from our audiences. Both the research and the public consultation will provide the BBC's Working Group with crucial information on which to draw.

    The reason why we have chosen to look at LGB portrayal and not Trans is that the research is very much about sexual orientation as opposed to gender. We thought long and hard about this and came to the decision, partly informed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission's own guidance (and their own recent research practice), that it is more appropriate to conduct separate research into these two populations. That was the decision that we made, but we acknowledge that we will probably capture data relating to the Transgender community. This won't be discarded, it will be included in our findings. And that's not to say that we won't in future do more detailed research into the Trans community.

  • Comment number 12.

    Completely agree with others below. The questionnaire is simplistic and unhelpful. No reason given for excluding trans people and yet the monitoring questions at the end ask several questions relating to trans status! Instead of wasting money on this exercise, the BBC should start by implementing the recommendations in Stonewall's 2006 report.

  • Comment number 13.

    The BBC disregarded the Stonewall report, 'Tuned Out', which showed how the corporation's coverage is saturated in bigotry.
    The sports' department, as late as November 2009, reiterated their determination to continue with the so-called Navratilova rule (only heterosexual partners are identified in the crowd at Wimbledon, seen reacting to shots, etc).
    The double standard is evident in 'comedy' stereotypes of effeminate men - whilst the BBC pledges that there will never be stereotypes of Jewish bankers, Jamaican rappers, etc. Blatant homophobic slurs are welcomed - Ann Robinson, Chris Moyles - whilst even the slightest behind the scenes nuance of racism leads to people like Carol Thatcher and Kilroy-Silk being taken off air. Only last month, it was ruled that the word 'pansy' was not offensive, though it is inconceivable that they would allow racist terminology.
    Moral issues are discussed - not by experts or specialists in ethics (moral philosophers) but by supernaturalists; see the composition of the panel for Radio 4's 'The Moral Maze' which include Melanie Philips and Clifford Longley, both openly homophobic. The presenter of R4's Feedback, a committed Christian, has never allowed a single protest against homophobia to be aired on that programme. This programme is supposed to reflect the complaints of listeners and viewers. The Director General of the BBC is a member of the Catholic Church, an institution currently campaigning in opposition to the gay rights provisions in the Equality Bill.
    Ethics is an academic subject concerned with investigating questions of right and wrong through reason. Religion is its opposite; it is ex hypothesi irrational. But the corporation's department for moral questions includes religion! It is called I belive 'Morality and Religion'.
    The 'Mandelson' rule - made at the time of the politician's 'outing' on television - states that the sexual status of non-heterosexuals must not be referred to unless under very strict conditions. There are no such prohibitions for heterosexuals.
    The decision to openly exclude gay people from participation in many BBC programmes came to the fore in the recent refusal to allow same-sex couples to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. Again, it is inconceivable that Black or Jewish people would be excluded.

  • Comment number 14.

    I was wondering why Asexuality isn't included in the questionaire, as I quote "the research is very much about sexual orientation". I realise asexuals make up a small majority of the population, but we are still here. And I understand that part of the reason for this questionaire is to ensure that LGB people don't feel like they are discriminated against, but it's surely also about ensuring that all sexualities are represented. It would be nice if the BBC could at least recognise asexuals and include us in your questionaire. Incase you havn't heard of Asexuality, here's a good site which can provide some information www.asexuality.org Thank you!

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with the notion that the survey is very general in its approach and the conclusions that will be reached from this are going to be limited. However, it is about time that the BBC tried to reach out to its LGB audience and provided good quality, informative and realistic portrayals ourselves. I am a third year mature student researching a similar area, it would be much appreciated if anyone interested could take the time to complete my own survey that is being used for my dissertation project by clicking on this link, thanks. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 16.

    As head of one of the world’s largest transgender communities, I have to say that it really is quite ludicrous to exclude TG people from this survey. We are traditionally part of the LGBT community and deserve a voice.

    Your people have obviously not thought this through properly. Yes, maybe it is a good idea to separate gender issues from sexuality but perhaps there are more diplomatic ways of doing that. By simply leaving the ‘T’ out of LGBT you are making yourselves look trannyphobic.

