Amir Khan apologises for transphobic post about Caitlyn Jenner
It is awkward, confusing and scary for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to come out to their friends and/or family, but coming out as a transgender man or woman is often even more difficult. You may be coming to terms with who you really are inside, but other people are used to you presenting yourself in another way - which means some people unintentionally get things wrong, and others deliberately refuse to accept who you are.
When this is all going down on the world stage, then it gets even more complicated. Caitlyn Jenner was once known to the world as Bruce Jenner, as a world-record-breaking Olympic medallist, who married Kris Jenner and had daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
In 2015, she revealed her identity as a trans woman, publicly announcing the name change from Bruce to Caitlyn in a Vanity Fair cover story. As you can imagine, being part of what is likely the most famous family on the planet pushed her experience further into the spotlight - meaning that her every move and comment was later taken apart and criticised by millions.
While there are plenty of people getting used to the idea of the trans community as they become more widely accepted (having been around for a long time now), there are some teething issues: namely, many find it hard to get used to using different pronouns, or outright refuse.
You would think that given the fact she starred on the cover of Vanity Fair and numerous other magazines over the last few years, we would all be used to referring to Caitlyn by her chosen name, British boxer Amir Khan didn't manage it during his meeting with the celebrity.
The former unified light-welterweight world champion attended the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards in LA this week, where Jenner was also in attendance. So, he grabbed a photo with the former athlete and shared it on his Snapchat, captioning it with Jenner's old name, Bruce.
The term for this is "deadnaming," where someone uses a trans person's former name - which is often seen as insulting. While this can often happen by accident, Khan clearly knew what was going on.
Following this, the boxer was met with a lot of backlash on Twitter, with many calling him deliberately transphobic, as the captioning could be read as an insulting joke. "Amir Khan is not funny for calling Caitlin Jenner Bruce he demonstrates what a transphobic c**t he is," wrote one person, who then added: "And I don’t even like Caitlin Jenner."
Once he became aware of the uproar, however, Khan came forward to apologise and clarify that his comments were not mean to come across as mean-spirited in any way.
Khan was also asked for comments after the event. On the scene, he was cornered by TMZ (of course it was TMZ), who asked him to clarify what he meant.
“First of all I want to apologise because I didn’t mean to call Caitlyn ‘Bruce’. That was an accident. The reason I called Caitlyn… called him Bruce is because I’ve been watching him from the Olympics when he won the gold medal, he was a great… he was a hero. So obviously I remember him as Bruce. Me being an Olympian myself, an Olympic champion myself."
“So when I met him, obviously it didn’t cross my mind… so I went over, shook his… shook Caitlyn’s hand… so I didn’t mean anything by it, I don’t want anyone to think I’m transphobic [or] I don’t like transgenders… I’ve got nothing against them.”
It seems that Khan's comments weren't meant to be a deliberate joke at Jenner's expense, but instead simply a thoughtless comment made in the moment. It looks like the boxer won't be making the same mistake in the future.