WaPo Story Honoring House for LGBT Teens Has Zero Space for Disagreement

You know you’re reading the liberal Washington Post when a story rejoices in the D.C. government offering "a measure of freedom she has never had" to "slip on a flower-print blouse and shave her face." The place is Wanda Alston House, named after a lesbian activist staffer of NOW and the Human Rights Campaign who was stabbed to death in 2005.

The top story in Sunday’s Metro section was headlined: "A Haven from the Streets: For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths, who face a higher risk of becoming homeless, D.C.’s Wanda Alston House offers refuge where they don’t have to fear being themselves." Reporter Theresa Vargas was typically all sympathy and zero skepticism for the politically correct cause:

As the District takes significant strides to advance the rights of LGBT residents — for example, recently legalizing same-sex marriage — the youths who pass through the Wanda Alston House tell of the vulnerability the community still faces. The house, named after an LGBT leader and mayoral adviser who was killed in 2005, is one of a handful of transitional houses in the nation that cater to people who experts say are more likely to become homeless and who, once in that category, pose challenges most shelter systems are unequipped to address. Should a transgender female be placed in a shelter with men or women? Where should a transgender male who still has the anatomy of a woman shower?

..."These kids get swallowed up in the system," says Brian Watson, who manages the house through the District’s Transgender Health Empowerment program. He says he has seen young people come from shelters who have been sexually abused, ridiculed and, in one case, made to sleep in a common living room instead of a bedroom because she was transgender.

"These are good kids, really good kids," Watson says. "They just need a chance."

The story not only dominated the front page of Metro, but all of page C-4. There were also two videos, also unanimous. In one, Watson explains "There’s just a lot of non-understanding of what is a transgender person, what is gender identity. I think that our GLB youths are at risk, but our T youth, our transgender youth, are definitely at a higher risk." Everyone in the Alston house are good, and all who fail to accept their moral choices are bad:

In Room 1, Devin [a female transitioning to male] sits on his bed, a broken guitar and Bible nearby, reading a poem he has written:

I don’t subscribe to their norms. So I must be the enemy. Unsurprisingly, both they and I share the same make up, the same creator, and some of the same sentiments. I too delight in the breeze on a warm summer day. I enjoy traveling even though I haven’t gone very far. I appreciate companionship, a listening ear, a warm heart. Yet somehow these human similarities are disregarded, and I become reducible to a "he/she" or an "it." An animal, an alien, a traitor. (Italics theirs.)

In the second video, there's more in this prose poem from Devin, including hostility to critics:

That is why I hold my humanity near to me. I hide it. I cherish it. I pray over it and ask it never to abandon me. Enough people are trying to steal it from me. They are telling me that I don’t deserve it, that I am not allowed to have it. I detest these statements, these actions, these ignorant and emboldened proclamations. This life, this joy, this fortitude was given to me by my creator, and in order to survive, I have to slip it into my pocket and hide it from the thieving populus...I deserve the same amount of respect as everyone else. It becomes terribly tiresome to become the only civilized individual in a crowd of decision-making organisms.  

In addition to all the raging inaccuracy of pronouns -- where the transgendered person in question gets to define which sex they are regardless of the biological realities -- we get strange phrases like "biologically born men," as opposed to the inauthentic kind:

Devin’s girlfriend, who had only dated biologically born men before meeting Devin in college, says the hardest part of his transition has been his family’s "abandonment, just their not being able to handle it." At the beginning, his mother couldn’t talk to him on the phone without crying and telling him he was going to hell, but now Devin says they have brief conversations. "I hope, and he doesn’t have a choice but to hope," his girlfriend says, "that someday she’ll be able to spend time with him."

This is the closest the Vargas story gets to an opposing point of view – hoping for the "heartbroken" mother to convert to the pro-LGBT point of view, as the Post suggests everyone eventually must, and will.  MNN

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis