Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies/Archive 27

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 26 Archive 27 Archive 28


Is it inherently disrespectful to include the male birth name of transsexuals on their articles? It's not an issue on Jayne County or Wendy Carlos, but it's been made an issue on other articles. There is currently one particular vocal editor trying to enact this as a BLP violation on Caroline Cossey. Other eyes would be welcome, because they are basically arguing that this needs to be changed on all notable trans articles. -->David Shankbone 15:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

This is actually not what is being argued at all. I've merely advocated that it's inappropriate to refer to her prior name in big bold letters in the opening sentence when it's a name she's ever gone by as a public figure or used as an adult. I've suggested that a more sensitive means of addressing the matter is to mention it in the text of the "early life" section of the article or equivalent - the stance most trans biographies on people who weren't known by their prior names seem to take; see our articles on Jan Morris, Georgina Beyer, Lynn Conway, Robert Eads, Sylvia Rivera, Theresa Sparks and Angie Zapata, for a bunch of obvious examples. I'm also not the one who initially complained about its use in the Cossey article, just someone who stepped in to back that editor up. Rebecca (talk) 16:33, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Jan Morris, as James Morris, climbed Everest with Hillary and reported on this to the world as part of the Coronation celebrations, because James Morris was a notable journalist before becoming Jan Morris, and covered the experience with Dr. Borou based in the former experience as journalist and writer. So, there is one exception to this rule - her former name should be in the lede even on that basis. Lynn Conway was, as I understand, notable for her contributions to IT before transition, so... few know of Wendy Carlos, but Walter Carlos was well known, as some of (his) work featured on 'A Clockwork Orange', as well as the interest at that time in the two albums of synthesized Bach. Perhaps distinctions need to be drawn between

  • those who were notable before and after transition
  • those who became notable only after transition, but have featured their birth name publicly (in their own published material)
  • those who became notable after transition, but have never sought to disclose that information publicly and have been 'outed' by the press
  • those who became notable after transition, and we do not know what their birth name was
  • I would suggest that the last two need to be treated the same way,
  • If it can be verified that self-disclosure was as a result of (or threat of) 'outing' by the press, then it should be treated the same way also
  • But, if self-disclosure appears to have been entirely voluntary and without pressure, then it should be treated the same way as in the first case
  • That gives us two standards
  • Or, we have three standards - one to cover the first, one to cover the second, and one to cover the last two in the same way. Mish (talk) 17:17, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest three standards, but not, I think, the same three standards you are suggesting. The fourth group would obviously not involve the mentioning of the name in the article at all. I would think concerns about tabloid gossip reporting would mean that the same reasoning would apply to the third group.

The first group is the only one in which I don't object to the information being mentioned in the lead. In the example you note, it's quite likely that someone searching for information on Morris might be looking for information on her achievements prior to her transition, so it's perfectly reasonable to have the information in the lead - and would be highly confusing without it.

The third group is what we're centrally dealing with here, however. I'll use the example of Georgina Beyer. Beyer transitioned in her teens, and never went by her old name in either of her public careers - it's something that no one would know to search for directly. However, I presume that her prior name can be confirmed in reliable sources (though disturbingly these are not in the article at the moment). In cases such as Beyer, I think it's more appropriate to - as the Beyer article does - find a suitable spot in the early life section of the article, and list it there. Listing the prior name up in lights in the first sentence has the effect of assigning an unwarranted importance to that old name, when she hasn't used it in forty years and never went by it as a public figure.

