New York tabloid’s “dehumanising” trans story
American tabloid newspaper the New York Daily News has been condemned by gay activists for its reporting of the murder of a trans woman.
On Sunday the paper published the headline Fooled John Stabbed Bronx Tranny.
The story referred to the murder a 25 year old transgender woman named Sanesha Stewart.
A “john” is American slang for a person who uses prostitutes.
The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a group that monitors representations of LGBT people in the US media, complained to the paper.
They said that use of the term “tranny” was dehumanising and the insinuation that the victim had “fooled” her murderer was defamatory and irresponsible.
The group also complained about the description of Ms Stewart as: “a man who dressed as a woman.”
The story is now inaccessible from the Daily News website and GLAAD welcomed the publication of an additional story yesterday.
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“After listening to GLAAD’s concerns, the Daily News coverage improved in a February 11th follow-up story,” the group said on their website.
“Unlike the February 10th article, this story’s headline avoided sensationalism and included interviews from friends and neighbours who knew Ms Stewart.
“Unfortunately, despite these improvements the story still inaccurately described Stewart as a man and referred to her with male pronouns.”
While GLAAD may have made some progress with the Daily News, another NYC tabloid, the Rupert Murdoch-owned title New York Post, has consistently been hostile to the sensibilities of the LGBT community.
In recent times the Post has been condemned for using the slur “she-male” and the term “toe tapper” (a reference to the alleged bathroom activities of Senator Larry Craig) as a demeaning way to describe gay men.
The tabloid paper has made a point of inflaming gay opinion, publishing cartoons showing gay men getting married to sheep.