The non-binary comedian and actor who co-wrote and starred in Feel Good joined London protestors

BY CAIT FINDLAY, IMAGE BY BEX WADE VIA INSTAGRAM

On Saturday 6 November, Martin and a crowd of 80-100 trans people and allies gathered outside the London headquarters of the BBC. Similar protests have been held in major cities across the UK, including Cardiff and Manchester.

Content warning: This article includes references to transphobia and sexual assault.

The protestors were there to protest against an article published by the BBC on 26 October which claimed that some trans women are pressuring cisgender lesbians into sex. 

The article initially included quotes from Lily Cade, a lesbian porn performer, who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women – allegations which the BBC has admitted it knew about before the article was published. Her contributions were removed from the story after she called for the mass “execution” of trans women in a blog post.

Martin, who made their BBC Radio 4 Extra debut in 2016 with a show called Mae Martin’s Guide To 21st Century Sexuality, joined protestors outside Broadcasting House. 

One of their signs said “Trans Lives Matter”. Another, which had a background painted in the colours of the trans flag, made several demands of the BBC, including that the broadcaster retract the article, print an apology, and “start [a] restorative justice process”.

The star later posted a photograph of the protest on Instagram. In the caption, they said: “You can’t tell from my grin how unsettled I am by the fact that @bbc and other UK media continue to uncritically platform misinformed, demonstrably biased and transphobic opinions … It’s bad journalism and it’s contributing to a culture of hysteria that makes life scarier for trans/nonbinary people in this country (and it was already scary).”

“Quotes from Lily Cade, who had called for trans women to be lynched and executed, and who multiple women have accused of sexual assault (something the BBC was made aware of and failed to include in the article) display a startling lack of journalistic integrity.”

Reclaim Pride Brighton are holding a protest outside BBC Sussex on 13 November, while another protest at London Broadcasting House is planned for 8 January.

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