    Trans people are going to feel as though they have not been invited to the party. It’s like you don’t care enough to include them. Whether that was your intention or not is academic because that’s how it looks to the public and the trans community. You may succeed in separating gender from sexuality but at the expense of a huge PR blunder.

    Katie Glover – Trannyweb.com

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm rather annoyed, yet again the trans community has been excluded, just when they have a chance to make their feelings known. Does the BBC think that Trans people do not have sexual preferences? that Gender dysphoria does'nt come complete with the gay staight label, contrary to what the general perception is amongst the masses we are not gay guys in frocks.

    One instance for logic would be that, male to females presenting and thinking as a female, with gender dysphoria, are not gaymen in frocks as is the general perception, but should be seen as the norm if they have leaning towards a sexual relationship with a man, staight. Males to female still bearing in mind the self identification of being women, if they fancy women, that would logically make them lesbians.

    So, the term Gay, lesbian, staight, bi still applies.

    Its bad enough that the Gender recognition Act 2004 was pushed through Parliment with an exclusion allowing the church the freedom to discriminate against the TS comunity, now we are being excluded from what I would regard as the only ideal situation in being associated with the LBG, A platform to get a few facts staight. Transgendered might not refer directly to sexual orientation, does that mean the BBC is so nieve to think we have no sex life as transgendered people.

  • Comment number 18.

    The Head of Diversity would do well to consider the meaning of her job title in relation to this questionnaire.

    I applaud any attempt to improve the BBC's attitude to and portrayal of the LGBT communities, but to do so at the expense of transgender is an action that flies in the face of true diversity.

    To compound the insult, we are then expected to answer questions about the nature of our transgender "in the interests of diversity" although this will not be used to influence the stereotyped and sometimes bigoted portrayal of transgendered people on the BBC.

    I also note that whilst the possibility of a survey into the BBC's mistreatment of transgendered people has been quoted by the Head of Diversity, there is no promise that this will ever take place - only that they may consider it at some point in the future.

    She also acknowledges that the BBC will probably get responses from transgendered people and graciously states that their opinions will not be discarded. The very fact of stating this relegates us to the status of second class citizens whose point of view will be tolerated rather than actively sought as in the case of religious extremists.

    Discrimination on the grounds of gender is unlawful and yet the Head of Diversity is happy to defend such disgraceful behaviour.

  • Comment number 19.


    I don't think the head of "Diversity" was being descriminating in accordance with the actual GR Act, She was just being obtuse and
    not very well informed, probably got over excited at such a controversial topic, but did'nt want to offend everyone, including most of the LBG's who see us as some sub species.

    Cristine Shye (Trannyweb)

  • Comment number 20.

    I am a transgendered BBC watcher/listener from the USA (I hear BBC World News on my local NPR station, watch the video version on my local PBS station and regularly watch the BBC in America cable channel.) I want to protest the exclusion of the T in your LGB survey. For better or worse, the link between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered communities is well established as "LGBT". Doesn't the BBC care about how we feel about how we are portrayed on your services? We transgendered persons, possibly more than the LGBs, are concerned about how we are portrayed in the media and how that influences the general public's perception of us.
    Please don't exclude us.

  • Comment number 21.

    A response to Popeye who said;

    'Apparently in an attempt to improve the portrayal of Gays and Lesbians on TV "It is understood the BBC will also approach people who hold homophobic opinions."

    Should the BBC then use this approach when portraying other groups by e.g.

    Approaching racists to gain views on the portrayal of black people.
    Having a chat with a few paedophiles on childrens programming.
    Chairing a focus group of murderers on the presentation of chrime watch.


    Popeye I am afraid that you talked yourself into a corner.

    Take Paedophilia. Paedophilia is a sexual practice that is strongly opposed at present in the UK. It is viewed with disgust, as a perversion and is illegal and punishable by law. Yes I admit it - I am paedophobic. There is a push at present by a minority for paedphilia to become more mainstream, arguments abound for it not being a danger as long as there is consent between people.

    I wonder what kind of arguments will we use in the future to protest it is really is 'wrong'? Presumably I will be accused of being 'paedaphobic' to silence me.

    The problem is that it was not that long ago that homosexuality was in exactly the same category in the UK. It was viewed with disgust, judged to be abnormal and was illegal. It still is in half of the world.

