“The Killing of Camdyn Rider: Misgendering and Controversy Surrounds Victim’s Identity”

By | July 30, 2023

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The killing of Camdyn Rider, a transgender man, has received national attention. Advocacy groups have criticized the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and media outlets for misgendering Rider. The incident has been covered by LGBTQ-oriented outlets, emphasizing Rider’s transgender identity. A civil-rights lawyer accused the PCSO of intentionally misgendering Rider. The PCSO spokesperson stated that they relied on information provided by deputies at the scene. Rider’s mother confirmed that Rider’s gender identity was not a factor in the killing. The HRC estimates that 75% of transgender crime victims are misgendered by law enforcement and/or the media. Gary White reported

The Killing of Camdyn Rider Sparks Controversy Over Misgendering

Advocacy Groups Criticize Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Media Outlets

The recent murder-suicide of Camdyn Rider in Winter Haven has gained national attention and sparked a heated debate over the misgendering of the victim. Advocacy groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, have strongly criticized the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and media outlets for identifying Rider as a woman, despite Rider’s long-standing identification as a transgender man.

LGBTQ-oriented publications like Them and the Advocate have reported on Rider’s death, emphasizing his transgender identity. However, Alejandra Caraballo, a civil-rights lawyer and prominent advocate for transgender rights, accused the PCSO of intentionally misgendering Rider. Caraballo also condemned a conservative social media platform, Libs of Tik Tok, for mocking Rider by using the phrase “pregnant boyfriend” in quotation marks.

PCSO spokesperson Carrie Horstman defended the misgendering, stating that the information provided by deputies who responded to the incident led to the misidentification. However, Groover’s mother, who is still grappling with the shock of the tragedy, was unsure if anyone at the scene informed the deputies about Rider’s transgender identity.

Caraballo highlighted the alarming statistic that Rider’s death is at least the 15th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year. Groover’s mother clarified that Rider’s gender identity had no bearing on the murder, as her son fully accepted Rider as a transgender man.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office refrained from releasing Rider’s name in accordance with a state law that protects crime victims from public identification. The Human Rights Campaign estimates that 75% of transgender crime victims are misgendered by law enforcement and/or the media.

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Overall, this tragic incident sheds light on the importance of respecting an individual’s gender identity, even in the aftermath of their untimely death.

Gary White can be reached at gary.white@theledger.com or 863-802-7518. Follow on Twitter @garywhite13.

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