The National Enquirer continues to employ shock-and-awe transphobic tactics to sell issues.
The tabloid magazine splashed the title “Richard Simmons: He’s Now a Woman” across its latest issue. The cover, declaring the fitness guru “the new Caitlyn Jenner,” shows a provocative image of Simmons with long hair and wearing furs and women’s lingerie.
The coverage is problematic for multiple reasons. First, Simmons has not confirmed their gender identity, and thus reporting on it from an anonymous source is a clear invasion of privacy.
In addition, the cover employs offensive language like “boob job” and “castration” to describe gender-confirmation surgery. It also mixes gender pronouns and uses terms like “jaw-dropping” and “bizarre” to describe the journey of a transgender person, appealing to the public’s ick factor rather than seeking to educate and move the needle for trans equality.
This is not the first time National Equirer has used objectionable and invasive reportage for profit. The outlet hounded Caitlyn Jenner both before and after her coming-out issue of Vanity Fair. It continues to exhaustively examine even the body parts of the trans Olympian, critiquing her “clunky feet” and “manly voice” and speculating on their modification.
The latest story follows a period of hospitalization for Simmons, which the celebrity trainer attributed to dehydration on Facebook. The National Enquirer claims the hospital stay is the culmination of two years of “secret surgeries” to transition to “a softly spoken woman named Fiona.”