This piece by Sam Riedel originally appeared on The Establishment, an independent multimedia site founded and run by women.
Content warning: discussion of homicide and assault
Here are some facts: Mesha Caldwell lived in Canton, Mississippi. She studied at Jackson State University and worked as a hair and makeup artist, winning competitive “hair battles” and mentoring younger beauticians in the Madison County area. She was also a black transgender woman.
I know these things because Mesha was found shot to death on January 4, the first of seven trans women of color to be murdered this year. But the first thing I read about her was the one thing I never wanted to know: the deadname she was assigned at birth.
For transgender people, our relationships to our names are complicated, to say the least. What we’re called has power, and hearing a blatantly masculine or feminine Continue reading "Deadnaming A Trans Person Is Violence — So Why Does The Media Do It Anyway?"