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Police investigate suspicious death of trans woman

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  1. So soon after Trans Remembrance I am annoyed that the reporter saw fit to include the name she used to be known by – if she’s been living for several years as a woman, what on earth is the relevance of her former male identity?In a way, she is being killed twice. Once in the flesh, and now in the media, for by revealing her former identity, they seek to obliterate her womanhood.Steve Leng, you should print a public apologyJoanna Rowland-StuartPCS Proud Transgender Officer

  2. Sister Mary Clarence 23 Nov 2007, 6:09pm

    Joanna, I think the editor does have a point. Whilst we do need to be sensitive to people’s feelings, I think the over-riding priority is to catch the person who has committed this crime I’m sure Kayiode’s friends and family, and even Kayiode, would want this person brought to justice.

  3. We included her previous name as it may help the police to find out how and why she died.

  4. Mary Clarence, her chosen name was Kellie, not Kayiode.Editor – did the police actually ASK you to publish her male name or did you take it upon yourself to to that?If she has been living as Kellie for the past several years, it is verly likely that only close friends and family would have been aware of her past identity, and would also be aware of her new name. Therefore publishing her former name for all to see is, in my opinion, of really doubtful value to any investigation.While am equally keen as anyone else to see the circumstances of her death clarified, I stand by my previous remarks.

  5. Sister Mary Clarence 24 Nov 2007, 2:04am

    Oh, and you’re a detective now are you Joanna? I suspect it makes precious little difference to her now what name is used as it appears she may have been murdered.I have to say your attitude does seem a little bit twisted on this issue. No doubt you’d be the first to be screaming from the rooftops in a few months time if the police haven’t found the killer.During an investigation into any sort of suspicious death, I think you’ll find it is standard practice to publish all names used by the deceased. You may have an opinion on all sorts of things, but in my opinion, if the police take note of your opinion, the investigation may well be hampered, which in my opinion ultimately end up with someone else having their throat cut or getting strangled.

  6. Phoebe Tunstall 24 Nov 2007, 11:52am

    Sister Mary Clarence, your re-use of Kellie Telesford’s former name is unjustifiable.The way that this dead woman’s history gets used may make precious little difference to her now, but it makes a fairly big difference (I suspect) to people who knew her, or to the trans community (where clichés that always play out for or against the trans community come into play) or to the wider LGBT community.In this respect it’s pretty important to retain a critical eye in response to the way that the story gets handled. There are a number of things that happen on a regular basis in the media whenever a trans person gets killed. One of them is the airing of their previous name (even if almost noone in the trans person’s life is aware of that former name after years and years post-transition). Whatever claims may be made about supporting police work, this usually just bolsters people’s ability to deny the gender that that trans person fought hard for and seems to be of pretty dubious usefulness in terms of detective work (at least after “several years” of living under the new name). In fact Sister Mary Clarence herself seems to have shown pretty effectively how once you know a trans person’s “real name” you can just degender them and erase their history in order to make flippant points.

  7. Denise Holliday 24 Nov 2007, 12:39pm

    Dear EditorWhile I can understand that there may be a case for mentioning the former name of a transsexual person in a murder situation, I am deeply concerned and disappointed that a paper representing GLBT issues would be callous enough to actually refer to her former name first. In cases where a name change (formal or not) has been in place the present name and then former names in reverse time order are the norm.A married woman found dead would be Mrs. Jane Doe, (Formerly Miss Jane Buck) was found dead.Is this bad reporting or simply a touch of transphobia from the gay sector? As a Tans writer for Wayves gay magazine I would raise hell if one of my gay co-writers attempted to publish a report in such a manner.It was at the least disrespectful and certainly unprofessional. I follow your papers reports on a regular basis and this is a very deep disappointment and an apology to the transsexual readers for this oversight would be most appreciated.RegardsDenise Holliday

  8. JOanna are you writing on behalf of PCS Proud as in your private capacity. I ask because I want to know whether you’re ostensibly writing in my name. If so I would ask you to reflect on the fact that the LG community is the one that has given most support to trans people despite the fact that most trans people can’t wait to get away from us once they’re secure to live a “normal” life.