It's a far more sensitive subject than the analogies to Ralph Lauren which I've seen fly around a couple of times, and the affected article subjects deserve to be treated respectfully in their articles. Rebecca (talk) 17:34, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you Rebecca, I was highlighting the four examples to clarify how different people can legitimately be dealt with differently. I also agree that where somebody has been notable in their former name, it should be in the lede, and where they have disclosed their former name but were not notable before transition, this should be in the text; and if they were unwillingly 'outed' we should treat this the same way as if it were unknown. If we can get agreement on this, we need it formulated coherently and set about ensuring that the relevant BLPs are dealt with consistently. Mish (talk) 17:45, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
If that's the case, why are we even arguing this? Heh. Anyone up for formulating this into guideline form? Rebecca (talk) 17:49, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
After a night to think things over, this does sound agreeable; in particular, I'd like to thank Mish for the helpful breakdown of scenarios. Not to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, but it seems worth asking while we're on the subject: what about redirects and disambiguation? Certainly I would think we want to redirect in the first case, but after that I imagine it's less clear. – Luna Santin (talk) 20:12, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • (ec) Hi folks, I hope everyone is doing well. I see the discussion has already been started. I happened upon this topic while doing some WP:BLP work, and I have a favor to ask. Just so I don't offend, and can avoid future trouts or facepalms; what is the proper term to use when discussing a BLP such as this? transgender? transsexual? is "trans" considered disrespectful? I'll likely not be able to add much here, but I'd like to follow along if there are no objections, since I think the BLP aspects of this topic are important. Thanks. — Ched :  ?  17:54, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Glad to have you Ched, as it is good to have people discussing issues in which they are not emotionally invested one way or the other. "Trans" is generally considered (see "Terminology" section in link) a more broad-based, inclusive term to use when discussing people whose particular situations you don't know, since there are not small differences between Transvestite, Transgender and Transsexual. -->David Shankbone 18:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I noticed that the guideline directs folks to here .. I'd like to mention that once we (you) decide upon a proper guideline, it would likely be best to include it in the MOS that David mentions above. — Ched :  ?  17:57, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
How you refer to people is not easy to answer simply. Referring to people as 'transsexuals' is problematic - they are transsexual people. Referring to 'transsexuality' is problematic - best to use 'transsexualism'. Referring to transsexual or intersex people as 'transgendered' can cause problems too. If you know somebody identified as a transsexual, as a transvestite, as transgendered, as intersex, then best to use that term - but as a general descriptor I use 'trans' and so far have not been shot down in flames. Provided nobody disagrees, I'm happy to go with 'trans' when discussing generally, but using the specific term appropriate in individual cases. In relation to intersex people, then many would not identify themselves under 'trans', but for the purpose of this discussion where the point is how to deal with birth names, where their adult name and birth name do not conform because of some gender reassignment at some point after birth and this is known, then the discussion about 'trans' names should apply in a similar way. That's my take on it anyway. I think a potential guideline for this situation has been proposed and agreed by Rebecca and myself - so if others are agreed I suggest we formalise that and seek approval in the MoS. Mish (talk) 19:42, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I only have one friend in r/l that would be able to clue me in, and I'll try to catch up with her in the next week. To be blunt, I'm not even sure if she is pre-op or post-op, all that was discussed was the fact that she was born of male gender, but identified as female. Other than that, we usually talk politics. I've been in a few conversations on wiki with a couple folks that I think follow this topic - I see one admin up above that I think highly of. I'll get up to speed as quickly as possible, and acknowledge the fact that I may be looking at a few wet fish and a smack on the head with a clue bat before long. All I can say at this point is that I certainly mean no offense - but I think it's important that we get this hashed out in regards to guidelines.
HEY David up there ... good to see you again. Always a pleasure to work with ya. Feel free to drop off any deserved wp:trout at my talk page ... lol. And thanks for the links .. reading up on it. Oh, and Rebecca - hope you realize I never meant any offense on anything.
On to the topic at hand. My opinion is that it would be acceptable to have a birth name in the lead, and even in the first paragraph. Rebecca brings up a good point as far as WP:UNDUE in regards to bolding. Would something like the following be acceptable:
  • Person A (born - date, as birth name) is a <singer, actor, etc>

thoughts? — Ched :  ?  20:11, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

If the person was notable using the birth name before transition, then it goes in the lede. If the person has made their former name public, but was not notable before transition, then it goes in the text as part of the background detail. If the person was 'outed' against their will, then it gets treated the same as not knowing the name - it doesn't go in. Mish (talk) 21:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm .. makes sense to me. I can certainly see the logic in that. Good points MishMich — Ched :  ?  21:42, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. These have to be handled case by case. On BLP's especially there should be greater sensitivity to only including gender and sexuality issues in context. Gone are the days of Wikipedia just some website to being the world's resource for everything and the leading search result ergo what we do here has immediate and worldwide impact. I think the case needs to be made to include the previous gender info in the lede at all and in most cases should be in the early life section and possibly late in the bio in ontext of impacting their life and work. We need to lean more to encyclopedia and less to tabloidy which is unfortunately how this material is often used. -- Banjeboi 03:17, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree with this - how would you handle the issue in the instance of someone like Jan Morris, though? Rebecca (talk) 04:30, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
      • I think the present version of the article is fine. Nothing in the lede and highlights in context of the career and marriage. It's a short article so any more than what we have would lean towards undue. -- Banjeboi 17:28, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

I agree that consensus needs to happen on the individual article, and most certainly agree we should strive for encyclopedic and historical perspective in articles. I'd also agree that great care and sensitivity needs to be taken as Benjiboi mentions when dealing with BLP topics. While the "case by case" point is well taken with respect to placement, I think it would also be of benefit to have some sort of guideline on the matter. Not everyone is going to know all the names mentioned above, or in forthcoming article talk. I'd have to think that the number of articles in this section will only increase, and be it in a MOS guideline, or in the BLP policy, guidance I believe would benefit all. Those that may do GA or FA reviews, or attempt to edit the article for whatever reason, would likely appreciate some solid guidance in these matters. I know we try to avoid too much instruction creep, but I think this is a case were we could use a bit. — Ched :  ?  16:18, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree. We need to have a general guideline, with allowances made in specific cases. -->David Shankbone 16:25, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Well, how about Benjiboi's suggestion? Name in text across the board, with the possibility of making an exception and putting it in the lead where a case can be made on talk. "As a general rule, prior names of notable transsexual people (if verifiable) should be placed in the text of biographical articles, and not in the lead section. Exceptions may be made where necessary if the person was notable under their prior name, but the case for this must be made on the article talk page." Feel free to fix my wordiness. Rebecca (talk) 17:26, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
      • I think that works. We're still keeping birth name in infobox, then? -->David Shankbone 17:29, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
        • I would probably lean towards not. I have no particularly strong feelings on this, but I am persuaded to some extent by Benji's post above. Rebecca (talk) 17:38, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

So, can we accept something like this:

  • In cases where the prior name of a transsexual person is only known as the result of an outing, the prior name must not be mentioned in the article
  • In cases where a transsexual person was not notable under their prior name, but has subsequently confirmed it, the prior name must not be listed in the lead section, but may be mentioned in the article body
  • In cases where a transsexual person was also notable under their prior name, the name may only be mentioned in the lead where there is consensus to do so

Again, feel free to reword - it's two in the morning and my grammar is lousy right now. Rebecca (talk) 17:38, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

What about this:

  • In cases where the prior name of a transsexual person is only known as the result of an outing, the prior name must not be mentioned in the article nor in the infobox.
  • In cases where a transsexual person was not notable under their prior name, but has subsequently confirmed it, the prior name must not be listed in the lead section nor the infobox, but may be mentioned in the article body
  • In cases where a transsexual person was also notable under their prior name, the name may only be mentioned in the lead and the infobox where there is consensus to do so.

Does that sound reasonable? -->David Shankbone 17:41, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Rebecca (talk) 17:44, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Should the second instance have text AND infobox, or infobox only? I think in situations like Cossey, where she was outed but then went on to become an activist, the infobox would be fine. -->David Shankbone 17:47, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
      • I think we should state something chunky and with the logic spelled out. For example:
      • I also support the guidelines listed above and we should include that MOS guidelines help guide editing but do not trump our policies on BLP's and consensus. We can add this to Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies/Guidelines. -- Banjeboi 17:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
        • I agree with the spirit of this, and it would be good to have something along these lines. However, I don't necessarily agree with minimising the very fact of someone being trans in this way - being trans tends to be more intimately tied up with someone's notability than if that person were cis and gay. Look at the articles I listed above - articles on Beyer or Sparks (first trans people to hold political offices), Eads and Zapata (deaths related to being trans), Rivera and Conway (trans rights activists) or Morris (chiefly notable for things pre-transition) aren't going make much sense if their actually being trans isn't in the lead. I also think the examples of appropriate wording on trans issues could do with a bit of work. (And yes to the bit about guidelines not trumping BLP!) Rebecca (talk) 18:12, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, the time-lag in composing and posting placed my comment before these last comments. I agree that in a case like Cossey if it can be shown that she only included the details in her autobiography because she was outed, then it may not be appropriate to feature the birth name; although given she has published it, like Ashley, it won't hurt to include it in the text itself. I don't agree about not having the former name in the lede in the case of people who have published or performed in a former name - it needs to be there, especially if their transition was public (as in Morris' case, who used the experience as an integral part of the process of transitioning her journalistic career from James to Jan) - I am actually less happy about Wendy Carlos, but unfortunately the bulk of her work was as Walter, and that is the name she will be known as to most people outside the trans community. Mish (talk) 18:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

moved earlier comment down:

