The Hate Debate follows Lees, an equality campaigner, over a six month period during which she talks to different people about different prejudices, including homophobia, transphobia and racism, as well as asking them which prejudices they would admit to holding.
She told the Telegraph that the programme aims to tackle the “irrational” prejudices, and encourages debate over what can be done to remove such opinions.
Speaking to PinkNews, Lees, the editor of META magazine, reflected on her reasons behind pursuing the root of prejudice, particularly from within other minority groups.
She said: “We may think we live in a more tolerant society but all you have to do is check out the latest hits on Youtube to see a sea of hateful language. Who is saying this stuff? Who are these people? The answer is all of us: we all have the potential to let prejudiced thoughts sneak in and I don’t know many people who aren’t prejudiced about something”.
She added: ”I’m really pleased that Radio 1 gave me this opportunity, particularly as a trans woman. The best part, though, is that this show isn’t about being transgender, or me being transgender. We touch upon that, because it’s relevant, but this is about issues that affect everyone. And I think we need to have these discussions in mainstream media, particularly with other young people, if we really want to see social change.
“We met a traveller girl who was bullied so badly she became suicidal and a boy who felt so low after taunts about his bisexuality that he turned to self harm. As well as meeting victims, though, I wanted people to admit their prejudices. Those who offered to take part tended to be fairly open minded, but we still managed to coax it out of them once I was open about my own.”
The Hate Debate is a show about being open and honest about Prejudice; discussing it, trying to understand it and ultimately, challenging it.
The programme contains a frank and honest debate about issues relating to the use of language, sexuality, weight and appearance, relationships, race and religion.