Laverne Cox | News | Transgender

Sun-Times Publishes Transphobic Column: 'Laverne Cox is Not a Woman'

The Chicago Sun-Times reprinted a column by National Review correspondent Kevin D. Williamson responding to actress Laverne Cox's appearance on the cover of TIME magazine.

Time_coxWrites Williamson, in part:

Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman. Sex is a biological reality, and it is not subordinate to subjective impressions, no matter how intense those impressions are, how sincerely they are held, or how painful they make facing the biological facts of life. No hormone injection or surgical mutilation is sufficient to change that.

Genital amputation and mutilation is the extreme expression of the phenomenon, but it is hardly outside the mainstream of contemporary medical practice. The trans self-conception, if the autobiographical literature is any guide, is partly a feeling that one should be living one’s life as a member of the opposite sex and partly a delusion that one is in fact a member of the opposite sex at some level of reality that transcends the biological facts in question. There are many possible therapeutic responses to that condition, but the offer to amputate healthy organs in the service of a delusional tendency is the moral equivalent of meeting a man who believes he is Jesus and inquiring as to whether his insurance plan covers crucifixion.

Read the full hateful screed here.

And here's a petition calling on the Sun-Times to remove it and implement new standards for covering trans people.

UPDATE: The paper has pulled the article.

“Upon further consideration, we concluded the essay did not include some key facts and its overall tone was not consistent with what we seek to publish,” Editorial Editor Tom McNamee told BuzzFeed in a statement. He added that it was the “right thing to do.”

Shortly before the article was pulled, Sun-Times Digital Editor Brandon Wall tweeted, then deleted, that the piece being published was the result of a “colossal parade of f--k ups.”

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  1. Sex and gender are not the same thing. Gender is a construct that we build moment by moment based on social cues. You can have a penis and be a woman - no, you can't biologically give birth to children, but that wasn't exactly the point.

    Posted by: Tigernan | Jun 3, 2014 1:11:16 PM

  2. There are no reasons for people in 2014 to simply not understand these issues, it's ridiculous. Then again, I saw that survey today that more than 40% of Americans believe that "God created Humans as we are today, within the last 10,000 years" - so there's clearly a lot of Stupid going around.

    As Tiger points out, and only an idiot would disagree with, Sex and Gender are not the same thing. A straight cis male could lose his junk in a horrific accident - no longer having male genitals would not mean that he is "suddenly a woman" - Gender does not exist between the legs, but between your ears.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 3, 2014 1:17:04 PM

  3. But plastic surgery for bigger boobs is all ok.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Jun 3, 2014 1:18:07 PM

  4. It's a scale, on one end you have a total woman, on the other is a total man. Everyone is mentally somewhere on that scale and physically somewhere on that scale. It doesn't matter if they've had to have surgery to get their bodies to match their minds, they're still on that scale, wherever THEY feel they are.

    Technically, Williamson is right on one point, but has a very bigoted, hateful way of describing his opinion on all others... and that's all it is in many respects: an opinion.

    At the end of the day, you have to simply ask if the person is happier the way they are, do they contribute to society in a positive way, do they make other people happy, do they enrich other people's lives as well as their own?

    These are the important questions.

    The rest is just a bunch of negativity about matters that don't affect the writer's life whatsoever, just gives him a reason and a platform to be mean and hateful.

    Very sad for him, but look how happy Cox is. Perhaps he's jealous of that happiness and positive spirit.

    Posted by: johnny | Jun 3, 2014 1:18:45 PM

  5. I can't understand why some people still believe that sex reassignment surgery involves "amputating" the penis.

    Posted by: mike128 | Jun 3, 2014 1:20:11 PM

  6. I accept that gender is between the ears. But, if that's the case, why do some trans insist on removing what's between the legs? Which is the point the article in question seems to make.

    Posted by: Perry | Jun 3, 2014 1:21:40 PM

  7. Ontario, which is a freakin' global leader when it comes to addressing the very real issues that concern transpeople, understands why these reassignment-surgeries are not "merely cosmetic" - every intelligent mind in the field understands that these surgeries, for those who pass the utterly rigorous requirements needed to get them, are incredibly vital for the safety and emotional and physical wellbeing of these people.

    only one who demands to not be educated would suggest otherwise.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 3, 2014 1:23:03 PM

  8. of no actual relevance, what-so-ever.