    My point is not that I want to go back to that time but to ask for there to be some tolerance and perspective in our culture for allowing differing views on sexuality without being accused of being homophobic.

    Yes I do think that homosexual acts fall way below the gold standard for human sexuality. For 5000 years in every society on earth the gold standard for human sexuality has been a man and a woman in relationship for life. We are a very young and arrogant culture.

    The reality is that there are moral boundaries in our society for all our behaviours. Many many people think, including myself, feel strongly that homosexual acts go beyond those boundaries.

    I am teaching my children as they grow up in Britain about this gold standard of a man and woman in lifelong relationship and the BBC is undermining that position every single day in it's programming.

    I have no voice. Where is the other view? Where are the strong critics of sexual behaviours seen by many many people as not the mainstream or norm? And is that homophopic?

  • Comment number 22.

    "For 5000 years in every society on earth the gold standard for human sexuality has been a man and a woman in relationship for life."

    You need to read a bit more! Seriously if you believe this you must have little knowledge of history or comparative anthropology.

    "Many many people think, including myself, feel strongly that homosexual acts go beyond those boundaries."

    And many people feel the same way about sexual relationships between men and women from different races. They are called racists.

  • Comment number 23.

    Andy Wrote;
    "I am teaching my children as they grow up in Britain about this gold standard of a man and woman in lifelong relationship...."
    Perhaps you shouldn't be 'teaching' your children what is acceptable regards their sexuality because no matter your opinion this is already biologically pre-determined and the net result of your 'good' intentions could be to cause them considerable angst. Wouldn't it be better to let them know that you love them regardless of what their sexual orientation turns out to be?

  • Comment number 24.

    This survey is quite a noble jesture from the BBC, to show that they are interested in expressing all views considering the responsibility they have in being the only public anvenue some minority groups have.

    Considering every transgendered person I know has been asked at some point or other "How long have they been gay?" I would say the portrayal of gay people by the BBC has been extremely poor.

    I would also say, if the BBC were to take a greater interest in the portrayal of transgendered people the BBC would then be in a much stronger position to portray gay people more accurately.

  • Comment number 25.

    Dear Andy,
    You compare how society, 40 years ago, saw gays as people see paedophiles today and that in 40 years paedophiles will have the same progression as gays.

    I believe your judgement is in error, I will explain. The law is there to protect people from criminals and the only way the law can achieve this fairly is to see that every single person, victim or criminal, is treated exactly the same way, as equal. Paedophiles prey on vulnerable children where as gays prefer consenting adults. The result being gays do not take liberties away from other humans where as paedophiles do and this is where the law stands to protect the vulnerable.

    There are sections of society that are intolerant of people who are different to them and they are known as bigots. Some even go as far as to subjugate the humans rights bill amendments recently in the house of lords and give themselves exclusions from treating every human as equal.

    I would say it is these people, who take the moral high ground and profess they know what’s better for others and take away their liberties, who more closely resemble paedophiles than any other section of society.


  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Firstly why have trans people been excluded from this survey?
    Secondly, the portrail of lesbian and bisexual woman is virtually non existant.
    Thirdly, any portrail of gay men tends to be of a stereotypical nature.
    fourthly, there are improvements afoot for woman with the up coming drama "the diarys on anne lister" but more should be done to intergrate lesbians into eastenders for example.
    The sooner the BBC begins to portrail all members of socity equally then the sooner predjedice is eradicated.

  • Comment number 28.

    Promote Promote Promote....Looks like I was right all along about the BBC.
    I find it all very disturbing, and cant imagine what the World will be like in 50 years time.
    Just glad I wont be around to experience it.

  • Comment number 29.

    I tell you what I think:

    1) That there is already an overly proportional and overrepresntation of homosexual behaviour throughout the media and society but especially by the BBC. Live and let live and equality is one thing, to try to unfairly influence the majority is another.

    2) I say unfairly because gays and lesbians are never portrayed in an unfavourable light in the media. Do we ever see gays and lesbians who kill, commit domestic violence, who rape, abuse children, who lie and cheat, who thieve, who con, who harm others, who are physically ugly, who ridicule and humiliate others, psychopathic ones etc etc. Of course not they, like females are too often represented with a halo effect as if they are all so wonderful human beings who are always being victimised by heterosexual males. And contrast that with how heterosexual males are often portrayed in the media.

