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Letter: Cartoon ridiculed transgender people

Opponents of House Bill 2 protest across the

Opponents of House Bill 2 protest across the street from the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, April 11, 2016, during a rally in support of the law that blocks rules allowing transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity. Credit: AP

I was greatly disappointed to see that the April 23 Cartoon Roundup included a caricature of a transgender woman by Rick McKee. This is directly related to the recent attempts by some Southern states to openly discriminate against transgender people.

Caricatures have the power to reinforce deeply held feelings and to promote negative stereotypes, which many people will accept as truth. The transgender woman in the cartoon is in a dress with hairy legs and bulging biceps — an attempt to produce a comic or grotesque effect. The cartoon itself speaks to the continuing inappropriate representation of what civil rights for transgender people really means.

We live in a world of rampant transphobia and hate, where transgender people are regularly discriminated against, threatened, harassed, assaulted and even murdered. I find it difficult to accept a political cartoon that continues to show members of our community in such an inappropriate way.

Juli Grey-Owens, Huntington Station

Editor’s note: The writer is the executive director of the Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition.