Karen Ocamb

Trans Advocates Angry Over Anderson Cooper Guest

Filed By Karen Ocamb | September 14, 2012 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Anderson Cooper, Dana Beyer, Mara Keisling, Propecia, transgender representation

This is premier week for the revamped openly gay Anderson Cooper show "Anderson Live" - which airs at 1:00pm Pacific time on Fox Channel 11. One of the guests has trans activists angry. Trans-Anderson-Cooper-.jpgHere's the promo on the show's website:

It's a story you'll see only on "Anderson Live": Mandi, who was born male, speaks out for the first time, claiming that a hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender. Mandi is joined by her ex-wife, Michele, who opens up about how Mandi's identity transformation has affected their son. How is this even possible? We will explore the latest research on Finasteride, the common compound found in most medical treatments used to treat male pattern baldness.

That's just wrong, says Dr. Dana Beyer, Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland.

I presume, inferring from what I've read, that this person is claiming that finasteride caused her transsexualism? Really?

Finasteride (Propecia) is a synthetic type-2 5?-reductase inhibitor. This enzyme converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

It causes sexual side effects, like decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. It is used by some trans women pre-operatively to reduce DHT levels.

It dos not cause transsexualism.

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, is upset too.

"All of us here at the National Center for Transgender Equality are surprised, saddened and disappointed that a respected show like Anderson Live would give credence to this type of sensationalism and misinformation. This segment is just another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple."

In the past, Anderson Cooper and his team have earned a great deal of respect from trans people for their coverage of our issues. Tomorrow, they'll throw all of that away. Worst of all, they seem set on misinforming the public about the causality of trans identity.

Anderson Cooper knows better than this. Anderson's team is better than this.

Keisling noted in a press release that Cooper's other show, AC360 on CNN, features a segment called "Keeping Them Honest." She urges "transgender advocates and allies to keep Anderson Cooper honest about how this segment does real harm to real trans people."

There is a comment section on the "Anderson Live" website.

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