THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — (Updated, see below.) A columnist for the Toronto Star wrote a piece that contained a report from a reader who says she saw a naked ‘man claiming to be transgender’ with an erection who “playfully” approached her in the women’s locker room of the “local Y.”
No where to be found in this report was the date, time, and location of this incident, along with the name of manager taking report of the incident, and whether or not the a report was made to the police.
This leaves the entire story bogus, even if true.
Publishing this woman’s inflammatory claim in the absence of verifiable facts means only one of three things: 1) they wanted to take a swipe at the transgender community, 2) they’re exploiting trans people for revenue, or 3) there are inept editors at the paper.
At a time when organizations are deliberately creating false stories to cast trans people in a bad light in order to run a campaign to curtail civil rights, we need to quickly nip these likely false stories in the bud. Unless enough facts are provided to confirm a claim, it MUST be considered false and never published in first place.
In the event that an actual trans person was behaving lewd, as I’m certain will happen, they need to immediately reported, and dealt with, but they most certainly do not reflect the behavior of all of us.
To be fair, the writer provided a very thoughtful answer to the woman’s claim and if he had only reworded the reader’s submission, we would be sitting here talking about a real nice piece of journalism.
Instead, trans activists are now under fire to find out if the story is true or not, then to deal with another unnecessary PR setback for the trans community.
Update: Jan 9, 2014: Columnist Ken Gallinger says he doesn’t fact check: https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/editor-of-bogus-transgender-story-i-dont-try-to-substantiate-stories/
Here’s a story I wrote about an organization deliberately creating false stories about trans people”lurking” in restrooms: https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/media-matters-anti-transgender-group-is-lgbt-misinformer-of-the-year/