September 13, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
NCTE expresses concern over upcoming “Anderson Live” segment
Anderson Cooper, Andrew Sullivan, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo by Craig O’Neal via Wikimedia)

A transgender rights organization has criticized an upcoming “Anderson Live” segment that will feature a trans woman who claims a hair loss treatment caused her gender to change.

“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,” said NCTE executive director Mara Keisling in a statement released late on Wednesday. “This segment is just another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple.”

A short video posted on the show’s website previews the segment that is scheduled to air later on Thursday.

“Mandi, who was born male, speaks out for the first time, claiming that a hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender,” it says. “Mandi is joined by her ex-wife, Michelle, who opens up about how Mandi’s identity transformation has affected their son.”

Keisling told the Blade earlier on Thursday that NCTE reached out to the show’s producers to express their concerns. She referred back to her statement when asked how NCTE initially learned about the upcoming segment.

Advocates and media observers have generally applauded Anderson Cooper, who came out as gay in July, for his coverage of LGBT-specific issues on his daytime talk show and CNN program. These include trans children and anti-LGBT bullying.

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

An “Anderson Live” producer did not immediately return the Blade’s request for comment.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

3 Comments
  • I don’t understand why the National Center for Transgender Equality felt the need to criticize Cooper before the interview even aired. I thought it was very respectably done.

  • Well, here we go again. Mara Kiesling will do almost anything to see her name in the media. I can tell you for certain she doesn’t speak for me.

    She’d like you believe she speaks for/represents the trans-community on virtually every issue that comes down the aisle

    She has her opinion and I have mine. So what if Anderson Cooper has turned his show into the Jerry Springer Show of CNN! He’s making his six figure salary in the process and Mara is still over-paying herself (five figure salary) from the N.T.C.E. budget. We could do better if she’d stop aligning our community so closely with gay and lesbian community and represent the interests of the transgender community alone.

    Stop it Mara, just stop it!

  • So then why don’t all of Anderson’s trans-gender viewers stop watching! They will both b sorely missed.

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