Transphobia is alive and well in our nations papers. Caroline King over at The Star started the ball rolling with this:
Fine over dog car deathA 75-year-old transsexual found guilty of leaving her dog to die of heat stroke in her car has been fined $2500...
You see it was a terribly important to point out that the perpetrator was a transsexual and to reference this throughout the article, switching pronouns and talking about sex change operations. It had no actual relevance to what had occurred, but...no wait, how was it at all relevant again? It wasn't. I also doubt that when the information about the case was released that it contained any information about the perpetrators history. I suspect effort was involved to include this.
The NZ Herald then followed by publishing the very same article but jazzed it up with a new headline to really emphasise the most important issue to the story:
Transsexual guilty in cooked dog case
Though I notice since the article first went up yesterday they have now switched this out to read 'Owner' instead (you can still see the old headline in the search results). Did someone else on staff point out the issues, or did complaints come in I wonder.
Props to Stuff however who showed up the competition with an article that covered the relevant issues, which was that a douchebag killed a dog:
Woman fined for 'cooking' dog
They not only used the right pronouns though out, they didn't even feel the need to mention anything but the actual case. Amateurs!
So, The Star and NZ Herald. Did they run the story in this fashion because of a) ignorance b) because they were unsubtly showing their disdain for the trans community with their thinly veiled 'Freak of the Week' approach, or c) because it was a cynical commercial decision to run the story in this fashion in order to up their hit count? Or a tasty sprinkling of all three.
In other news, well done again to Stuff for announcing the engagement between Alison Mau and her partner without sensationalising it, but minus a million points for the use of the term 'dance partner lover' which conjures up images of white suits, copious chest hair and medallions. Aw! to the happy couple, Ew! times a million for that phrase.