    Posted by: YetAnotherMIKE | Jun 3, 2014 1:27:04 PM

  9. Perry: You're trolling is not even smart or funny. You need to try harder

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jun 3, 2014 1:28:45 PM

  10. Yes, it's a hateful article by Williamson.
    The last two paragraphs are not only hateful but also plain stupid.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 3, 2014 1:34:53 PM


    take a look at this site, only to understand "Perry" - who is a troll, who uses many names. my point? as you can see with gaypatriot, they have to make up things to be angry about, because they can't point to "their own" and say a single damn positive thing.

    do you know why Trolls troll? because they have nothing good in their lives. when you can't show, *SHOW*, a single good thing about yourself, you make up lies about others. when you can't show the good things your family and friends are doing, you choose to get upset about Jonah Hill. when you can't stand up to be counted, you obsess over those who *can*.

    it's textbook. but he'll die. alone. so it's ok.

    the Sun-Times article is biased and the prejudice in it is barely veiled. it's an ugly piece of writing that ignores the actual issues that face our trans brothers and sisters, in order to adopt a pathetic "ew, what are these people? they're weird!" mentality.

    it's shameful.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 3, 2014 1:35:07 PM

  12. I see. Rick Perry. Rick is banned but Perry still here using another name and address.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 3, 2014 1:49:40 PM

  13. Go ahead and throw all the barbs you want at me, but I find nothing objectionable in the quoted part of that article - at least on a factual basis, if not a tonal one.

    A transgender male to female person is not a woman, but I don't think that's the claim any transgender person is really making. And it's my personal opinion, worth absolutely nothing, that there is likely an element of severe delusion in many if not most cases of gender dysphoria.

    That said, I feel everyone's free to be happy. If a man would rather live as a woman than a man (or vice-versa), what's that any of my business except to be happy at someone else moving toward their own happiness?

    And it's no business of mine whether their internal psychology is that they'd be happier expressing and living as the gender they were not "assigned" at birth, or whether they truly believe they were assigned the wrong gender by nature and fate, and are somehow in the wrong body. But there's practically no convincing me such belief is not a severe delusion.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jun 3, 2014 1:50:25 PM

  14. The average Sun-Times (and Time) reader is so old they're dead. They and those who write for them don't matter.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Jun 3, 2014 1:52:36 PM

  15. I'll grant that there's some tension between delusion and the socially constructed expectations we call "reality." But the real issue is the freedom of people to act and live as they feel is honest to themselves. This is not up to the highest bidder or the dictates of "common sense." It is up to the individual and his/her sense of personal integrity.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Jun 3, 2014 1:54:01 PM

  16. As a Chicagoan, I sent a snail mail letter to the newspaper I have read my whole life illustrating my disappointment. This was just an incendiary piece reprinted to make headlines. It was a disgusting excuse for journalism.

    Posted by: Mikey M | Jun 3, 2014 1:55:16 PM

  17. congrats, ZLICK - those who say "there's practically no convincing me blah blah blah" are destined to never learn or grow.

    I dunno - i have a great number of friends who have transitioned. clearly you don't.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 3, 2014 1:55:52 PM

  18. I don't understand what is so difficult to understand about gender dysphoria.

    Posted by: Donny | Jun 3, 2014 2:02:26 PM

  19. The article demonstrates just how effective Laverne Cox's advocacy really is. Good for her.

    Posted by: JamesUK | Jun 3, 2014 2:04:12 PM

  20. Zlick's argument is not without merit. Some of you might not like it, but it's not hateful or perhaps even wrong.

    Posted by: James | Jun 3, 2014 2:09:13 PM

  21. It was either in 1969 or 1970 Life Magazine put "Gay Liberation" on their front cover. A few months later "Look" magazine put the discussion of Transsexuals on their cover. Williamson's reaction to Ms Cox on the cover of Time reminds me of some folks' reaction to the covers of those two magazines over 40 years ago.

    As KIWI said, "transition": Grow a mind.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 3, 2014 2:18:58 PM

  22. I couldn't even understand what he was saying in that article. Which, I'm hoping means, that stupid is just on a plane I'm incapable of comprehending.

    Posted by: Joe | Jun 3, 2014 2:19:46 PM

  23. Instead of "their front cover," I guess I should've said "its front cover".

    In the words of the next President of the United States, "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!!!!"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 3, 2014 2:22:53 PM

  24. Hmpf, Thought I might learn something in the comments about this because I'm one of those stupid gay people who don't fully understand Trans...too bad the comments are buried in the usual "troll" vs "know-it-all" BS..If Towelroad was smart they would ban the lot of you! every thread..and on every website!!! don't bother responding, I'll go back to reading the newspaper.

    Posted by: nefter | Jun 3, 2014 2:34:22 PM

  25. She is not a genetic female....that is what he wants to say. She will never know what it is like to exist as a genetic female with all that involves. She will never have a mentrual cramp...get pregnant...or have ovarian cancer....This physical reality that influences the female experience will never be available to Laverne Cox.

    My 10 year old niece just got her menses for the first time. The fear...and excitement of this physical right of passage is purely female.

    But if she wants to be call HER...and SHE and addressed as female...who cares. It's her life....just do not stifle genetic women's voices when we point out the uniqueness of our physical girlhood and womanhood.

    Just as I find it funny when trans men complain about genetic gay men not wanting them because they have no penis...because...according to them, maleness is seperate possession of a from the penis! Lol!

    Soon you gays will be called bigots for not f*cking genetic women who insist they are really trans men with vaginas!

    Posted by: June | Jun 3, 2014 2:47:39 PM

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