Last Thursday the New York Times published a story about a young woman who was found dead after her apartment building was engulfed in flames but instead of focusing on the fire investigation the writers focused on the victims gender and her alleged sex life.
“She was 25 and curvaceous, and she often drew admiring glances in the gritty Brooklyn neighborhood where she was known to invite men for visits to her apartment, her neighbors and the authorities said,” read the first line of the story written by Al Baker and Nate Schweber. The story went on identify the victim as someone “called Lorena,” as opposed to saying she was “named Lorena” or that she simply was Lorena.
The 25-year old who was found dead was a transgender woman and LGBTQ advocates say the sexualized coverage of the incidents is “exploitative.”
Aaron McQuade, GLAAD’s Director of News and Field Media questioned how the Times would have covered the story if the word “transgender” was out of the equation. In a blog post on Glaad.org McQuade went on to say his organization had reached out to the NY Times to ensure this didn’t happen again.