Transgender Man Beaten In Memphis

Some times it really pays to not post every story of an attack or assault immediately.  This story sat in my tray for a couple of days.

Sunday night I saw a bunch of outrage over the “misgendering” and thought, “Well I knew I was going to have to rewrite this one.”

I also wondered why The Advocate, an LGBT paper that should have a little sensitivity basically dragged and dropped the original story.

Good thing I had a bunch of other stuff I ran instead because it turned out the victim actually was a transgender man, as in a brother.

From The Advocate:

BY Josh Hinkle
April 28 2012

A Memphis transgender man was taken to a nearby hospital with bruises and a concussion after being beaten Saturday night.

A suspect in Memphis, Tenn., faces aggravated assault charges after sending a transgender man to Methodist Germantown hospital with bruises and a concussion.

Eighteen-year-old Chase Mason Kelley attacked the man Saturday night, punching him repeatedly until the victim was unconscious reported WREG. The police report says the brother of the perpetrator also tried to hit the victim with his Jeep, but failed.

The victim is expected to make a full recovery WREG reports. Kelley, however, could face more charges. “If a hate bias based on gender identity can be proven, the attacker may be subject to stronger penalties under the Matthew Shepard, James Byrd hate crimes law that passed in 2009,” Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project told WREG.

UPDATE: To clarify, the news report on the victim’s gender by WREG seems to be inaccurate. Our information on the assault victim’s gender was obtained by a screenshot of the police report, featured in the video. We apologize for any confusion.

But Wait there is yet another update

This time from From The Transwomen’s Anti-Violence Project:

Correction: Trans man bashed in Memphis Saturday before last

WREG Memphis news broadcast and website reported last week that a man was attacked by two teenage cis brothers, one identified in the report as 18-years-old Chase Mason Kelley, after the bothers learned that the victims was a trans man. While the story correctly identifies the victim as a male and uses the appropriate pronouns, the anchor in the video from the TV broadcast wrongly says, “the motive for the beating: the victim’s decision to change from a man to a woman.” This is twisted, as the victim identifies as FTM, not the other way around. Adding to the confusion, headline for the news story originally read, “Teen Charged With Beating Transgender Male,” but male was changed to “person” about three and a half hours after it was originally posted.

The Advocate also posted a report on the bashing this past Saturday, a week after the man was attacked. The Advocate’s story follows closely on the WREG report and correctly identifies the victim as a trans man.

Unfortunately, the inconsistencies in the original report seem to have led the Transadvocate blog to wrongly identify the victim as a trans woman while referring to the two previously mentioned reports as “transphobic.”

The Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project was contacted by an individual familiar with the case after reposting the information from the Transadvocate. This person confirmed that the victim is in fact a trans man who was intentionally targeted by two cis brothers and their cis sister. The two brothers severely beat the victim causing a concussion, extensive bruising and injures requiring a visit to an ER and numerous stitches.

The post with the incorrect information has since been removed and I apologize for not originally fact checking this story better.

Is there a lesson in all this?

Maybe the idea that we need an all inclusive term is more problematic than if there are different terms for the different groups represented under this imaginary umbrella.  Transman would have been much clearer than transgender man was.  Just as transwoman is much clearer when used to describe either a pre-op transsexual or transgender person living in the gender associated with females.

Get over the dogma arguments and address the problems.


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