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Complainant Name:
Ms Helen Belcher

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail


Ms Helen Belcher, Treasurer of Trans Media Watch, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the article incorrectly claimed that twenty years ago, the condition of those with Gender Identity Disorder did not exist. The American Psychiatric Association changed its definition from transsexualism to Gender Identity Disorder in 1990s, but this was not the same as saying that the condition did not exist prior to the current definition. The complainant also considered the claim (made by a doctor quoted in the article) that the effects of puberty blockers on brain development, bone growth and fertility were unknown was incorrect. The complainant said that the suggestion it was unwise to allow 13-year-olds to attend meetings with 25-year-old transsexuals was discriminatory.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the alteration of the online article - including the removal of the reference to the wisdom of meetings between 13-year-olds and 25-year-old transsexuals - and the publication in print and on the newspaper's website of the following clarification:

A feature on 25 February said that the condition Gender Identity Disorder did not exist twenty years ago. We are happy to clarify that, prior to this, the condition was identified as "transsexualism".

Date Published: 29/05/2012

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