But there’s something about this story — “Conversation with transvestite prostitute gives insight” — in the Independent Florida Alligator, a student publication of the University of Florida, that, well, offends me (that’s my righteous indignation photo, for those new to this blog).
It’s a student publication, so I should be more forgiving, but actually, there’s a lot of things that bother me — starting with the headline and moving on to the opening sentence: “When I told my editor I’d do a feature on a tranny prostitute, I sort of meant it as a joke.”
Then this reporter, Katherine Bein, hunts down a sex worker named Skittles who apparently identifies as a man but works in women’s clothing with a feminine gender presentation, starts questioning her, and then gets upset when the woman doesn’t want to give her straight answers.
“All I could think was, great, I’ve blown it,” Bein reports. “I pissed off the prostitute.” What awesome alliteration.
After harassing Skittles, apparently for at least an hour while she was trying to work, Bein and Skittles somehow become sort-of friends — or at least Skittles begins to tolerate her. But in the end, when Bein suggests they meet again to continue the conversation, Skittles says no — and I don’t blame her.
Bein ends by saying, “So we walked away, and that night taught me more than a class ever could” — except, maybe, a little bit of class.