Thursday, August 29, 2013
Less than 24 hours after California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly announced he would be pulling his child out of public school in response to a law guaranteeing transgender students the right to safely use the bathroom, Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old fashion marketing student and transgender woman, was brutally beaten outside a police precinct in New York City earlier this month.
Nettles remained in a coma later that week, while a majority of mainstream news outlets reacted to Chelsea Manning’s public statement about her gender identity by repeatedly using her former name and masculine pronouns to report on her transition.
It was Aug. 22, the same day that Mansfield Frazier blithely announced on the pages of the Daily Beast that transgender people are treated “like royalty” while incarcerated, that Nettles’ family took her off life support.
These are not unrelated events. Our culture’s ignorance about transgender rights isn’t just a matter of semantics, media bluster or political fault lines; popular narratives that dehumanize the lives and experiences of trans people take a heavy human toll — and come with a body count.
Again, even if you don't like Chelsea Manning, to deliberately use the wrong pronoun/name when discussing her case only feeds into this last frontier of bigotry. I don't expect rightwingers to care, but alleged libs/progs who care about LGBT rights need to.
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Chelesa Manning gets to decide on that. Maybe the response should be to use the opposite gender designation for people who don't honor her decision. I'm all for treating people by the standard they practice for other people.
Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Aug 29, 2013 3:05:34 PM