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Transgender advocacy group condemns planned ‘Anderson Live’ segment

Born male, guest claims 'hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender'
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WASHINGTON — The National Center for Transgender Equality on Wednesday denounced plans by the syndicated talk show “Anderson Live” to air a controversial interview with a person who claims an anti-baldness drug made them transgender.

The segment, hosted by openly gay veteran journalist Anderson Cooper, is scheduled to air Thursday, September 13, and is “a story you’ll see only on “Anderson Live,” touts a promotional statement on the show’s website:

“Mandi, who was born male, speaks out for the first time, claiming that a hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender. Mandi is joined by her ex-wife, Michele, who opens up about how Mandi’s identity transformation has affected their son. How is this even possible? We will explore the latest research on Finasteride, the common compound found in most medical treatments used to treat male pattern baldness.”

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement that the NCTE was “surprised, saddened and disappointed that a respected show like ‘Anderson Live’ would give credence to this type of sensationalism and misinformation.”

“This segment is just another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple,” she said.

“In the past, Anderson Cooper and his team have earned a great deal of respect from trans people for their coverage of our issues. Tomorrow, they’ll throw all of that away. Worst of all, they seem set on misinforming the public about the causality of trans identity,” said Keisling, in a statement.

Keisling told LGBTQ Nation on Wednesday evening that the NCTE had reached out to the show’s producers, asking that the segment not be run, but said she was told by producers that the segment would proceed as scheduled.

Cooper’s other show, CNN”s nightly newscast “AC360,” airs a segment called “Keeping Them Honest,” in which he addresses hypocrisy among public figures and elected officials on, among other things, critical LGBT issues.

Keisling is urging transgender advocates and allies to keep the journalist honest “about how this segment does real harm to real trans people.”

“Anderson Cooper knows better than this. Anderson’s team is better than this,” she said.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. Shared and Tweeted

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:20pm
  2. Sounds like sour grapes to me

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:24pm
  3. This is very disappointing.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:29pm
  4. Silly… No topical hair treatment makes someone a trans gender

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:33pm
  5. Anderson what the EFF????

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:36pm
  6. What the hell….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:37pm
  7. it takes a lot more than hair loss treatment to make one transgendered, that implies that it is a mere lifestyle choice, which it definately is not, who in their right mind would actually choose to be transgendered, with all the social stigma that comes with it, not to mention violence and the threat of violence from all those god loving bible believing christian folk out there who can’t feel close to god unless they kill a sinner or two. Yeah… it’s more like it chose me instead.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:38pm
  8. tweet @andersoncooper

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:39pm
  9. Why is this a problem? If this is what made the person trans then why is it being questioned? Why is it not considered valid? Not all trans people are trans for the same reasons. Just like some people(like myself) are born gay and never participate in heterosexuality and some people become gay after living a hetero life. If this person identifies as a trans woman now why are other trans people denying her reality?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:40pm
  10. Having watched Anderson discredit charlatans several times on his show, I would sooner believe that he might use the same tack with this guest. Perhaps a kneejerk reaction isn’t the most prudent response.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:40pm
  11. I can only hope that

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:58pm
  12. Propecia is not a topical baldness treatment.. It works by changing the way the body utilizes testosterone..So in an ideal case its already altering the body’s hormone balance… If you actually read about post finasteride syndrome you would find out that side effects, possibly permanent, are breast growth, sexual dysfunction, hormonal imbalance to name a few… It’s not that hard to believe if you ask me.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:02pm
  13. Rebecca Cross- I couldn’t have said it better myself. Propecia does have those side affects and who is to say it wasn’t an serendipity? Maybe that helped her discover herself. Not everyone is the same.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:17pm
  14. Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:21pm
  15. I do believe he is investigating her claim not supporting it… He is a little smarter than that. How about we watch then make our judgments

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:24pm
  16. I’m gay, but this is a bit much people. What’s wrong with this airing? Anderson will have our back SMH

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:27pm
  17. I’ll wait until I’ve watched the show to comment.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:30pm
  18. Tweeted with the #KeepAndersonHonest hashtag. More at http://act.ly/62x.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:38pm
  19. That is just a bunch of garbage. False. This person was transgender prior to using a balding treatment. The treatment has nothing to do with whether one is transgender or not. Any Dr or Therapist with knowledge in the LGBT field will tell you that. C’mon Anderson you know better than to believe this hokum and garbage.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 1:44am