POOR CHOICE OF WORDS

CBS Chicago Reports Murder Of “Male To Female Transgender Person”

We’ve taken flack for tossing around the “T” word, but it was in a satirical post illuminating how the mainstream media can sensationalize members of the trans community. We’d expect a major network news affiliate to be a little more tactful: In a headline that ran on its website yesterday, CBS 2 in Chicago exclaimed “Male-To-Female Transgender Person Found Shot To Death In West Garfield Park.”

Reporting on a woman found shot in the head in an alley, the piece repeats the the term “male-to-female transgender person” twice in a 95-word story. It also refer to her as “the body” and “the victim” but never use female pronouns. (It’s a transcription of a radio item by WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller, but it’s unclear who wrote the original text.)

We suppose in the grand scheme of things using clinical, dehumanizing language like this isn’t that big a deal:  There was a time not long ago when much crasser language would’ve been used—if, in fact, this crime would have been reported on at all. And, sure, Queerty is hardly a bastion of political correctness—but when when someone’s life is brutally snuffed out, is it so hard to give her the final dignity of using her stated gender identity?

Especially considering she may very well have been killed because of it.