Update (8:50 pm) : Happily, I can now announce that Xtra! editor Danny Glennwright has personally apologized to Lexi, and Lexi has accepted his apology. As a result, we are now calling off the boycott entirely.

Click here for further details.


Update (7:30 pm) : It’s heartening to see that some much-needed dialogue in the queer community has already been produced around this incident, within the span of a single day. I think the comments on this blog post speak to how important and necessary that dialogue really is. The fact is that the trans community occupies some funny space in the larger queer and trans community. While I have little interest in the calls some make for trans separation from the larger queer community, it has to be acknowledged that there is a real history of disrespect and even exploitation of trans people, and that history must be addressed.

Regarding the boycott call itself, we are presently waiting for some further developments around the issue. In the meantime, those of us who proposed the boycott have been overwhelmed by the level of support that has been offered from both within and outside the trans community.

All of us, including Lexi, are overwhelmed by your support and your kindness.


Original Post (1 pm):

The trans community has a long history of disrespect coming from mainstream media sources, including mainstream gay and lesbian news outlets. This includes, for example, acts of intentionally misgendering trans individuals, revealing someone’s trans status without their permission, and printing their birth name without permission. These types of disrespect go hand-in-hand with a history of trans exploitation, in which a trans person’s story is presented in a sensationalistic manner in order to sell copy cheap and quick.

Recently, Canada’s primary queer news outlet Xtra! was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to interview Toronto local trans icon Lexi Tronic for a larger story on the dangers of sex work in Canada. The story itself (by my friend Andrea Houston) is well-written and respectful, relating the very real difficulties that sex workers– including trans sex workers– face on a regular basis, especially focusing on the fact that Canadian law as it presently stands serves to stigmatize their lives and make sex workers more vulnerable to violence and exploitation.

Unfortunately, that is not where the story ends. While the story itself was written in a respectful manner, the editor Danny Glenwright chose to discuss the story on his Facebook wall by publicly referring to Tronic by her birth name. Apparently he claims that because it’s not technically part of the story itself, it’s acceptable for to do so. This claim childishly ignores the fact that the story and what the editor of the paper say about it publicly are largely inseparable to the public at large (and yes Facebook counts as public, especially in a tight-knit community like Toronto’s queer community). Glenwright has been confronted about the issue and he has refused to apologize.

Proof that my friend Lexi is hotter than you

The fact is that Glenwright’s actions serve to insult Tronic (and the trans community as a whole) and to publicly attempt to undermine her gender identity, especially after she graciously lent her trust to Xtra in agreeing to be interviewed. Hence, myself and others are now calling for a boycott on Xtra until Glenwright apologizes for his actions. Further, he should come forward publicly to describe that it is unacceptable to misgender a trans person or use their birth name without permission under any circumstances.

Finally, on a personal note, I will say that Lexi is a friend of mine and a local hero in the trans community. She does charity work, for example raising money for the needs of our fellow trans community members. She’s also a really beautiful person inside and out, and she doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

Mr. Glenwright, apologize immediately.