Perry Chiaramonte | Media Matters for America

Perry Chiaramonte

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  • Fox's Transphobic Report On Teen Athlete Features Hate Group Leader

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    A article repeatedly misgendered a transgender California teenager who recently made her school's softball team in a report on a new state law that allows transgender students to participate in programs that match their gender identification. The article also relied on an anti-LGBT hate-group leader in order to attack the law.

    In the February 14 article, Fox reporter Perry Chiaramonte attacked a new law in California that allows transgender students statewide to use facilities and participate in sports and extracurricular activities in a manner consistent with their preferred gender. Chiaramonte problematically identified high school senior Pat Cordova-Goff as a "high school student who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy's body:

    A California high school student who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy's body just made the girls' softball team.

    Pat Cordova-Goff, 17, a strapping senior at Azusa High School, in Azusa, an hour east of Los Angeles, can play with and against girls because of a September change in state law went into effect last month. The law requires that, "a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records."

    Goff, who is a cheerleader at the school, played freshman baseball when he considered himself a boy. He found out Friday that he made the cut.

    In the article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune which Chiaramonte linked to in his own article, Cordova-Goff specifically stated that she has identified as a transgender female for several years and uses female pronouns:

    The 5-foot-8 Cordova-Goff has identified as a transgender female for several years. Thoughts of medical treatments or procedures are in the distant future, Cordova-Goff said.

    "I can't afford a wardrobe and makeup and everything, so I don't have the resources to express myself the way I want to," Cordova-Goff said. "I'm really pushing myself to be myself, and I finally have started going by 'Pat,' started using 'she' and 'hers.'  "

    Fox's refusal to recognize Cordova-Goff's gender identity violates GLAAD's Media Reference Guide which calls on news organizations to refer to transgender people by their preferred gender pronouns: (emphasis added)

    If it is not possible to ask a transgender person which pronoun he or she prefers, use the pronoun that is consistent with the person's appearance and gender expression. For example, if a person wears a dress and uses the name Susan, feminine pronouns are appropriate.

    Fox's writing on transgender subjects is in direct contrast to other media organizations' decision to follow GLAAD's recommendations. Outlets like the Associated Press and The New York Times have instructed their writers to use a person's preferred pronoun and social media website Facebook recently expanded gender pronouns and identities -- though Fox News mocked that decision.