The Daily Telegraph Australia, a publication with an estimated readership of over 1 million, recently published an infographic that called same-sex attraction a health risk, pushing a lie long used by right-wing conservative homophobes to make homosexuality seem unhealthy and even lethal.
The infographic, entitled “Fat Chance of Being Healthy” (terribly clever and fat-shamey there), contained statistics on obesity, psychological distress and drug use. It also included a stat on one-third of Australia’s young population living in New South Wales (perhaps that’s an unhealthy place to live?) and the statement, “16.8% of secondary school students in Australia are attracted to people of the same sex as them or to both sexes.”
Right-wing and conservative anti-LGBTQ groups like The Family Research Council have long pushed the narrative that homosexuality results in “negative physical and psychological health effects,” but numerous credible studies have shown that poor health outcomes for LGBTQ people occur mostly because of societal stigma more than any inherent unhealthiness in being queer.
In a Facebook post defending the infographic, Daily Telegraph editor, Chris Dore, said:
“The headline on page 12 of today’s Daily Telegraph clearly referred to the health issue of obesity, as did the accompanying story, which focused on diet.
The graphic that sat alongside the story took statistics from the NSW Government’s Youth Health Framework report 2017 to 2024, capturing a broader snapshot of the lives of our young people. It is a statistical picture of young people’s lives, from where they live to how they live.
Unfortunately the presentation of the story has been misinterpreted. The story in no way suggests, or intends to suggest, that same-sex relationships are unhealthy. There is no judgement expressed at all in the story other than about diet.”
Even though we haven’t seen the accompanying story, Dore’s defense makes no sense as the infographic is clearly about health and regards all the other activities as unhealthy. An actual infographic about the lives of young people would’ve included other activities like socializing, playing video games, eating junk food, having sex and such.
The Daily Telegraph Australia is a newspaper owned by News Corp, the multinational mass media company run by Rupert Murdoch, a man who opposes gay marriage, who once suggested that people boycott Guinness beer for its pro-LGBTQ policies and whose Fox News network has a long history of opposing LGBTQ inclusion.