I am not sure about the precise wording of the last sentence. I'd want to see the default being include unless there is consensus not to. If I search on 'Walter Carlos' I come to 'Wendy Carlos' (born Walter Carlos) - seems reasonable. If I type 'James Morris' there is a disambiguation page which includes 'James Morris or Jan Morris (born 1926), British travel writer', and leads to a page on 'Jan Morris', with the only reference to 'James Humphrey Morris' buried in the second section. In the article there is unsourced reference to Everest, Hillary & Tensing, but not as James, yet at the time it was James who reported, and even in recent newspaper reports this is referred to [1], [2]. Amazon still lists book editions by Morris as James up to 1994: Oxford (Mar 1969); Coronation Everest (1970); Upstairs Donkey (1979); Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress (Pax Britannica trilogy) (1979); Pax Brittanica: The Climax of an Empire (Pax Britannica trilogy) (1979); Farewell the Trumpets: An Imperial Retreat (Pax Britannica trilogy) (1979); Venice (1983); The Pax Brittanica Trilogy [Box set] (1994). I have books on my shelves by both James and Jan Morris. Jan published her the experience of changing sex in 'Conundrum', the back cover quotes the Observer: 'James Morris crossed the strangest river that any man can come to in his life;' In the book itself he says he was named 'Humphrey Morris' (no mention of James). So, perhaps what should be done in these cases is simply to place in the text in the lede 'formerly known as James' or 'formerly known as Walter', so anybody searching from those names will be clear on the first line that they are in the right place. (note - The Clockwork Orange page is bizarre, as it attributes the soundtrack to 'Wendy (then Walter) Carlos' - I have such an LP from 1972 by Walter Carlos, not Wendy). What I am suggesting is not controversial, simply that public figures who transition need to have their former notable name listed in the lede unless there is good reason not to (agreed through consensus), because it is relevant. It may not always be so - but it seems better to have that as a standard which can be negotiated on rather than the other way around. Mish (talk) 18:44, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I have no great feelings either way about this - you both make good points, and either one is fine by me. However, I'm not comfortable with where you were going re: Cossey in your previous post. I don't think it's any of our business getting into why she discussed her prior name or whether it was because she was originally outed; as she wasn't known publicly under her former name, and thus there are none of the issues you raise in your second post, it shouldn't be in the lead full stop. Rebecca (talk) 19:08, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
My fault, I didn't make it clear what I was referring to - I agree it shouldn't be in the lede in Cossey's case, I was talking about the background in the text, the impression I got was it was being suggested it not be included at all on the assumption she was originally outed. So, it is a guideline, and can be negotiated, but anybody who was not notable before transition doesn't need to have the details in the lede, but if they have published the details themselves it should be in the main text in the appropriate place. People whose name is only known through outing should not have those details included at all, as with people we do not know about. People who were notable before transition should have the details of the former name in the lede, not as their birth name (e.g., Jan says she was born Humphrey, yet was known as James; was Wendy born Walter, or was that the name used as an entertainer, do we actually know?), but as a relevant comment that relates to their career. Sounds like we are pretty much in agreement. Mish (talk) 19:34, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment and question: First I'd like to thank everyone for helping me out here. I don't have a personal preference on a particular "version", all have merit. My question is this: Should we be considering a wider audience (such as WP:RFC or WP:CENT), or is it better to resolve this within the project that has the clearest understanding of these issues? At some point in time it appears that there will be a minor change to the MOS guideline, and I'd hate to see it derailed by "I didn't know arguments", but I also respect the idea that expanding the discussion could lead to "no consensus", and we end up in an eternal loop of discussion. Thoughts? — Ched :  ?  19:40, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
As long as it is formalised as a guideline that can be accessed, particularly in relation to BLP's, because biographies like these do occasionally become targets for people who want to insist a particular usage based on an interpretation existing MoS guidelines, and it can take up a lot of time trying to dissuade edits that neither enhance Wikipedia nor serve the subject well. If that can be established within the project, and editors outside the project referred to that guidance, then fine. Mish (talk) 19:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. I've boldly tweaked Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies/Guidelines, let's refine as needed and crosspost wikilinks to other relevant pages where folks may be looking for guidance in these issues. -- Banjeboi 10:18, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
    • There's a little too much grey area there for my liking, but otherwise good. If there's no objections, I'll start thwacking the problematic BLPs in a day or two. Rebecca (talk) 10:54, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Apart from the last sentence, I go along with this. I think that part of the guideline should be that if the person was notable using the prior name, and has openly transitioned and referred to their previous name in their own writing in the context of their current status, then it should be included in the lede, but not as 'born as' - simply a note later in the first sentence in the lede that they were formerly known as XYZ. If there is a consensus that this guideline should not be used in a particular case for some reason, this overrides the guideline. I'm happy to deal with the persons known to me, primarily those from the UK. One other situation that now comes to mind is for people whose cases were used in establishing legal guidelines in the UK - Ashley, Forbes, etc., where their former names became known through the legal procedings as well as in self-published material. In that situation, their former name has become part of a body of case-law that has led to intersex and transsexual people's rights and recognition. Mish (talk) 11:14, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
      • I'm happy to go with the first half of this. I think it addresses the issue in a reasonable way, and leaves open the option to pull it out without too much fuss if there's reason to do that. I'm not too happy with the second half, though - while their names might well be on the public record due to legal proceedings, they're still not publicly known by their prior names, and they're still not important apart from as background. I maintain that "if they weren't notable under their prior name, it doesn't go in the lead" should be basically an absolute guideline. Rebecca (talk) 14:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Nice work on the guideline re-write Benjiboi. Clear, concise, and professionally done. — Ched :  ?  12:41, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Does the last point stand despite it not representing a consensus? Mish (talk) 13:54, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
      • I'm happy for it to be amended along your lines. Benji? Rebecca (talk) 14:24, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Since I'm at least partly responsible for starting this discussion, I may as well wade in here with my size nines. I don't think it was a particuarly good idea for Rebecca to start editing articles en masse when this discussion is still ongoing and there is not yet an accepted guideline, and I agree with a comment made above that this discussion should be opened to a wider forum such as WP:RFC or WP:CENT (I may see to that myself after I finish typing this). I disagree with the idea that we need a case-by-case concensus to include birth names in a lead section. As long as the birth name is already widely known, is verifiable by reliable sources, and does not demonstrably pose any BLP concerns, then there should be no problem including it as per MOS:BIO. The notability of some trans people is inevitably tied to them being trans people, so we're not dealing with trivial information here. And why shouldn't we say "born as" when a person was "born as"? I'm concerned that we're being a little hypersensitive here; as long as this information is presented in a factual and neutral manner—which for the most part I think it has been—then I genuinely don't see a problem or the need for a new guideline. PC78 (talk) 20:06, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I did explain the latter part already, but the reasoning for inclusion has been based on notability of the former name - so people known before transition, well publicised via autobiography, or through relevant case-law, sure. The problem is that unless the person themselves has clearly identified themselves, we may know the former name but not the birth name. Jan Morris was notable as James Morris, but says in 'Conundrum' that she was born Humphry. In terms of notability, Humphry is irrelevant, whereas James is crucial - placing 'born as James' would be innacurate, 'born as Humphrey' insignificant; better to say 'formerly known as James'. This will become increasingly problematic from a UK point of view, where disclosing people's birth name and status is now a prosecutable offense (not a threat, simply stating the situation) - however it is hard to see how this can be enforced when individuals have published this information themselves. The important thing is to respect the principle behind this move - respect for