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Trans woman pushes NPR to edit 'offensive' podcast about her

Researchers behind one of 2015's biggest new podcasts Invisibilia will edit future broadcasts of the episode

Trans woman pushes NPR to edit 'offensive' podcast about her

A trans woman has pushed NPR to edit an ‘offensive’ podcast about her.

Paige Abendroth, who lives in California, is a subject of one of the 2015’s biggest podcasts so far Invisibilia.

Her story, an exploration of how the gender line is far more blurrier than we might first think, was previewed on Radiolab.

During the interview recorded two years ago, Abendroth explained that she identified as bigender – meaning she identified then as a woman 80% of the time and as a man 20% of the time. She said these percentage ratios had differentiated throughout her life, such as when she was in the armed forces.

Speaking to Invisibilia co-host Alix Spiegel, she described ‘flipping’ from identifying as female to identifying as male during their conversation.

But since those interviews, Abendroth no longer ‘flips’ and remains comfortable as a queer trans woman.

When the Invisibilia episode was previewed on Radiolab, Abendroth said she felt ‘betrayed’ and ‘violated’ by the episode.

She was ‘dead named’, meaning the male name she was first given was aired, and offensive language such as ‘born a boy’ was used (the accepted phrase is ‘assigned male at birth’).

Abendroth claims in her Tumblr post that she told Spiegel two months ago to not dead-name her, saying ‘I made a big, huge deal about why that would be a bad thing and how it would hurt me. This is unforgivable’.

GSN tried to get in contact with Abendroth, but she said talking about it made her ‘very uncomfortable and depressed’.

But when GSN spoke to NPR, a representative told us it was a misunderstanding.

And they have promised that Invisibilia’s upcoming episode on Abendroth will be changed.

Anne Gudenkauf, senior supervising editor of NPR’s science desk, said: ‘We would never have violated Paige’s wishes in this story; it’s an unfortunate misunderstanding.

‘Invisibilia’s upcoming episode on Paige will be edited to remove references to the name she no longer recognizes.

‘Also the upcoming episode, which focuses on how categories affect us all, will explore in more depth the changes in Paige’s life over the two years that she and Alix have spoken and will do that, as always, with attention to bigender and transgender reporting guidelines.’


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