The petition, initiated by activist Hannah Howard, was in response to a February 4th article published in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Slaying casts light on Hollywood’s transgender prostitutes.” The article was, in part, about the November 17th, 2011 murder of Cassidy Vickers, a transgender women living and working in the Hollywood area. In the article, transgender sex workers are referred to as “male hookers dressed as women.”
Gender Justice LA, along with other members of the community, delivered the petition to the Los Angeles Times’ offices on February 15th. The petition, which featured over 300 signatures at the time of delivery, called for the Los Angeles Times to have more awareness and show more delicacy when reporting on transgender citizens and their issues. An excerpt from the petition reads as follows...
“The use of male pronouns, birth names, and terms like ‘men with women’s breasts and clothes’ to refer to transgender women brings up painful memories for many of us in the transgender community. Throughout our lives, people refuse to acknowledge our gender identities, use our birth names and genders to refer to us against our will, and respond with varying degrees of harassment and violence when we protest.”
Another excerpt from the petition reads...
“Given the tragedy of Vickers’ story, Vickers deserves more than this extremely sloppy account of her life. Moreover, transgender sex workers in general deserve a more dignified telling of their story that doesn’t refer to them constantly with degrading terms like ‘prostitutes,’ and ‘street walkers.”
According to The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times officials have agreed to meet with GLAAD, as well as with members of Los Angeles' transgender community to discuss their February 4th article, and any concerns regarding it.
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