October 27, 2009

>Offensive Seventeen Magazine Article: 'My Boyfriend Turned Out to be a Girl'

>Autumn Sandeen has a great blog post at Pam's House Blend about an article in the November issue of Seventeen Magazine, "My Boyfriend Turned Out to be a Girl."

While transphobia obviously is nothing new in the media, it is rather shocking to see such a blantant example in the decision to publish this article without any perspective of what it is like to be a transgender youth. As Autumn points out, via GLSEN's research report on the experiences of trangender students in school, Harsh Realities:

  • Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%).
  • Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g., called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (87%).
  • More than half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and gender
    expression (53%).
  • More than a quarter of transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and gender expression (26%).
  • Most transgender students (54%) who were victimized in school did not report the events to school authorities. Among those who did report incidents to school personnel, few students (33%) believed that staff addressed the situation effectively.

Seventeen has previously written positively about the Day of Silence and written an article about a former GLSEN national student leader, but after this article it's hard to defend the publication's record on LGBT youth unless they try to make things right and publish a story about the issues and harassment facing transgender youth (with a positive portrayal of a trans youth, of course).

Short of that, even an apology isn't good enough.

A Facebook group has started to encourage a letter writing campaing. Go join and tell your friends.

Queerty also has a good blog post.

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