Speculating on what will happen during Bruce Jenner’s hotly anticipated two-hour interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday night, the Washington Post offers an interesting preemptive defense of its pronouns. In a parenthetical statement, the Post writes: “Because Jenner has not publicly commented yet, The Washington Post refers to Jenner as “he” and “him” in this story.”
The Post is being highly sensitive. Jenner is expected to announce during the interview that he is a transgender person and that he is in the process of transitioning fully into a woman. Stories written today may well be the last time Jenner is referred to as “he” in proper journalism outlets. But it’s strange that the Post would need to jump the gun and defend itself against potential charges of political incorrectness when it wasn’t being incorrect at all. Bruce Jenner is a “he” today as far as the public knows. If he wanted it otherwise, he has certainly had the chance to say.
[for more on the politics and emotions of transitioning and facts of transgender life, check out Jordan Rice’s thoughtful accounts here.]