privacy (something Benji and I are agreed upon). Where I stand is that there is no need to use the former name unless it is a notable fact in itself - but if it is notable and has been publicised by the individual themselves then referring to it is unproblematic; if the user is clear that they prefer the former name is not referred to, then this ought to be respected. It is not about being hypersensitive, it is about respect. Mish (talk) 22:01, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure you did explain the latter part (stated, yes, but not explained), and I still don't get this "reasoning for inclusion... based on notability of the former name" -- it's been thrown about quite a bit in this discussion, but AFAIK this isn't something that we ordinarily apply to biography articles, nor is it part of any policy or guideline with which I am familiar (and please correct me here if I am in error). If for whatever reason a birth name poses genuine BLP concerns then of course it has no place in an article, but this is equally true for trans and non-trans people alike, so I don't see the need for a different standard. Respect for privacy is not something I have issue with, but I don't see how this can logically apply to details that are both common knowledge and verifiable and therefore not "private" (I'm not familiar with the UK law you refer to, but the same argument applies; how can it be "a prosecutable offense" to disclose something that is already public knowledge?). In the case of Caroline Cossey, her birth name can be sourced from her own autobiography, so why the extra requirement that she be notable under that name when it's not something we would normally insist on? PC78 (talk) 23:42, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
It poses BLP concerns because there are sensitivities here that are not necessarily in play with articles on cis people. Listing a trans person's prior name next to their actual name in bold text, when they've often never been known publicly by that name, and might not have used it in forty years, is not a neutral statement - it's asserting an importance and a value to that name that isn't borne out in reality. The only possible interest in that name is as background, and a somewhat salacious background at best. This is why it is best placed in the body of the article; still there if anyone is that keen on knowing, but without the BLP weighting issues caused by placing it in the lead. Whilst the same issues do not apply to nearly the same extent with cis people, I might also add that the general style guideline being referred to here well predates BLP, and I think it might be worth examining why anyone considers prior names to have such inherent value besides satisfying a prurient curiosity. Rebecca (talk) 12:19, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I absolutely agree the standard should be the same - so if anybody has a female birth name, and uses a male name as an adult, or a male birth name and now uses a female name, then unless the earlier name is notable in its own right for some reason (as in the cases I have described for trans people) then there is no benefit in including it. This then would apply to intersex people who were assigned a sex and appropriate name, but reassigned in early childhood with the name they have grown up with. This is one example where it would apply to other than transsexual people. In a similar vein, Gene Robinson was assigned a name at birth more appropriate for a girl, and has never used that name, so it makes no sense including it. These examples all happen to fall within the LGBT remit, and I must admit I have not come across it being an issue elsewhere, but surely the same should apply everywhere. What we are discussing here is a guideline for use in the context of LGBT articles - but I would have no issue with people using this principle elsewhere if they want to. As to the last point - that is why I said it is hard to see how it would be successfully prosecuted in that case; the problem would arise when people chose not to disclose their name but it somehow became released into the public domain. As I said, it will become something that will be an issue in the future. In relation to Cossey, as she put the name in her autobiography, and it featured as part of her campaign against the British government through the Eurpoean Court, I don't personally have that much of an issue in that case - I'm easy either way. On your point about it not being part of any guideline - that is the point of the discussion - we are establishing the boundaries of such a guideline for the purposes of this project, to cover biographies that are tagged 'LGBT'. We are also discussing whether that is sufficient, or whether it needs to be established as a wider BLP policy. Mish (talk) 00:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Then I suppose we must agree to disagree. I dispute that "there is no benefit in including" a birth name -- we're an encyclopedia and this is encyclopedic information. To reiterate what I said above, as long as a name is verifiable by reliable sources and does not pose a BLP concern, then I see no reason not to include it as we have been doing and as we do for all other biographies. I'm not sold on the need to adopt a different standard for trans and intersex people, which is what this discussion is about. PC78 (talk) 11:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not disputing that, if reliable sources can be found for it, a prior name should go in the article. Justifying the emphasis you're trying to place on this, however, by claiming "we're an encyclopedia" is nonsense - why is a name someone hasn't used in forty years, and which they were never publicly known by, any more relevant than, say, their high school? The sole reason for placing such emphasis on this is prurient curiosity. Rebecca (talk) 12:19, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Whether or not a person was publically known by a particular name is irrelevant; our coverage does not begin and end at what people are actually notable for. As I said above (and you said likewise elsewhere), the notablility of some trans people directly relates to them being trans, so we're not talking about peripheral information here (like a high school). The inclusion of such information in a lead section or infobox for any other biography would be expected and most likely go unchallenged, and if anything I would say it is more relevant here. PC78 (talk) 10:27, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that the notability of these people isn't necessarily related to their being trans; I am stating that the weight being placed upon their prior name is inappropriate on BLP grounds. You have not given one single argument why having this information bolded and in the first sentence of the lead is preferable to placing the information in the body of the article. Wikipedia is not a gossip website; if the person wasn't actually known publicly by that name, it has no business being in the lead section. Just because you like salacious gossip does not mean that you can decide BLP does not apply. Rebecca (talk) 13:26, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
More AGF please and less assumptions about what I "like". Simple repetition of information and bolded text hardly constitutes extra "weight"; it is merely plain, neutral text. The purpose of a lead section is to provide a summary of the main article, by repeating salient information which includes what we're talking about here. It is not "salacious gossip", it is encyclopedic. We are here to inform our readers, not to pander to the sensitivities of some of our users by glossing over certain facts. You have repeatedly referred to BLP, but I have yet to hear a coherant explanation from you where this comes into play. Please try again, and be specific. PC78 (talk) 10:46, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Well all policies started as community guidelines and over time and practice were formalized. I see providing wiggle room and generally also agree that it really should be compelling to highlight the information that woudl naturally draw attention to a gender transition. I feel a way forward from here would be to marinate a bit and see how this feels and works. Also we could offer some test cases and suggestions; the recent Gene Robinson example may work. Most of this is to aid well meaning editors fixing vandalism, writing content and looking for guidance. There will also be those wikilawyering to find loopholes for various reasons so it woudl be good to be a bit proactive. I suggest holding off on the mass community discussion until we clean it up ourselves a bit. We can pull in more folks so it doesn't need as much major fixes and smaller tweaks will work. -- Banjeboi 01:44, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm all for holding further discussion here before advertising it to the wider community, but not when some people are already referring to your draft as if it were already a guideline. It isn't, and if we're serious about it becoming a guideline then there is a process to be followed. PC78 (talk) 11:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
That is because the discussion was about establishing a guideline here. Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies/Guidelines Whether it is adopted as a more general guideline elsewhere would be for discussion elsewhere. Are you saying that we need to go through some other process to establish guidelines for this project? I am unclear why guidelines applying to this project need to be advertised more widely. If you want to propose that this be adopted more widely, then by all means go ahead and propose this. Mish (talk) 12:27, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Uh, no, your project doesn't WP:OWN articles that it deems relevant. Changes to MOS for these articles have to go through the same process as everything else. You can't just section off a little part of Wikipedia and say "Well, we're the final authority on these, nobody else needs to have a say." Come on.—Chowbok 20:29, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary 3-day Break