  • Comment number 30.

    To add, even in real life news reporting and the justice system, gays and lesbians, together with females, are seldom even reported in the news when they commit real life crimes, or if they are they in the news fotr about two minutes. So maybe they should be represented in the news in terms of real life events and not only as perfect self-righteous beings. Some of them, like some of the whole population can be horrible people and criminals, theat element, like that element iof femlaes females, should not be able to escape critsism when they are violent. domestic violence, rape, stalk, harass, bully, murder, abuse children, thieve, lie/cheat etc etc.

    That is one of the problems of identity politics, we are now all treated equally as humans, certain identities end up with privilige and become beyind critisism. No doubt this post will lead to some of those priviliged minority trying to state or insinuate that my comments are homophobic, when they are nothing of that nature at all.

  • Comment number 31.

    Who make up the small clique in the media - often receiving large remunerations - who insist in portraying sexual behaviour be it heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual on the TV reducing the content of programs to the lowest common denominator and accelerating the demise of the West through thrusting into our living rooms acts which an educated, civilised society would consider should take place only in the privacy of their own homes?

  • Comment number 32.


    They could start with the bigotry shown towards homophobes as a result of the bbc sterio typical representation of them in the media.

  • Comment number 33.


    The point is - how would you ever know whether someone who commits a crime is homosexual? How can you be certain that the crimes of people who happen to homosexual aren't already being reported?

    Unless a person's sexuality is directly relevant to their crime, their sexuality would not - and should not - be reported.

  • Comment number 34.

    @ lwhi:

    Take a look at the BBC news as just one example. An obviously heterosexual male commits a crime or bullies or harms a female or homosexual. It will be front page news of the BBC for days, with headings that seek to demonise the man.

    Then take a look at what happens to female or homosexual criminals, bullies etc. They appear on page 52 of the BBC news for about an hour if at all, and always in a very sympathetic way. Then the bias justice system will then give them a lenient penalty or in many cases let them off. This leaves aside fictional programmes, where my comments above stand.

    As for your comment "Unless a person's sexuality is directly relevant to their crime, their sexuality would not - and should not - be reported" well this is my point. Neither should their gender affect HOW such matters are reported, and for reasons stated above it does, females and homosexuals are given priviliged treatment.

    Indeed I would turn round what you have said, my point is that all humans should be treated equally. If so why should someone's gender or sexual orientation give them priviliged treatment in employment, the legal system, the media, and so on, or leave them above criticism or treated as unquestionably always right, because of their gender or sexual orientation. Either their gender or sexual orientation is irrelevant or it is not. You cant have it both ways and discrimminate against male (and sometimes female) heterosexuals in the process.

  • Comment number 35.

    As someone who came out as gay at 12 but is now ex-gay when will the BBC (or any other media) tell my story. When will the BBC look properly at the science - as opposed to the propaganda show with John Barrowman.

    As to homophobia - this is not a recognised psychiatric term. A phobia is an irrational violent fear. While the gay lobby and secular media (including the media) tries to portray anyone who feels that homosexuality is against their religion (especially Christians), homosexuals can change to become heterosexual (smething Kinsey and Peter Tatchell accept as possible), or that science does not prove homosexuality to be inborn (they are correct) as homophobic people there are very few people who believe this with the violent hatred of homosexuals that this term suggests. The use of the term homophobia suggests anyone who has concerns about homoseuxality are as biggoted as right wing fasicsts. We are not. Proper access to the media would allow us to show our concerns and a proper debate to take place.

  • Comment number 36.

    Maybe the BBC news repoerts should list the name of the reporter under it together with a brief bio of their political views?

    After all in reporting the news both the political views of the reporter and the organisation, and the BBC is clearly in favouir of radical feminism and homosexual rights, will affect the bias of the reporting and programme making. It is very insidious and devisive and affects all institutions and legal systems, not just in the UK but throughout the West. In my opinion a backlash has been brewing at the injustices being reaped upon heterosexual males and it will not be a healthy situation if this backlash continues to grow. Equality before the law regardless of gender etc, not privilige for a loud vocal campaigning minority who it seems are not satisfied with real equality.

