By Adam Brooks
RI Future writer Steve Ahlquist recently published a story criticizing The Providence Journal for their news story entitled “Transgender prostitute stabbed in Providence, police say.” In Ahlquist’s story, trans advocates pointed out that the original story used the victim’s name and birth name in the article, which presents several issues. Ethan Huckel, board president of TGI Network of RI, said the ProJo article was “disrespectful and dangerous, because it has the potential to out her as transgender. This is not only a violation of her privacy,but, depending on her personal circumstances, could jeopardize her safety.” Some pointed out that calling the victim a prostitute was irrelevant and unfounded, as it was implied in the police report but never directly confirmed. The Journal was accused of using the term as “click bait” in order to entice more readers, and referring to the victim as a sex worker, so that the story “shifts the focus of the report away from the attack and insinuates that [the victim] is somehow responsible,” according to Huckel. Fortunately, the story was updated to exclude the victim’s birth name. The police are working to determine whether or not this could be considered a hate crime and are searching for the perpetrator.