Good for you, CNN. (edit teen suicide/gender identity)

for referring to Leelah Alcorn using her chosen name and her chosen pronouns, even when her parents refuse to do so. In the past, I have criticized your jounalism for being cowardly or sensationalist. But for this, I salute you. You were brave and you were righteous. Well done.

I saw that. I also liked how, in all of the follow-up stories, WCPO news in Cincinnati referred to her as Leelah.

So the media incorrectly reported the name of a deceased minor, and used factually incorrect pronouns to refer to him against the wishes of his parents.

And this makes them “brave”?

The transgender rights movement has officially disappeared up its own ass when misreporting a teenage suicide is what counts as bravery.

The media used both names - her given name and the name she CHOSE.

Not sure how this is inaccurate. Her parents don’t own her identity. People are morally entitled to use whatever name and sexual identity they want - ignorant right wing Christians shouldn’t be able to define this.

Their ignorance in part killed their daughter - who sadly are only mourning the loss of a son.

I’m not sure if I’d agree it is “brave”, but think I would agree the opposite would be cowardly.

Too bad that her parents using that name and those pronouns directly contributed to her suicide.

Because that was his name. You don’t get to choose your name when you’re a teenager - your name is the name you were given when you were born. I’d no more be justified in insisting that the entire world refer to me as “Smapti” simply because I prefer it in certain contexts to my given name.

They do until you’re 18.

Notwithstanding the fact that I’m neither ignorant, right-wing, or Christian, I agree - adults (not children) have the right to live how they want and call themselves what they want. What they don’t have is the right to insist that the rest of the world indulge them.

Every suicide is a tragedy, because it means society has failed to provide the deceased with a better alternative (and there always is one). Levying blame after the fact on the people hurting the most from the loss doesn’t fix the problem.

The opposite would be honest.

You realize there’s a difference between “goddamit mom, get it right! My name is Thedas Darkstalker” and profound gender dysphoria in a country that places strong gender distinctions on proper nouns, right?

Not much of one. Suffering from gender dysphoria doesn’t entitle you to renounce your legal name by fiat nor to demand that anyone and everyone, including people with power of attorney over you, call you by your preferred name.

Right… Hence that famous boxer Cassius Clay is never referred to by any other name…

Unfortunately, society probably wouldn’t go along with what would be best for such a teenager, which might well be living with someone other than parents said teenager is in such conflict with, regardless with the origin of that conflict.

Actually, in the US you are legally allowed to use any name you wish provided fraud is not occurring when you do so. There are circumstances when you are required to use your legal name, even a few where the name you were born with can become necessary, but they’re actually rare in day to day life. So yeah, you CAN “renounce” your legal name by “fiat” under such circumstances.

I mean, who the frack knows who Carlos Irwin Estévez is? Or his father Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez? Neither uses his legal name or the name he was born with professionally, they are very publicly known by other names. Ramón’s son Emilio is known under his birth name, he chose to use it but his career has not been as illustrious as his better known brother and father, but that might be because he has spent more time behind the camera as a director rather than being mostly an actor.

So, yeah, people change their names all the time, for all sorts of reasons. Why should Leelah be any different? Oh, right, in that case people freaked out about gender issues.

Smapti, I disagree with you. As this is not the pit, I’ll leave it at that.

Muhammed Ali changed his name. He’s still referred to as Cassius Clay in regards to events that happened before his conversion. Nor will you hear a DJ introduce “Wild World” by Yusuf Islam.

He wasn’t old enough to change his legal name. His parents wish to refer to him by his birth name. The media should respect that.

They are respecting the parents’ wishes as well as the parents respected their young-adult child’s wishes.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Nonsense. My daughter has effectively informally changed her name. All her high school friends and teachers know her by her chosen name. We still call her the given name because she’s fine with that. It’s her life- why can’t she choose what she’s called?

So, entirely justified then? You have every right to do that.

Protesting the legality of who gets to make the final decision on the kid’s name isn’t very relevant to the morality of the parents’ behaviors. They may have had the legal right to insist on “Josh” but that doesn’t make it not suck that they did this.

Not that this is a zero-sum situation anyhow… my sympathies are with Leelah but I’m not unsympathetic to the parents or inclined to attribute all Leelah’s pain to the parents’ uncaring etc behavior. I feel for them too.

The media is doing the right & respectful thing to refer to a person as they wish to be referred to.

Let’s make sure that the picture is perfectly clear here. It’s not just disrespectful to the dead to call Leenah a boy. It’s completely spitting in the face of the reason why she killed herself. Good on CNN for doing the only reasonable thing. Gender identity disorder is a real thing, and people need to start acknowledging it, as the flipside is more dead kids.

What does her ID card say? What name is on her enrollment papers? What name will be on her diploma? That is her name. She has the right to call herself whatever she wants, just like you and I have the right to call ourselves “Smapti” and “Ivory Tower Denizen”, but if either of us ends up on CNN we shouldn’t expect them to call us that.

It’s true, however, and it used to be the media’s job in this country to tell the truth.

I would expect CNN to call her by her chosen name or her given name depending on the circumstance. It’s just as much truth as what her ID says. Truth is not always that black and white. Plus it happens all the time with celebrities and movie stars to go by stage names. Anybody want to read an article about Gordon Sumner’s latest solo album? How about Sting instead?