We had posted earlier on how transgender people were being alluded to, but not directly mentioned, in national media coverage on voter disenfranchisement. Well, on Election Day, The New York Times spotlighted this often-disenfranchised and overlooked voting bloc on their blog The City Room. The post, "Fighting for the rights of Transgender Voters" by Corey Kilgannon, marked the first mainstream media mention of the disenfranchisement often experienced by transgender voters. Some transgender advocates, such as Helen Boyd, noted that the piece focused more on the appearances of the voters than on the discrimination they faced. However, the article was promoted on the web site of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund where they stated:
"Articles like this, which inform the public about the day-to-day difficulties that transgender people face, have the power to change hearts and minds."
Kilgannon interviewed Michael Silverman, Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund on the issues facing the "ten of thousands" of transgender New Yorkers at the polls. He also interviewed the Director of Carmen's Place, Father Louis Braxton, and transgender voter Michelle Carver. From an earlier initiative to organize transgender voters as a visible political bloc to this latest article, transgender voters have seen themselves reflected in media coverage more than ever during this election cycle. Kudos to The New York Times for covering this important issue.
The Rev. Louis Braxton, director of Carmen’s Place, a group home for gay teenagers and young adults in Astoria, Queens, talks about the recent incident involving teenagers who attacked him. (Photo: Ruby Washington/The New York Times)