‘Horrified’: Non-binary Aussie launches petition against Channel 7


Olivia Gavranich, a.k.a. St South, is petitioning against Channel Seven's Spotlight program
Images: Supplied (left), Wikimedia Commons (right)

Thousands have signed a non-binary Australian artist’s petition calling for Channel Seven to remove a program on “de-transitioning” that included images of trans and non-binary folk without their consent.

On Sunday night (September 3), Seven screened current affairs program Spotlight. It featured a report on “de-transitioning” and transgender youth that contained false and misleading claims.

The Spotlight report earlier came under fire before it even aired. Trans influencer Grace Hyland slammed Seven for using photos of her in a promo without her consent and falsely implying she regrets her transition.

Other trans and gender-diverse Australians have now also called out the Channel Seven program.

Non-binary Sydney-based singer-songwriter Olivia Gavranich (above), who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, said Spotlight also used a video of hers without consent.

Olivia started a Change.org petition calling for Channel Seven to apologise and pull the “dehumanising” segment from streaming.

“I was horrified to find one of my post-top surgery videos (expressing how much better my life is because of surgery) included without my consent,” Olivia wrote.

“This is not only unethical but immensely harmful to the trans and gender-diverse community.

“If this program remains online… it will continue a lie about the individuals who were featured, without consent, by insinuating that they regret their decision to have transitioned or had gender-affirming surgery.

“It will continue the lie that transitioning is harmful and something to be regretted.”

Studies suggest less than 1% of gender non-conforming individuals regret gender-affirming care.

“Gender-affirming healthcare is life-saving healthcare,” Olivia wrote.

 

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Petition calls for Channel 7 to apologise and pull program

The Change.org petition calls for Channel Seven to apologise, give compensation to those affected, remove the program and review editorial processes “to ensure this never happens again.”

Olivia added Seven had failed to “monitor and remove the hateful, transphobic comments” under the Spotlight content.

“We are also calling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stop amplifying this harmful content on their platforms,” Olivia wrote.

In the first 24 hours, over 17,000 people signed Olivia’s petition.

“I’ve received hundreds of supportive messages in the last 24 hours,” Olivia said on Wednesday.

“But the ones that have stood out the most are from the parents of trans children, saying how detrimental this segment has been to their child’s mental health.

“Visibility is life saving. Gender-affirming healthcare is life saving. Trans kids need protection and support and safe soil to grow in.

“I will continue to fight for them to exist, and despite the nightmare that is Channel Seven’s Spotlight, we are full of love and stronger than ever.”

Trans people deserve to thrive and flourish

Transgender youth organisation Transcend Australia’s CEO Jeremy Wiggins told SBS News the false claims on Channel Seven’s Spotlight fuel transphobia and stigma that puts trans people in danger.

He said Spotlight‘s claim thousands of children are regretting transitioning is “entirely untrue”.

Research shows access to gender-affirming care is associated with lower rates of depression and suicidality among trans and non-binary youth.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians declares withholding gender-affirming care from trans youth unethical and risks serious impacts on their wellbeing.

Jeremy Wiggins said transgender people “deserve to thrive and flourish” but media fearmongering exposes them “to danger that we don’t deserve.”

“It spreads disinformation so that people who don’t know any better are misled by the lies,” he said.

“It drives fear and stigma and shame about being trans. [This] creates poor health outcomes and a more unsafe environment for trans people.”

Channel Seven issues apology to Grace Hyland

Earlier, Channel Seven eventually responded after Grace influencer Hyland criticised the network for using her images.

“I transitioned at 13 and I do not regret it at all,” Grace said on social media.

“Stop using my medical history as a way to push your political agenda.”

A Channel Seven spokesperson later issued an apology “for any confusion”.

“The image of a transgender woman was shown during a voiceover discussing children expressing regret over transitioning,” the spokesperson said.

“We acknowledge the photo might inadvertently imply that the individual in question regretted their transition.

“As soon as we were made aware the image was removed and the promo replaced. We sincerely apologise for any confusion this may have caused.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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