Why Star Ledger do you continue to misgender a murdered transgender woman despite receiving emails confirming her trans status?

As reported earlier this week by planetransgender, The Brunswick Patch and The Advocate Eyricka Morgan a transgender woman was murdered in New Brunswick NJ.

*Update! Immediately after posting this Sue Epstein begun reaching out to our community. See the tweets at the end of the story for updates.

All of the before mentioned news sources used the most basic tools in confirming the trans status of the victim. In the trans community and the greater mainstream media as a whole, this procedure is paramount. It is considered and rightfully so a serious breach of protocol to incorrectly identify someone as transgender or cisgender.

Sue Epstein at the Star Ledger originally reported on this crime but has yet to follow these basic principals of journalism by failing to properly investigate and worst yet, by ignoring information on the victims transgender status that she herself  requested.

Like some mainstream media have done in the past the Star Ledger is adhering to a editorial policy of ignoring social media. But when it becomes s so apparent that they are ignoring the facts they asked for from the community one begins to question if this behaviour is transphobic in nature.

So for the Star Ledger it time to be edified.

@TweetTrina4Lyfe I’m sorry but I can’t put in information I don’t have confirmed and no one has said Evan Morgan was transgender.
— Susan Epstein (@susan_epstein) September 26, 2013

The @StarLedger newspaper repeatedly misgenders #trans woman killed in New Jersey http://t.co/lZU7fZpYoz #trans #LGBT
— GLAAD (@glaad) September 27, 2013

GLAAD Blog Sept 27

Star Ledger Jornalist Sue Epstein posted this comment on the original article on the 28th of Oct

Sue Epstein’s confusing comment first seems to acknowledge that there have been people who contacted her confirming Eyricka Morgan’s trans status then she says that no one has contacted her at all in contradiction to GLAADS statement.

There seemed to be a missed connection as many of the trans community tweeted to the @StarLedger and not directly to Sue Epstein’s.

I will now put Sue Epstein in contact with Janet Mock and Darnell L. Moore who personally knew of the victims transgender status and Glaad for information on how to write her updated article.

@susan_epstein please contact @janetmock Janet Mock personally knows Eyricka Morgan and will confirm her transgender status.
— planetransgender (@kellibusey) September 29, 2013

@janetmock @starledger I forwarded an email to @susan_epstein this morning!
— Darnell L. Moore (@Moore_Darnell) September 28, 2013

@bEx_x3d @starledger Simply put, @susan_epstein could go to the boarding house and ask residents how she lived since she needs proof.
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) September 28, 2013

Feel free to copy my email to @susan_epstein about misgendering Eyricka Morgan in @starledger: http://t.co/eMgW8UmXsx #girlslikeus #TWoC
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) September 27, 2013

Action Required: Ask Susan Epstein to Respect Eyricka Morgan’s Identity + Life

Today, I sent the following email to Susan Epstein of the The Star-Ledger about her report of the murder of Eyricka Morgan, a young trans woman of color who was murdered in her boarding home.
I’m heartbroken about the death of someone I knew, and shocked by the fact that Ms. Epstein chooses to carelessly erase Eyricka’s identity as a woman and her life as well, telling our community that she needs confirmation or proof that Eyricka was a trans woman.
Please email (sepstein@starledger.com), tweet @susan_epstein or call the reporter at (732) 249-5670 about misgendering Eyricka Morgan in @starledger. The point of this action is not to vilify Ms. Epstein, it’s to set the record straight on our lives.
Feel free to use my email as a template:
Hi Susan,
I will go on record, as an activist who knew the victim, Eyricka Morgan. She was a transgender woman of color and an advocate in the community. She went by she and her, and her identity should be respected even after her passing, despite what records may or may not say.
As a journalist who worked for mainstream media (I previously worked for People.com), I know that reflecting the truth of people’s lives is vital. The misgendering and erasure of Ms. Morgan’s identity does not only hurt her life and legacy, it also hurts an entire community of marginalized and often stigmatized people who are grappling with discrimination on many levels in our country.
http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2013/09/new_brunswick_man_charged_with_stabbing_man_to_death_in_city_boarding_house.html
Please fix this careless error and stop requiring that our lives need proof. We are who we say we are.
Thanks,
Janet Mock

Moments after posting this article and mentioning Susan Epstein on twitter she responded. You can call the timing serendipitous if you want too but I’ll call it advocacy and that’s my story and I’m stickin too it 🙂 In any case we are moving forward.

@susan_epstein Here is the info you asked for to confirm Eyricka Morgan’s transgender status. Plz update/edit article http://t.co/qov97uc4uv
— planetransgender (@kellibusey) September 29, 2013

@kellibusey @susan_epstein @janetmock thank you. I will.
— Susan Epstein (@susan_epstein) September 29, 2013

@janetmock @Moore_Darnell yes. Thank you. I spoke with him and he is great. I’d like to talk to you too.
— Susan Epstein (@susan_epstein) September 29, 2013

Editor in Chief at

Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.

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