To life: Broadly goes a new way on Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2018

Every year, Vice’s Broadly site does a package for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. It often focuses on the victims of trans violence and of threats at home, work, school or from family.

To mark this year's anniversary, Broadly’s Diana Tourjee is doing something different as well: an oral history project showing 13 trans “elders” who have led full lives.

“The more representation (we show of elders), the more people can believe in their own survival,” said the journalist for Vice’s gender vertical. Tourjee worked in collaboration with guest editor Zackary Drucker, who is a trans artist and a producer on "Transparent."

Among the elders: Miss Major, a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker and a community leader and human rights activist (pictured).

Miss Major
Miss Major in 2013 (Photo/Broadly)

The annual remembrance, begun in 1999 to memorialize the murder of a transgender woman in Boston, is one way to bring coverage toward trans rights — what former vice president Joe Biden once called the next civil rights issue. Tourjee said that for the past half-dozen years, trans rights have been covered amply by progressive digital media, as with Mic’s Unerased project by Meredith Talusan, now a contributing editor at Conde Nast’s them platform.

“What we need to be seeing,” Tourjee told me, “is CNN and MSNBC taking deep dives on this issue that aren’t pandering or framing it as a wedge issue.”

This year’s package comes amid a rise in attacks on many groups: Muslims, Jews, immigrants. “This is a galvanizing moment, where people need to come together across all intersectional lines,” Tourjee said.

Class and race work against trans populations, said Tourjee, who is trans but acknowledges that she has greater latitude in society because she is white and a journalist. For supporting the movement, Tourjee credits the work of TV show-runners Jill Soloway (“Transparent”) and Callie Khouri (“Orange Is The New Black”), of trans actress Laverne Cox and of cis celebrity Alyssa Milano.

That said, it's not enough.

“There are so many stories of transgender women of color who you wouldn’t think are subjected to this violence,” Tourjee said. “You might escape a specific situation, but still be met with that kind of violence. How many more people have to die before we have to have a conversation in a productive way?”

Resources: The National Center for Transgender Equality

Related: Openly: Getting LGBT news worldwide

Quick hits

TIME TO GO: The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan calls on Mark Zuckerberg to resign as Facebook’s board chair. “Facebook is a rudderless ship sailing toward the apocalypse — and we’re all along for the ride,” Sullivan writes. “This is the same company — with the same leadership — that denied the now-established truth that misinformation deeply infected the 2016 presidential campaign.”

RELATED: 11 Zuck and 2 Sheryl Sandberg sort-of apologies over the years.

MOVING AGAINST PLATFORMS: Newspaper executives are getting in op-eds and lobbying Congress to move on an antitrust proposal that targets Facebook and Google’s monopolistic power, BuzzFeed reports.

DEAL: CNN dropped its suit against the White House after Jim Acosta got his hard pass back. A new set of rules were established for presidential press conferences, including one question at a time (no followups without presidential approval). By Paul Farhi and Meaghan Flynn.

CAVING IN?: The White House Correspondents Association has ditched its traditional comedian for historian Ron Chernow at its upcoming dinner. The move follows almost annual criticism of the jokes and biting satire of each emcee, such as Michelle Wolf in April. Wolf called the WHCA “cowards.” Her speech last year, which got nearly 7 million views on C-SPAN’s YouTube account alone, began: “Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with. … You cannot shut me up, unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000.”

THE HISTORIAN’S VIEW: Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired the Broadway musical, knows he has a tough act to follow. “While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry,” he said.

SHOELEATHER, THE DATABASE: Want a reporter who really understands their community in the U.S.? Check out the 400-some journalists in all 50 states already signed up on Shoeleather, a method to connect national editors with local reporters and editors. By Matthew Sedacca.

THE CANNABIS VERTICAL: The Boston Globe, which has a marijuana newsletter, has begun a cannabis vertical. The announcement comes as Massachusetts' first two recreational marijuana dispensaries open for business. The vertical will cover the six New England states. Nieman Lab's Josh Benton writes that it has a great Twitter handle, @marijuananews, which follows precisely 420 Twitter accounts. (Background: Reporting marijuana responsibly).

THE PRICE OF BIGOTRY: An Australian wedding magazine, White, refused to feature same-sex couples. Advertisers shunned it. Now, White has shut down, the BBC reports.

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