Jennifer Golz and her editor at the Naperville Sun could benefit from reviewing the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s Stylebook Supplement on LGBT Terminology. In reporting on a fairly standard theft conviction, Golz thinks it’s sooo weird to discover someone who prefers to live as a woman. In Male defendant’s lipstick, ponytail don’t deter judge at sentencing, Golz writes,
Taylur Harkless is a young man from Naperville…..Harkless donned a fitted black sweater and patent handbag, with his black hair pulled high atop his head in a ponytail. His lips quivered in red lipstick as Judge Kathryn Creswell sentenced the 18-year-old man for his role in the theft…He will join his accomplice and “lover,” Luis A. Aguilar, 21, of Aurora, who was sentenced to four years in prison
Besides the egregious use of inverted commas to refer to Harkless’s boyfriend, twice, (recalling some of Mike Royko’s most loathsome comments 20 years or so ago), the Sun doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of being transgendered, which the NLGJA defines as “people whose biological and gender identity or expression may not be the same. ” The Stylebook Supplement suggests “when writing about a transgender person, use the name and personal pronouns that are consistent with the way the individual lives publicly.” Oh well, Naperville Sun, better luck next time you write about a transgender resident of your community . As Sassafras points out, it doesn’t have to be that way.