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While this story deals with a sensitive issue of an alleged crime, the media has largely disregarded basic respect for Vanessa and her identity. Several news outlets have used wrong pronouns and called Vanessa the wrong name, misrepresented her gender identity, and even referred to her with derogatory slurs.
“This is a historic day for human rights in the United States…starting today transgender and gender non-conforming people now have legal recourse if they face discrimination on the job," said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center (TLC). "We no longer have to be silent when we are fired or not hired simply for being who we are.”
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). IDAHO, which is observed annually on May 17, has become a time of reflection on the state of equality and a time to take action towards furthering the well-being and legal protection of LGBT people worldwide.
Following an incredibly exploitative piece in the New York Times about the death of transgender woman Lorena Escalera in a fire this past weekend, and the newspaper’s subsequent refusal to acknowledge the true problems with their story, transgender advocates and allies have generated a powerful response asserting the immense hurt felt by so many over this coverage.