Someone described as a transsexual has won a scrabble contest. Sadly she did it wearing a pink wig and pink PVC dress, so the newspapers have picked it up and all seem to be referring to her as "he". The BBC web site gets her gender right, but sadly not their flagship radio news programme.
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Date: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 7:23 AM
Subject: Misgendering of transsexuals
I've just heard a news story being read about someone you describe
as a "transsexual" winning a scrabble contest. The story then went on
to refer to the winner as "he".
Misgendering of transsexuals is not acceptable. It does not matter
whether or not someone presenting as female was born as male, if she
is a transsexual she has transitioned to the female role and is female
so MUST be referred to as "she". Even if she is not transsexual but
transvestite, i.e. a man dressed as a woman, it is still common
courtesy to refer to her as "she".
I expect higher standards from Radio 4, but since your journalists
seem to lack experience in this matter might I suggest the following
rule of thumb? If the person identifies as female or is presenting as
female, refer to her as "She". If the person identifies as male or is
presenting as male, refer to him as "he". It is not difficult and to
do otherwise is extremely insulting and offensive.