Issue:  Vol. 45 / No. 17 / 23 April 2015

Letters to the Editor

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Trans terminology corrections

I wish to make some trans terminology corrections that appeared in your cover article ["Trans people face high costs to transition," April 16]. The author, Sasha Lekach, incorrectly writes that gender reassignment surgery helps support trans men and women present "not as the gender they were born into, but as the gender with which they identify." Here, Ms. Lekach incorrectly confuses sex and gender. In overly simplistic terms, sex refers to a person's physical body, while gender refers to a person's identity. Since gender refers to one's identity, no one can be born into an incorrect gender, just as one cannot be born into the wrong sexual orientation.

Further, Ms. Lekach refers to "women becoming transmen" and "men becoming transwomen." There are several problems here. First, trans people do not feel that they "become" a different identity through transitioning. Second, the word "trans" is an adjective, and it is incorrect to merge the words "trans" and the nouns "men" and "women." Trans people do not need qualifiers before the words "men" and "women," it is who they are.

I hope that the editors at the Bay Area Reporter will further review future articles to avoid repeating these mistakes.


Julianne Lawlor Nigro

San Francisco

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