continued failures of reporting on trans women
January 7, 2013
I read a lot of trans news these days in trying to provide links to decent stories (or not so decent) stories to news about/for GirlsLikeUs (twitter/tumblr). And, as I read, I’ve started creating… As sort of criteria for what makes a good story. And what represents a failure.
The article linked, on the surface, looks entirely fine. It has quotations from people in the community. It uses the right name. The right pronouns.
So it should be fine, right?
Look who is quoted: a white cis politician, a trans man, and another cis man.
Look at the pictures in the story… a lot of white faces at a rally for a transpinay who worked with a South Asian LGBT rights group. And why the fuck was a picture of the police included here? What utter bullshit.
I totally boosted the story for this rally. Perhaps I should have looked closer to who was throwing it and why.
Is this her community? To a certain, extent, yes. But… if this was really thrown from her, why couldn’t we have heard more from her friends and colleagues (we got a little, but not very much). Why is this story, allegedly about her and the rally thrown for her, abstracted into being some grander statement about LGBT rights? Why is this framed this way? And what purpose does this serve?
One purpose it serves it make January yet another martyr for the ‘cause’. She has almost disappeared in the attempts to ensure that her death has meaning for everyone else. She has, basically, just become another statistic.
A story about a lost GirlLikeUs deserve more than a tossed in concluding paragraph that actually portrays her as a real live human being (and… don’t think I didn’t catch how the one detail we get about January’s life kinda frames her as a drag queen or something).
This is how we disappear.