Adviser Update Adviser Update Spring 2017 | Page 34

Well-known blogger presents “TRANSGENDER 101” Q&A session at national journalism conference HOWE’S STORY PUTS A FACE TO AND IS EVIDENCE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE TRANSGENDER ISSUE By Michelle Harmon, MJE S peaking to a full room at the national JEA conference in Indianapolis in November, 48-year-old Bethany Grace Howe (formerly Barton Grover Howe) shared her coming-out story. Her narrative revealed how the media should report on transgender issues– with one exception: there aren’t any shoulds. Howe’s story puts a face to and is evidence of the complexity of the transgender issue, which she defines as “somebody who self-identifies differently than biology started them with.” Dressed in stylish high-heeled boots and a black ensemble to match, she revealed to her audience of approximately 100 teen journalists both the comedy and tragedy of a life ensnarled in gender identity issues. Taking care of business with her 6-year-old daughter, and feeling the recent gratitude of being able to take her child into the women’s restroom instead of the men’s, Howe realized that she should have taught