No Mish, a guideline is a guideline is a guideline, and they apply to the whole of Wikipedia, not just specific projects. Where the guideline exists is irrelevant, it still needs to go through the same process to reach that status. What we have here is at best a WP:ESSAY. PC78 (talk) 10:27, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
We have a general guideline, and we have a more specific guideline for a set of cases where BLP dictates a different approach. BLP is a non-negotiable policy, and you don't get to override it just because you like salacious gossip. Rebecca (talk) 13:26, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Guidelines guide, policies lead. Policies have to be followed, guidelines can be followed, and should be unless there are specififc reasons why not, but when they conflict with policy they don't have to be followed, or where it makes no sense to follow them they need not be followed (if people agree on this). As the policy on BLP's and the specific guidance on identity point one way, the fact that the guidelines of MoS differ is problematic - so we have drawn this up simply to show how these can be worked out practically, giving guidance, so that each BLP does not have to become a battleground over this issue. In order to ensure consistency across these types of biographies, then it makes sense that the guidance applies to all biographies, although there is more leeway. Since coming here I have been surprised how many people seem to think guidelines are rules, when they are not, they are guidelines; I would have hoped that editors of an encyclopedia had some grasp of the difference between the two, and it concerns me that some do not seem to comprehend this, and persist in pursuing their views nevertheless. If there is a problem with this, then it needs to be resolved outside this forum - if two guidelines established outside this project conflict, on style and one on identity, and the one on identity is reinforced by the need to follow specific policy relating to BLPs (which is non-negotiable), and that is a problem for somebody, rather than objecting to our clarifying the practical application of this by setting out a guideline for project members, the objector needs to raise this at the appropriate place - either by changing the policy on BLPs, or by challenging the guideline on identity that applies to these biographies. That cannot be resolved here. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 08:34, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
This whole discussion rests on the belief that there is some sort of BLP violation at play here -- I don't see it, and I have yet to hear a comprehensible explanation for it. And where there is no policy violation, then the relevant guideline to follow is MOS:BIO, not something that has been cobbled together here without input or approval from the wider community. That's where I'm at with this, but


