Friday February 1, 2013

I read with concern Jim Therrien’s Jan. 25 article concerning the assault on the individual in Hancock in the early morning of January 24 ("Eighteen year old allegedly assaulted at a Route 20 rest area.") Mr. Therrien indicated that this "male who identifies as female" was the victim of the assault, and I find his incorrect usage of pronouns, as well as the general tone of that description, to be deeply problematic in this day and age.

It’s common knowledge in 2013 that a "male who identifies as female" is in fact referred to as "transgendered," "transwoman," or simply "trans." Thirty seconds on Google would have provided Mr. Therrien with this information, as well as the tidbit that a transgendered woman generally uses female pronouns regardless of their stage of physical transition. Referring to this individual as "he" is not only incorrect, it’s offensive, dismissive and inappropriate, especially when covering the serious issue of violence against transgendered individuals, which is classified as a hate crime under both state and federal law.

I hope Mr. Therrien learns from this and will take the time to use the correct terminology in future articles. I know it would mean a great deal to any transgendered readers, who face enough struggles without having themselves casually misgendered because nobody at the Eagle bothered to do a few minutes of research.

CAITLIN KITTREDGE

North Adams