Boxer Amir Khan has been accused of being transphobic after he posted a picture with Caitlyn Jenner.
Khan and Caitlyn both attended the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards in LA recently, and the pair appeared together in a post on Khan’s Snapchat.
Caitlyn Jenner, parent of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, legally transitioned and changed her name two years ago.
However, after posing with Caitlyn for the picture on Snapchat, Khan captioned the photo ‘Bruce Jenner’, seemingly overlooking or ignoring the fact she doesn’t go by the name ‘Bruce’ any more.
After Khan shared the photo, he began to receive backlash, with people on social media accusing him of being transphobic.
One tweeter wrote:
Amir Khan is not funny for calling Caitlin Jenner Bruce he demonstrates what a transphobic c*** he is
You came across as rude on @imacelebrity @amirkingkhan. Confirmed. Hope you enjoyed your giggle about @Caitlyn_Jenner .
Imagine if someone had said something offensive to you? Misgendering not funny. Grow up #amirkhan [sic]
You came across as rude on @imacelebrity @amirkingkhan. Confirmed. Hope you enjoyed your giggle about @Caitlyn_Jenner . Imagine if someone had said something offensive to you? Misgendering not funny. Grow up #amirkhan https://t.co/yA0YhA4VtW
— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) July 21, 2018
Other people defended Amir, with one suggesting his wife, Faryal Makhdoom, had captioned the photo on Snapchat.
The person wrote:
I think people jumper over the top over Amir Khan calling Caitlyn Jenner Bruce. I personally believe that he didn’t caption that. His wife was all over his Snapchat and she clearly captioned it!!
After sharing the Snapchat, the British boxer posted a video with Jenner at the awards show, this time tagging Jenner correctly as ‘@caitlynjenner’.
The caption read:
High five on a deal with @caitlynjenner the girl next to her didn’t seem to happy about the deal.
The video has no sound, so we don’t actually know what ‘deal’ Khan is referring to, but in the video, he can be seen giving Caitlyn a high-five.
Following the criticism and accusations of being transphobic, Khan posted an apology on Twitter, explaining he’d called Caitlyn ‘Bruce’ because he was referring to Caitlyn’s sports history.
He said sorry to the transgender community, although didn’t apologise to Caitlyn directly.
I made a genuine mistake at the #ESPYS Calling @Caitlyn_Jenner Bruce was in regards to their sports image, as an Olympian. [sic]
It’s been brought to my attention that was it was wrong regardless. Therefore I would like to apologies to the transgender community.
I made a genuine mistake at the #ESPYS Calling @Caitlyn_Jenner Bruce was in regards to their sports image, as an Olympian. It’s been brought to my attention that was it was wrong regardless. Therefore I would like to apologies to the transgender community.
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) July 21, 2018
Writer and stand-up comedian, Shon Faye, has explained in the past – on The Ciscourse – why ‘misgendering’ – the act of deliberately calling a trans person by the wrong pronouns – is harmful.
Fundamentally, what someone is saying when they misgender you is that everything you’ve worked so hard to assert about yourself against all odds – people lose families over this, people risk violence – is ‘I have the power always to take that away, and you are not what you say you are.’
Caitlyn Jenner has not commented on the situation at the time of writing.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.