  • "A transgender, transsexual or genderqueer person's latest preference of name and pronoun should be adopted when referring to any phase of that person's life, unless this usage is overridden by that person's own expressed preference. Nevertheless, avoid confusing or seemingly logically impossible text that could result from pronoun usage (e.g., she fathered her first child)."


  • "Wikipedia articles that present material about living people can affect their subjects' lives. Wikipedia editors who deal with these articles have a responsibility to consider the legal and ethical implications of their actions when doing so. It is not Wikipedia's purpose to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives. Biographies of living persons must be written conservatively, with regard for the subject's privacy."

I'm not clear why we have to keep explaining this because you keep saying you don't understand it, but never get beyond that. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 15:18, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

The first of those does not apply to this discussion, and I don't see how the second does either. We're talking about the mere mention of a person's birth name, hardly something that is "sensationalist" or "titillating". If the name poses a BLP concern then it shouldn't be there at all, but mere repetition cannot in itself constitute a BLP violation. I don't see the problem, I don't agree that there is a BLP violation, and quite frankly I find the "explanations" put forward here to be nonsensical. To say any more would be pointless, because we appear to have reached an impasse. PC78 (talk) 17:16, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Perhaps if there is a verfiable source that details the individual's express wishes that they don't want it there at all, it should be removed completely, if you would prefer that. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 21:57, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
We are not talking about the mere mention of a person's prior name, something which I have never in this discussion objected to in the presence of reliable sources. What we are talking about is the decision to assign a high level of emphasis to that name, when that person has never used that name in public life and in many cases hasn't used it in decades - yet we are giving it the same level of emphasis in the article as the name they actually use. This is not a neutral action. The only plausible reason to include the prior name in the article at all is as background; you have not given one single good reason for the added emphasis besides your apparent fascination with the subject. Rebecca (talk) 01:25, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Just pointing out, for the record, for those who have suggested that this project is not the place to discuss and develop recommendations on managing these biographies, that this issue was originally taken to the relevant place beforehand, and the discussion directed here for resolution Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(biographies)#Birth_name_in_case_of_transsexuality Mish (just an editor) (talk) 21:07, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Hey, wait a minute

