Trans 10 year-old found hanging

// 17 February 2008

So, the news reports on this one are wildly contradictory, but here goes. An inquest is going on into the death of 10 year-old Cameron McWilliams. His mother found him hanging, and opinion seems to be split on whether this was a reaction to the coverage of the Bridgend suicides, or because of gender dysphoria. Or an accident.

But whatever the truth of the matter, the press coverage is extremely problematic. When Infoshop posted it, they noted that the coverage generally doesn’t respect Cameron’s gender identity (although there are all sorts of questions to be asked about how to do so).

They also include a full quote from the coroner, which seems wildly inappropriate to me:

Doncaster coroner Stanley Hooper told the court: “I do not know what was in the mind of this little boy. All I know is

he was an unhappy little boy and that he wore his sister’s underclothing, and that would be a cause of worry to his mother and stepfather.”

Referring to Victoria Beckham’s famous claim that her husband David wore her knickers, he added: “If there is anything I can say to avoid similar fatalities in the future, I observe it is well-known that there is a very rich and successful footballer married to a pop singer who is known to have worn his wife’s underwear.”

Couldn’t he come up with a different reference? One which actually concerns gender identity issues, rather than a minor transgression of the social expectation that men should wear men’s clothes and women should wear women’s clothes? Instead, the coroner calls up the image of a footballer, presumably because Beckham is considered manly enough to make this OK?

(Thanks to Boag for the link)

Comments From You

Katie/David // Posted 19 February 2008 at 8:39 am

A very sad story which shows the need for society to recognise that transgender issues affect people of all ages.

As for censorship and transphobia: Unfortunately, it appears that feminists can be transphobic, too. For evidence of this phenomenon, please see the link to my website blog…

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