Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Subject of memoir, article alleges bias

To the editor:

I am writing to protest the portrayal of me in your recent article on Christine Benvenuto’s memoir “Sex Changes.” Benvenuto’s memoir discusses many aspects of her life, including her affair with a married man that broke up his longstanding marriage.

Your article, however, focused almost exclusively on me, reporting many of Benvenuto’s defamatory characterizations of me, such as the false claim that I played “dress-up games” with my older daughter, without challenge, qualification or context.

Did you consider what publishing one local parent’s defamation of another might do to our children? Your reporter never contacted me, nor did he answer the email challenging aspects of the article; when the Bulletin version of the article was revised for publication in the Gazette, he added quotes from my email without permission. This is shoddy, biased journalism. How often do the Bulletin or Gazette publish the accusations of embittered Valley exes?

By treating Benvenuto’s revulsion toward and rage at her transsexual ex-husband as newsworthy, your article promotes the transphobia (horror of transgender behavior) that pervades Ms. Benvenuto’s memoir. By excluding me from the reporting process, by implying that Benvenuto’s critics haven’t read her work, and by publishing comments on your website that are transphobic and personal attacks on me, you violate standards of journalistic even-handedness, and giving credence to the hatred expressed daily by discrimination, harassment, abuse and beating of transgender people.

Joy Ladin

Hadley

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