Kit Steinkellner
Updated Jul 18, 2015 @ 3:13 pm

This past Thursday, on the current affairs television program “Dr. Drew on Call,” Salon reports that Drew Pinsky had two guests on air, Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro and “Inside Edition” reporter Zoey Tur, to discuss whether or not they believed Caitlyn Jenner was deserving of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Tur, who identifies as transgender, took a personal angle while defending Jenner’s right to be called courageous.

“Did she deserve the honor?” Tur interjected. “Probably not. Is she brave? Of course she’s brave. All those years invested as the sports legend, to come out transgender is horribly difficult. It is the most difficult thing you can do. I’ve been overseas, I’ve flown helicopter missions, surveillance missions, I’ve been shot, stabbed. Being brave is being yourself. And being transgender is about the bravest thing you can do.”

“Why are we mainstreaming delusion?” Shapiro snapped, and then proceeded to refer to both Caitlyn Jenner and Zoey Tur with the male signifiers “him” and “sir”—even though both women identify as female—a transphobic gesture of disrespect.

“You should cut that out right now or you’ll go home in an ambulance,” Tur told Shapiro when he continued to insist on calling her “sir.”

While we, of course, do not condone threats of violence, we do support Tur for standing up for herself, Jenner, and the trans community as a whole.

Unfortunately, Shapiro failed (or rather, refused) to accept that using male signifiers when speaking to or about a trans woman is an act of disrespect.

It’s not a matter of [being] aggressively insulting,” Shapiro defended himself. “The entire discussion is whether we are embracing mental illness and delusion as a society.”

“You’re consumed with hate,” Tur said. “You’re a little man — a little boy.”

Even though we wish Shapiro had been more receptive, (or, you know, receptive at all), we’re glad that Zoey Tur used this episode as a teachable moment, driving home how important it is both to respect the gender an individual identifies with and recognize the courage it takes to show the world who you are inside. That kind of respect and acknowledgement are things well worth fighting for, and we’re so glad Zoey Tur fought for what is right on Thursday night.


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