‘Ann Romano’ apologizes for anti-trans remarks

There’s not a ton more to be said about Ann Romano’s transphobic comments in last week’s “One Day at a Time” column, that hasn’t already been said in the comments following her apology post.

But it’s also overwhelming trying to take in all 52 (and counting!) comments. So here are some of the highlights.

Firstly, here’s the original passage in question:

… it’s probably not a good idea to put too fine of a point on it — especially since Beatie is only a “man” in the loosest sense of the word. While Beatie did take testosterone treatments, had her … sorry, his … breasts flattened into a more masculine shape, and took legal measures to call herself … sorry, himself … a man, she’s … sorry, he’s … still got all the female parts underneath — including the va-jay-jay and reproductive organs. So while we’re big fans of our pals in the trans community, Beatie calling herself … sorry, himself … a “man” is like a Potato Head adding a nose and mouth and asking people to call him “Mister.” Sorry! Is that “Ms. Potato Head”?

The bulk of comments praise Romano for taking responsibility for her mistake and actively acknowledging her mistake and issuing an apology. At the same time, many also say that an apology without more education and coverage is of little value. (One response includes one of many Trans 101 education websites, which is a good start, though we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves).

But in the vein of some of the responses that questioned the apology’s sincerity, Willamette Week gay columnist Byron Beck’s raises the most interesting point (aside from the unnecessary snark about the incorrect spelling of Beatie’s name, of course).

…it is my understanding that One Day at A Time is a mix of several different writers including Oregonian columnist Chelsea Cain. Will you have the decency to at least include the author in your followup?

As a blogger I find it pretty essential to be transparent. I am also held personally accountable for what I say in this public forum, as I should be. An apology from a real person vs. a pseudonym would certainly seem more genuine. Hiding behind a pen name is just too safe. (And besides, what would hubby “Kip” have to say about that kind of reticence when “Ann” so clearly spotlights so much of their “personal” lives?)

Lastly, many comments argue that she needn’t have apologized at all. As I have iterated before, making fun of pop culture is fair game. But making fun of oppressed individuals is not only in poor taste, but seldom as funny. So let’s stop taking cheap shots at the pregnant man and get back to the subtle humor of dissing the Spears family …

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