  • Comment number 37.


    > Take a look at the BBC news as just one example. An obviously heterosexual male
    > commits a crime or bullies or harms a female or homosexual. It will be front page
    > news of the BBC for days, with headings that seek to demonise the man.

    I honestly don't think that a person's sexuality or gender usually affects the way a crime is reported.

    In terms of news reporting, a story will often revolve around the _crime committed_. As I described earlier, a person's sexuality won't usually be relevant to a news report. You won't know whether the person who committed the crime is heterosexual or homosexual.

    If a person's sexuality isn't mentioned in a news report - the news report isn't demonising heterosexual men. It would be ludicrous to believe otherwise.

    I don't know how you can make the decision that someone is 'obviously heterosexual'. In exactly the same sense, it's very difficult to make a decision that someone is 'obviously homosexual'.

    If gay people were automatically labelled as homosexual when a crime was reported in the news media, this would insinuate that the person's sexuality was a relevant factor in the crime. Homosexuality is not a precursor to criminal behaviour - and it would obviously be wrong to suggest otherwise.

    From you views, it seems that your main concerns revolve around the concept of 'positive discrimination'. I'd agree that someone shouldn't be unfairly advantaged by their sexuality, gender or race - but I also feel that when someone is subjected to adversity on a daily basis, it's worth taking steps to redress the balance. It's a difficult situation, which needs to be considered carefully.

    However, I don't think it's sensible to believe that there's a liberal conspiracy or plot making life easier for people who are traditionally seen as marginalised.

    I think you're making far too many assumptions.

  • Comment number 38.

    @ lwhiu

    Not my assumptions, just facts. I obviously dont have time to trawl through the BBC's website to show evidence of differing treatment in both the media and the justice system and of course examples of where matters involving females or homosexuals are just not reported at all (even if occasionally reported on in other media) but here is a typical recent example:

    Hidden away in the england section of the news, probably stayed on the site for a couple of hours, and no follow up to the report as to whether the alleged rapist has been caught or charged or not, who he is, and whether there have been any court proceedings.

    Had a male raped a 16 old girl it would be on front page news of the BBC for days and a massive manhunt. This is just one example which is rife, no assumptions.


    Boy, 16, is raped in Sunderland by a man walking a dog
    A 16-year-old boy was raped in Sunderland by a man who was walking a dog, police said.

    The teenager was walking near Bond Close in the city in the early hours of Tuesday, when he was approached by a man with a German shepherd dog.

    Police said after a brief conversation, the boy was assaulted and raped, before managing to escape.

    The attacker is described as white, 5ft 11in tall, with dark hair and was wearing a blue jacket.

    He was also said to have a local accent.

    Northumbria Police have appealed for witnesses

  • Comment number 39.


    > Had a male raped a 16 old girl it would be on front page news of the BBC for days
    > and a massive manhunt. This is just one example which is rife, no assumptions.

    I actually think this _is_ an assumption.

    If you place the term 'raped' into the search bar at the top of this page, you will find many BBC news reports involving rape within the list of search results.

    If you read through some of the reports listed, you'll see the vast majority of reports produced are of a similar length to the example you've referenced.

    Even though most of these crimes were perpetrated by heterosexual men, they didn't feature on the front page of BBC news either.

  • Comment number 40.


    > and no follow up to the report as to whether the alleged rapist has been caught or
    > charged or not, who he is, and whether there have been any court proceedings.

    And by-the-way, here's the follow up to that report:


  • Comment number 41.

    @ lwhi

    Thanks for the link but unlike the reports of heterosexual man alleged rapists who are arrested there is no name, no details of when expected to be in court and whether charged, also in the first report no photofit etc and would have been front page news on many occasions.

    And no doubt if found guilty will not appear on the front page news with a lengthy report and a photo (which normally happens in other cases). nothing. Tt would be interesting to see if we hear any more of the case.

    But here is another example from the US, apparently a homosexual who sexually harasses male collegaues at work is not sufficient to consitute sexual harassment, just another example of the double standards and lack of reporting on those double standards:


    March 10 2010
    Is the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals going to reverse its decision in the controversial case of Corbitt v. Home Depot?

