An open letter to Fairfax Media and Stuff.co.nz

To Whom it May Concern,

I was shocked and angered to read the article entitled "Killed chopper pilot had passion for flying" (found at http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7926126/Killed-chopper-pilot-had-passion-for-flying) today. Never did I expect to see such a fundamental lack of respect for the identity of a deceased woman.

It is one of my greatest fears as a transsexual woman for something like this to happen. To be forever remembered as a man with my birth name, not who I really am. Society may think I'm a deluded person who wants to mutilate themselves but the opinions of the professional medical community trump those of the uninformed. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health all agree that I am not deluded and am in fact a woman. They would say the same thing about Ms. Kramer.

The misgendering in the article and the insistence on using Ms. Kramer's assigned name rather than the one she chose and identified by shows a gross lack of empathy and an implicit support for those who denied her identity in life and continue to do so after her death.

Lack of family acceptance is one of the leading causes of suicide among gender, sexual and romantic minorities (GSRM) and your support for this attitude is dangerous and worrying. Using family requests as an excuse for your actions and dismissing the outrage this has generated as mere "concerns" leads me to believe that your staff fundamentally doesn't get how harmful this is to the trans community. The commonly accepted professional style guidelines for journalism side against you on this and I am left wondering why you think you are above them and have the right to dismiss the anger of an extremely marginalised population.

I would request that the article be edited to fit with the Associated Press Stylebook's guidelines on reporting on trans people and that your staff receive training on trans issues.

Thank you for your time,

Megan