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.