    Last August I reported on this decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama), in which the court analyzed the claims of two former Home Depot employees who claimed their male supervisor repeatedly subjected them to unwanted flirtatious compliments and sexual touchings. The plaintiffs alleged that the supervisor made such comments as "your hair is beautiful," and "I like your green eyes" and touched the plaintiffs in a sexual way on several occasions. He even allegedly told one of the employees, “I know you’re not gay, but you’ve probably thought about it, I could show you how, I know you’ll like it." The court held that under the totality of the circumstances, the supervisor's conduct was not sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute sexual harassment under Title VII.

    In December the court issued a revised opinion that reached the same result on the plaintiffs' sexual harassment claims.

  • Comment number 42.

    The BBC is doing a survey on Gay’s Lesbians and Bisexuals and how they are portrayed on the media. This has upset Transgender for reasons I understand but what about Cross Dressers who are stereotyped not only by the majority Heterosexual but by Gay & Lesbians as they to do not consider CD’s one of them like some Heterosexuals do not consider G&L one of them. It is no different, all groups discriminate.
    I think just as much thought and understand is required towards the likes of me and the many like me who have to remain very quiet and confined to their own homes yet the majority of women now wear dress that they argue is traditional men’s wear when arguing against Cross Dressers like me. Some now wear ties, trilbies, rugby style shirts etc and many like me have to accept it in society or be accused of an MCP or even queer. They argue women’s trousers are not traditional male trousers as they are cut for them! Trousers are trousers. I agree with the comment about the halo women, the wonderful human beings always victimised by Heterosexual males on your blog site 28th March 3.40 pm is correct.
    I have not completed the survey as I do not feel qualified to comment with not being that way inclined, the questions limited to GLB’s and do not watch a broad spectrum of TV, usually films, news and documentaries that appeal to my interest. However I have no object to GLB’s or being portrayed as such in the media provided it is done sensibly and tastefully.
    I live in a rural and not too densely populated area and have to witness many women dressing in what is when suited to them men’s traditional dress and behave in ways that men are criticised for, like alcohol drinking, language and behaviour out on the streets. I even know at least 5 who look like men in dress, hair styles, glasses, shoes etc. This is accepted without question. I know one man in our area queried this very low key one day but was soon pounced upon by women nearby and accused of being an MCP etc.
    I am a happily married Heterosexual man. I have no feeling about being a woman but I wear regularly clothing labelled as women’s wear. Not a bra as I have no boobs or false ones. Not a wig as I am not a woman. Not make up as I do not like makeup and apart from mild lipstick, neither does my wife. I wear skirts, and dresses not because I’m weird or odd but because like so many women say when wearing macho shoes, boots, or many items traditionally labelled as menswear when it suits the woman’s argument, because they are comfortable. I find them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. They have far more personality and flare than traditional men’s clothing. Clothes are a human invention to keep us warm and feel good. I have felt a lot calmer and less macho feelings whilst wearing skirts and tops. My wife is in full support and agrees with my observations. I know this independently as it was she who detected my feelings in this area when I was enthusiastic to go shopping with her for her even though I had kept my desire quite within me. When she suggested I should have a skirt there was no hesitation. I now have 27 from casual, special occasions and work within the house! All sensible, classy items, mainly M&S items, nothing silly, kinky etc. The majority of women in their pursuit to lose the traditional female image are giving up a great privilege in my view. I’m all for equality in all areas of human life and have been from as long as I could reason but I would also like to take it evenly on both sides in all aspects - my wife and I do that now within our lives and have a very strong and trusting relationship.
    I know one or two Gays who live together and get on well with them within the social community. I have no sexual feelings towards them as I love my wife, but we both get on with them as much as Heterosexual couples. Yes there are bad examples of Gays and Lesbians, but then the majority Heterosexual community are not squeaky clean in this department either. With the exception of my wife, no one knows of these thoughts or connection to me. My wife is frightened simply because on the anti social feelings that would be portrayed.
    Perhaps a survey on Cross Dressers should also be included as we are legitimate members of the public. After all women Cross Dressers can do no wrong.

  • Comment number 43.

    The BBC 0 emission statement is ,vomit must be pallattable to those with a developed social consence


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