A Transgender Woman's Death Was Demeaned After Media Reports Labeled Her a Man 'Dressed as a Woman'

Media reports about the recent death of Sasha Garden, a transgender woman in Florida, misgendered her and demeaned her by mischaracterizing her gender.


As LGBTQ Nation reports, Garden's body was discovered Thursday by police. The authorities say her body showed signs of trauma, though they have not yet reported a cause of death.

Two local news outlets misgendered Garden in their initial reports, declaring her a man. Misgendering someone who is transgender is deeply disrespectful, and it can add to the stigma people who identify as trans face.

WESH 2 reported the death with the headline: "Man wearing wig, dressed as woman found at Orange County apartment complex, deputies say." WFTV 9 said: "Man dressed as a woman found dead behind apartment near Orange Blossom Trail, deputies say."

LGBTQ Nation reports that both headlines have now been changed.

"Transgender people, and particularly transgender women of color, are disproportionately affected by hate violence," notes GLAAD. "Sadly, the tragedy of these incidents is often compounded by reporting that does not respect (or even exploits and sensationalizes) the victim's gender identity."

Mulan Montrese Williams, a transgender woman who often shelters sex workers in the area, helped identify Garden's body. She told LGBTQ Nation that cops are often responsible for misgendering victims. Local news reporters often write stories based solely on police reports.

“You know, when something happens, we don’t call police,” she told the outlet. “We don’t want to be judged by the police. We don’t want to be misgendered by officers – they still tell us, ‘We have to call you by your government name, what’s on your ID.'”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.