Transgender People are Paying the Price for Media’s Willful Ignorance

The media messes up a lot, yet they never seem to really get it. About transgender people, about gays and lesbians… hell about ANYTHING. It’s only ever about what they think the public wants to hear/read. What will bring them ratings and an audience.

For those who care about the way transgender people are covered in the media — to say nothing of transgender people themselves who bear the brunt of the blow — it has been a difficult few weeks. “A chill ran down my spine” is how Caleb Hannan, a Grantland contributor, describes the moment he realized that the subject of his story was a transwoman. In the article, Hannan doesn’t get a “chill” later when the woman, an inventor and entrepreneur, begs him not to out her, stating “you’re about to commit a hate crime.”

After describing how the subject of his story swallowed pills, put a bag over her head and died on her kitchen floor — a suicide some have suggested came as a result of Hannan’s own reporting, though she did not leave a note so we will likely never know for sure — the writer’s next sentence is about himself: “Writing a eulogy for a person who by all accounts despised you is an odd experience.”

To review, a person was outed as transgender against her will and pushed to the breaking point and somehow not only a writer but at least one editor decided this was a story that should be published. This is no eulogy.

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