The wrong pronoun?

November 24, 2009

Transsexual in Italian political scandal murdered

ROME (Reuters) – A Brazilian transsexual caught up in a scandal which prompted the resignation of a senior Italian politician — the center-left governor of Lazio region, which includes Rome — was found burned to death in his home Friday.

I find it shocking that in this day and age, you still refer to a male-to-female transsexual as a “he”. I find this both old fashioned and disrespectful to the person you are reporting about.

Whether she was a prostitute or not, she was presenting herself as a female – likely because that’s what she felt she was. Most publications in the US honor this nowadays. You should, too!


The deceased is a transsexual *woman*. Referring to her with male pronouns or as a person of indeterminate gender is inaccurate as well as demeaning. I honestly expected better from Reuters as a major news organization.


A Brazilian transsexual … found burned to death in his home Friday.”

His? Shame on you. This is transgender week of remembrance. I’m astonished that Reuters of all organizations could do this.


A number of readers objected to our choice of pronouns. In the past we have used “she” to describe her, and we will do so in future stories: GBU Editor

Brenda, one of two Brazilian transsexuals who were involved in a political scandal last month with the former governor of Lazio region, is seen in Rome, in this October 24, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

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Thank you Reuters. We do appreciate this. Liz

Posted by Liz Church | Report as abusive

Even one is disrespectful to transsexuality, one should respect the dead. Only the living can speak for the dumb dead.

Posted by Marcus | Report as abusive

If a man dressing like a woman is still pre-op, that person is still male and rightly called a “he.” It’s not insensitive, it’s proper.

Posted by drewbie | Report as abusive

“He”,”she”, “she-he”, “it”…so what! B.F.D… Just one less weirdo in the world!!!!

Posted by JER | Report as abusive