Corporate media outlets are blurring the Nashville school shooter‘s preferred “transgender identity,” revealing their desire to minimize political damage to the transgender cause that they usually celebrate.
Soon after the shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School on Monday, in which three students and three adults were shot and killed, police identified the suspected shooter as 28-year-old Audrey Hale. A little while later, officials stated that Hale, who was killed by police during the attack, identified as transgender — meaning Hale allegedly believed she was a man.
Here is the CLIP confirming by Nashville Police Chief that Audrey Hale does “identify as Transgender” pic.twitter.com/XUBm5d6zAU
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) March 27, 2023
Following the revelation that Audrey was a woman who identified as a man, media outlets have been scrambling to change articles that referenced Hale as a female, and have issued seemingly apologetic statements on social media claiming that police “mis-identified” the shooter. Various outlets have also repeatedly referred to Hale by her last name or called her “the shooter” instead of correctly using “she/her” pronouns where appropriate.
“Police initially said the shooter was a 28-year-old woman and then later said Hale was transgender, citing a social media profile in which Hale used masculine pronouns. The Post has not yet confirmed how Hale identified,” the Washington Post reported Tuesday evening.
CNN noted on an evolving story that, while police referred to the shooter as a woman, Hale had “male pronouns” on her social media. The outlet repeatedly refrained from correctly referring to the shooter as a “she.”
“Police have referred to Hale as the ‘female shooter’ and at an evening press conference added that Hale was transgender. When asked for clarification, a spokesperson told CNN Hale used “male pronouns” on a social media profile,” the outlet reported.
Update: Police identified the suspect as a 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who they shot and killed at the scene. CBS News is still working to confirm Hale’s gender identity.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 28, 2023
CBS News tweeted an update on Tuesday, stating that the outlet is “still working to confirm Hale’s gender identity.” In an article titled “Nashville school shooter was a 28-year-old former student,” CBS News did not even mention that police said Hale identified as transgender, and avoided using her correct pronouns, save for a quote from law enforcement.
On Wednesday, the outlet stated that Hale was “identified by police as a female who had used male pronouns on social media.”
“But authorities have not said there is any connection whatsoever between the shooter’s gender identity and a motive for the shooting,” the article reads.
Reuters previously identified Hale in an article title as a “former Christian school student,” archives show.
“Former Christian school student” https://t.co/xShcmJc0di
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) March 28, 2023
“The shooting came weeks after Tennessee’s legislature thrust the state to the forefront of a political furor over LGBTQ rights by voting to ban gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender children and to place new restrictions on drag performances,” Reuters reported. “The suspect’s LinkedIn page, listing recent jobs in graphic design and grocery delivery, showed Hale preferred male pronouns.”
Interesting. AP has chosen to confront the issue: “the police chief said that Hale was transgender [and] … “was assigned female at birth. Hale did use male pronouns on a social media profile.” https://t.co/95TMA1c7Ds https://t.co/PN4qCCL38T
— Terry D. Cowgill (@terrycowgill) March 29, 2023
The Associated Press claimed that “police have given unclear information on Hale’s gender.”
“For hours Monday, police identified the shooter as a woman. Later in the day, the police chief said Hale was transgender. After the news conference, Aaron declined to elaborate on how Hale identified,” according to the report. “In an email Tuesday, police spokesperson Kristin Mumford said Hale ‘was assigned female at birth.’ Hale did use male pronouns on a social media profile.”
Fear pervades Tennessee’s trans community amid focus on Nashville shooter’s gender identity: “We were already fearing for our lives. Now, it’s even worse.” https://t.co/dftpoDE5C2
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 28, 2023
NBC News decided to publish a story — after a shooting that left three children and three adults dead at a Christian school — about how “fear pervades Tennessee’s trans community amid focus on Nashville shooter’s gender identity” and how transgender people are “fearing for [their] lives.”
“It is also unclear how police knew that the suspect was transgender,” that story reads.
“Trans men are assigned female at birth and identify as men, while trans women are assigned male at birth and identify as women. When asked Monday whether Hale was a trans man or trans woman, Drake said ‘woman,’ though Hale’s LinkedIn account and interviews with those who knew Hale indicate otherwise,” the article continues.
In an article published on Wednesday titled “What We Know About the Nashville School Shooting,” the New York Times avoided calling Hale a woman and stated that “there was confusion about the shooter’s gender identity in the immediate aftermath of the attack.”
“Chief Drake said the shooter identified as transgender, and officials used ‘she’ and ‘her’ to refer to the attacker. But according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, the shooter appeared to identify as male in recent months,” the article reads.
Both USA Today and the New York Times were quick to issue statements on Twitter the day of the shooting, seemingly apologizing for adhering to biological reality by correctly calling Hale a woman. The publications also appeared to scrub references to Hale as a female from online news articles.
There was confusion later on Monday about the gender identity of the assailant in the Nashville shooting. Officials had used “she” and “her” to refer to the suspect, who, according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, appeared to identify as a man in recent months.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 28, 2023
“There was confusion later on Monday about the gender identity of the assailant in the Nashville shooting,” the New York Times tweeted. “Officials had used ‘she’ and ‘her’ to refer to the suspect, who, according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, appeared to identify as a man in recent months.”
The article linked in that specific twitter thread, originally titled “It is rare for a woman to commit a mass shooting,” was later changed to say, “Most mass shooting suspects are male,” according to online archives.
USA Today claimed in a tweet that police had “initially misidentified the gender of the shooter.”
Police on Monday afternoon said that the shooter was a transgender man. Officials had initially misidentified the gender of the shooter.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 27, 2023
USA Today‘s article was originally titled “Who is the female Nashville school shooter who killed six at private Christian school?,” but was changed to remove the word “female,” online archives show. The updated article also states that police identified Hale as a “transgender man who was assigned female at birth” — another nod to radical gender ideology which suggests that people are “assigned” a sex instead of simply being born male or female.