  9. Dear Denise and PhoebeThank you for your supportapYrs – I would not have mentioned my position on the Proud National Committee otherwise. I do not speak for all Proud members, how can I? I represent all Proud trans members. I am fully appreciative of the fact that the LGB community have been and are supportive of the T community, I for one have no desire to disassociate myself from that community, after all, I am in a civil partnership. Some T people may wish to distance themselves from that community but that is their choice, and you may well find that these are a small minority. My comments were in no way meant to offend any LGB people here – if you consider my comments offensive then please feel free to raise that with the Proud National Committee – contact details are on their website The last thing I would want is for debate over Kellie’s exact status or of links between the LGB and T communities to obscure the very real fact that a transperson has been killed – this will be the sixth UK transperson to have been the victim of homicide since 1970.The TUC have produced a transgender remembrance ribbon – this was adopted at their LGBT conference this summer as a result of a suggestion I made to PCS Proud Seminar last November.I wore my ribbon with pride at the same Seminar in Brighton last weekend, as did Angela Eagle MP and dozens of my PCS Proud colleagues. It saddens me beyond belief that so soon afterwards has another transperson been found dead.I will continue to wear my ribbon in Kellie’s memory.

  10. Sister Mary Clarence 24 Nov 2007, 4:33pm

    Phoebe, to be honest as far as I am concerned the sensitivities of your community pale into insignificance against the importance of catching someone that is going around murdering people.This poor woman’s death is fast being turned into an opportunity for the trans community to advertise themselves and further their own agendas. Frankly it disgusts me that people are crawling out of the floor, concerned it seems with everything but the investigation into the suspicious death of this woman.I can only suggest you and others take a long hard look at yourselves, because to me some of you are looking increasingly like very, very ugly people indeed.

  11. gemma hodgkiss 25 Nov 2007, 12:03am

    well may she rest in peace and the pearson who did this brought to justice !

  12. Denise Holliday 25 Nov 2007, 4:57am

    Dear Sister ?You appear to speak without understanding, empathy or even common politeness. Every transsexual that lives runs the risk of death in a similar matter. We also stand for and demand justice regarding those who have died world wide.The one thing we all have in common that seems to evade your understanding is that we all give up more than the average person, simply to be ourselves. To struggle all your life only to die and have someone remove everything you have strived for and obtained is to die twice. Our attempted suicide rate is over 50% because we are forced to live a life of someone we can not relate to or be.Respect for the dead person starts not with demanding justice, but by recognizing him or her for who he or she truly is. In this case it is a woman and should be identified that way.Name calling is childish and inappropriate. Remember we lose far more people through Suicide than we ever do with murder. Have a great day people.Denise Holliday

  13. Sister Mary Clarence 25 Nov 2007, 6:22am

    Denise to struggle all your life only to die and have someone remove everything you have strived for means nothing whatsoever to the victim because she is DEAD.Calling her one name or the other does not offend her, it offends you.It really shouldn’t be about you though Denise, nor should it be about your community. It should be about catching the person that committed the crime.You cannot speak for the victim> All you can do is overlay your own feeling over circumstances and events. She could be sitting up in heaven now screaming down at us “Call me what you like, just catch the ba***rd”, for all either of us know.It disturbs me greatly the way that the trans community has rallied round to help themselves.

  14. whilst I try to see your point of view denise and others regarding respecting the new identity of the victim the reality of the world we live in is that if you identify a person as being transsexual there is probably more chance that it will jog someone’s memory.a story in a newspaper saying miss x was killed often means nothing to even those living close by if they do not know miss x by name but if a newspaper story anchors the name to an attribute such as miss x with a prosthetic left leg, or miss x who had long blonde hair and often dressed like a slut, it would have more chance of tweaking some recall.I’m sorry if the reference to the victim’s old identify upsets you, but I am more sorry that the victim is dead, and I will be sorrier still if as a result of those close to the victim not giving the police investigation their wholehearted support that some other unfortunate sole meets his or her deathyou are not the victim her so please stop trying to be

  15. Police Investigate Suspicious Death of Trans Woman « Questioning Transphobia 18 Aug 2008, 9:39pm

    […] Investigate Suspicious Death of Trans Woman Article here 23rd November 2007 13:45 Steve LengA forty-year-old trans woman has been found dead at her home in […]

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