Is It Too Late Now To Say Sorry?
What happens when a journalist realizes they fucked up? What does accountability look like for a journalist?
Content warning: this episode includes discussion of rape, transphobia, racism and violence.
In this episode, we talk with writer and journalist Donna Minkowitz, and prominent transgender advocate and author Riki Wilchins about the transphobic coverage of the 1993 Brandon Teena murder.
On New Year’s Eve of that year, Brandon was murdered in Falls City, Nebraska by two violent transphobes after his trans identity was revealed. Donna Minkowitz’ article was published in the Village Voice a few months later and inspired the award-winning movie Boys Don’t Cry, starring Hilary Swank. It also sparked outrage and protest for trans activists such as Riki Wilchins and Leslie Feinberg who went and demonstrated in front of the Village Voice offices in New York.
Decades later, Minkowitz realized the transphobia of her piece. We talk with her and Wilchins about how that article and her apology came about.
– Riki Wilchins’ book on trans activism and the media: www.amazon.com/dp/1626013683/?tag=newbooinhis-20
– Donna Minkowitz’ apology and screenshots of her former article: www.villagevoice.com/2018/06/20/how…n-teena-story/
Footage of the protest, of Leslie Feinberg and of the karaoke is from Dyke TV
Production&Reporting: Isoke Samuel and Arno Pedram
Edition: Kalli Anderson
Theme: Gus Fisher
Illustration: courtesy of Donna Minkowitz, screenshot of the Village Voice article
Podcast Illustration: Nelly Wat
Special thanks to Donna Minkowitz and Riki Wilchins for their contribution to this episode.