Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An Open Letter to the Kansas City Star

Kansas City Star;

In response to the news story on December 25th, “KC man charged in fatal Christmas Eve shooting,” I found the language of the story to be unprofessional and demeaning to the victim of what is a tragic murder.

Mr. Bavley refused to use the correct pronouns for Dee Dee Pearson, and refused to use her chosen name. He continued to use objectifying language that demeans transgender people, referring to Ms. Pearson as “a man posing as a woman” and saying that her murder “became aware” that she “was a man.” This language, and the refusal of Mr. Bavley to acknowledge Ms. Pearson’s name and gender, is extremely offensive to transgender people, and seems to condone the stated purpose of the murder.

It is unprofessional for Mr. Bavley to simply accept the story that the murderer claims, since one could imagine that the murderer might have some sort of bias in recollecting his motives.  It is further unconscionable to in effect condone the reasoning of the murder. Mr. Bavley and the editors of the Star should apologize for both this unprofessionalism and the use of transphobic language in reference to an already heartbreaking death.

For some resources, there is http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender


I will write more on this perhaps. This is just what I sent the newspaper.

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