TRIGGER WARNING: transphobia, ableism, classism, ageism, just gross gross gross gross gross
So I realized that this article really pissed me off, and pissed my friends off, and pissed a lot of people off, but yet someone made the point that it didn’t seem to have a lot of public backlash even though we were all talking about it. I miss stuff in the Richmond Tumblrverse but I never really saw anything about this article, so I apologize if someone already wrote something better than me.
In this article, the reporter gains access and trust to interview local celebrity Dirtwoman, who expresses that she prefers female pronouns. And clarifies this with the reporter. And the reporter spends the entire article misgendering her and using mocking quotation marks and is amused with himself and files it under “Humor.”
It makes fun of her for using her powered wheelchair in the street, insinuating that she does this because of an entitled attitude, unaware of the fact that it’s impossible to exclusively use the neglected sidewalks in our city.
He calls her disgusting.
I don’t have the energy to read it again and go line by line. The whole thing is 100% depressing, heartbreaking.
This is the backstory on Dirtwoman: she’s a poor, disabled trans woman who used to be a very visible sex worker on Grace St, who has professed her love and admiration of Divine, and who has regularly helped raise money and gather food for the hungry. She’s extremely well known in Richmond and is a bright hue in our local color. I grew up in Tidewater, so in asking my friends who grew up in Richmond about her, one of my friends once compared her to Marsha P Johnson in the way that she was always just “around” and very visible and everyone knows her.
The fact that this article names her Richmonder of the Year and then bullies and humiliates her is disgusting to me. If a reporter did that to me, I would feel so violated.
I don’t read One Way Richmond, but some folks who do have told me that the writer regularly tries to offend people. He has certainly achieved that goal.
There’s nowhere to post comments on the article, all you can do is write to the editor, so there’s no way to easily see the public response.
On a lighter note, here’s an article posted about her getting a new wheelchair ramp today: http://www.wric.com/story/24509839/dirtwoman-gets-wheelchair-ramp