There's a quote from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich that states 'well-behaved women seldom make history'. You can probably edit that to cover well-behaved transwomen as well.
Now there are times and many situations as we go through life in which decorum and civility is not only needed, but required.
Then there are those times when you need to go straight the hell off to make your voice heard.
One of those times was in referring to the disrespectful way that Angie Zapata was depicted in a recent story about her murder despite having AP Stylebook guidelines in place since 2001 describing how to cover transgender people in media stories.
I have watched, written about and complained about repeated violations of these AP guidelines in blog postings over the last few years and they continued. But after reading the third story in succession this year that disrespected a transperson, (Saneshia Stewart, Duanna Johnson, Ebony Whitaker) I'd had enough.
My policy on TransGriot is to rewrite an offending transgender story using the AP Stylebook guidelines. I also follow the rules of giving full credit to the person and publication in which it appears when rewriting original source material.
So after composing this post, I was amazed to see this update forwarded to me by one of my TransGriot regular commenters Veronique.
The story was also picked up by Latino blogger Andres Duque at Blabbeando, who found the link to the local TV news footage of Angie's funeral service that has since been uploaded to YouTube.
Andres also has a followup piece on this story on Blabbeando as well discussing ABC News headline change on their blog post discussing the murder.
But let's ponder this for a moment. I've gotten some private communications from people that don't share my ethnic heritage implying that this blog is 'angry'. I have over 900 plus posts on various subjects from WNBA basketball to celebrating the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela to short stories and poetry, but it's ludicrously considered an 'angry' or has an 'angry tone'.
It's also repeating the same borderline racist shade that has been thrown at me by some people because I dare speak out about injustice no matter where it comes from.
So ask yourself this question. If I hadn't wrote the post on Tuesday, would the story actually be getting legs in the media or the blogosphere, much less the mea culpa story in the Greeley Tribune later that day?
And to ask another question, would Angie be getting this type of respectful positive coverage instead of the initial negative spin if I hadn't complained about it on this blog and gave people the information and the impetus to call and complain to the Greeley Tribune and the writer about it?