Various gossip sites have been criticised for insensitively reporting on the transition of R Kelly’s son, as sites questioned whether it was part of a “trend”, and suggested that he chose his gender identity.
Jay Kelly is the 14-year-old son of singer R Kelly, who recently announced his transition on Facebook, and posted pictures of himself.
Reports from various sites use female pronouns to describe Jay Kelly, who is transitioning, as well as the name he was formerly known as, Jaya.
One report from TattleTailzz begins simply: “So sad”, continuing to use female pronouns, saying Jay “identifies herself as a Transguy on Social Media.”
Another report on NaturallyMoi, states: “Jaya has grown up, and is appearing in blogs as a 14-year old, but not as the pretty little girl that she once was…. The child also doesn’t want to be pretty anymore, she would prefer to be handsome. She is part of the latest trend in the “Transguy” culture, where young people are choosing to claim whatever gender they identify with the most.”
Noting that R Kelly’s ex wife, Jay’s mother, split up with her new husband after two months of marriage, the article ends with the question: “Do you think that Jay’s transition was a natural one, or do you feel that it was influenced by the instability in her household? If she’d (he’d) had normal parents, would this child feel the need to make this transition, or is there nothing anyone can do about it?”
Another, SandraRose, claims: “If Jay plans to undergo a sex change she will have a difficult time finding a doctor willing to perform the surgery.”
The reports have been condemned by trans bloggers, who raised questions over why pronouns not fitting with Jay’s gender identity were used.
One commenter on TattleTailzz questioned: “Why is this sad? Looks like he is smiling…”