It happens to transgender people often: People deliberately misgender them in front of others.
It happened to trans reporter Zoey Tur big time on Thursday night during a “discussion” with a six-person panel on a TV show called Dr. Drew on Call. They were talking about Caitlyn Jenner’s speech at the ESPYs, and whether she deserved to win the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
The Advocate reports that the debate quickly got ugly when one of the participants, “noted right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro,” began misgendering Jenner and Tur, in the latter case using the “sir” term in a question to the reporter.
Tur, reportedly, didn’t handle the apparent slur with the grace you might expect from a journalist. The Advocate reports: She placed a hand behind Shapiro’s neck. “You cut that out now,” she said. “Or you’ll go home in an ambulance.”
To which Shapiro reportedly replied: “That seems mildly inappropriate for a political discussion.”
Indeed, Shapiro did have a genuine, if understated, point: it was more than mildly inappropriate. But Shapiro also demonstrated a lack of journalistic etiquette and professionalism by misgendering Tur on national TV. It was already obvious that Shapiro doesn’t buy into transgenderism — that’s why he was participating, after all — and he could have made his points without demeaning Tur in such an obvious provocative fashion.
As for Tur, well, I’m sure she would like to have that moment back so she could demonstrate more grace under fire. Threatening to physically harm Shapiro is inexcusable, and she should issue an apology.
In fact, both of them should issue public apologies for their lack of journalistic integrity and professionalism. They turned what should have been a good, balanced discussion into a verbal street scrap, and undermined their credibility as journalists.
— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor
“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey