The Lowell Sun printed two letters to the editor today critical of the Sun‘s December 16 anti-trans “Christmas” column, written by Dan Phelps. The first letter printed was written by Allyson Robinson of the Human Rights Campaign. The second letter printed was co-authored by Gunner Scott, Executive Director of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and Ethan St. Pierre, Transgender Day of Remembrance website. From the Scott & St. Pierre letter:
We are disappointed to see this piece in The Sun, the same newspaper that has covered stories of horrific violence and discrimination against transgender people in the Lowell community over the years. This type of “humor” contributes to a climate of intolerance to those who are different from us, in this case transgender people. Unfortunately, for some transgender youth and adults this climate of intolerance leads to violence and discrimination. …We hope that in the future The Sun will carry stories accurately reflecting the experiences of the transgender people and not as this piece was, the butt of a joke.
So far the newspaper has offered no apology. The editors merely prefaced the letters with the following:
Editor’s note: The Sun has received more than a dozen letters and comments critical of Dan Phelps’ column concerning an item about Chaz Bono that was published Monday, Dec. 16. The following two letters sum up the sentiments expressed.
In addition to the more than a dozen letters that the Sun editor reports having received, the online version of the column has garnered almost 150 comments, the vast majority of which are critical of the anti-trans sentiments expressed in it.
Printing the two letters to the editor is a positive step, but is woefully out of balance with the injury that the column inflicted on transgender people and their friends and family during the holiday season. As Scott and St. Pierre note in their letter, the Sun has done better in the past. It can do better again. The question is, does it want to?
Cross-posted at Pam’s House Blend.