So let me get this straight. Two days ago, somebody changed a relatively obscure project guideline, and now people are going around changing articles to conflict with the MOS? I find this highly unacceptable. This needs to be discussed more widely, and be added to the MOS if consensus is reached, before we implement a fairly radical format change.—Chowbok 20:25, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't conflict with the MOS on identity - it is in line with the MOS, but refines and clarifies it for a specific situation - it may depart from the MOS for bio layouts minimally, but a guideline that concerns BLP person-data overrides a layout guideline for bios - it is not an issue, because by having this as a consistent guideline for a given 'type' of biography, we ensure a standard, and thereby consistency, where before there was none. All these types of bio were being managed in different ways according to the preferences of whoever was editing those bios - simply not good enough - now we have guidance that sets out the information is not used where it is unnecessary, only when it is relevant for notability reasons. If you have issues about us treating trans people with respect and dignity and respecting privacy, then RfC it up to sex/society/sport. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 21:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
It specifically contradicts MOS:BIO, and I don't see where in BLP you're getting the justification for it. I agree that per BLP if a person's birth name has not been made public, then we shouldn't include it here, but in all other cases I see no justification for treating transgendered peopl different from anyone else. Certainly not if the person became famous initially under the birth name. Finally, regarding your final sentence, please AGF and please do not backhandedly question people's motives. It's unseemly. —Chowbok 23:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll repeat here what I said above. This poses BLP concerns because there are sensitivities here that are not necessarily in play with articles on cis people. Listing a trans person's prior name next to their actual name in bold text, when they've often never been known publicly by that name, and might not have used it in forty years, is not a neutral statement - it's asserting an importance and a value to that name that isn't borne out in reality. The only possible interest in that name is as background, and a somewhat salacious background at best. This is why the guideline places the information in the body of the article - still there if anyone is that keen on knowing, but without the BLP weighting issues caused by placing it in the lead. Whilst the same issues do not apply to nearly the same extent with cis people, I might also add that the general style guideline being referred to here well predates BLP, and I think it might be worth examining why anyone considers prior names to have such inherent value besides satisfying a prurient curiosity. If you want to argue that BLP should not be enforced on these articles, you need to explain why you believe so: 'nananana' is not a useful response. Rebecca (talk) 03:52, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I think we should be consistent in our application of the MOS, that's all. I came here because of the Wendy Carlos article, and not only was she known publicly by the name "Walter", her most famous work was issued under that name. If anything, that means there's more reason to list the name in the lede (not lead, BTW) than there is for Elton John or David Bowie.—Chowbok 18:57, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't necessarily object to your attitude re: Wendy Carlos - this is exactly why the guideline specifically does not request the removal of prior names where they were actually famous under that name. If that's all you're concerned about, then fine. Your argument about "MOS consistency" is bunkum, however; a broad style guideline does not trump BLP in specific cases, and especially not without an argument as to why. 19:59, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


Asked above and got no reply; maybe it's a silly question, but... "Not to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, but it seems worth asking while we're on the subject: what about redirects and disambiguation? Certainly I would think we want to redirect in the first case, but after that I imagine it's less clear."Luna Santin (talk) 21:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Must have missed it, apologies. I'd argue that if the individual was notable using a pre-transition name, then it would make sense to have a redirect, and where there is more than one inidvidual using the former name, then it would make sense to have a link to the page from their former name. So, the dismbiguation page for James Morris includes 'James Morris or Jan Morris', and links via Jan Morris to the article. Cossey would not need either, as she was not notable before transition. Jan Morris takes you straight to the page, but as these articles should only cover the subject as the post-transition name, then there should be no need to redirect to the former name; in the case of a post-transition name featuring on a disambiguation page, I see no value in having the former name as well. Thanks. Mish (talk) 21:37, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Nah, it was a big thread and the particular bit where I asked was a bit buried. :) If I'm reading your post right, your suggestion in a nutshell would be: if the original name is in the lead per discussion above, redirects are good, but otherwise probably not. Yes? – Luna Santin (talk) 22:32, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Ideally yes, but looking at Jan Morris it is not in lede, and if editors of that page cannot be convinced it should be, then that would prevent that happening - which would be daft. This is one of the reasons I think that if the subject was notable using their former name, then it should be in the lede. Tell me the name, and I'll have a look. Mish (talk) 22:46, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Redirects are cheap so to serve our readers I would say use them if it seems likely our readers would use the other name. Similar with disambiguation page listings, if it's likely someone will be looking there then it would seem to benefit directing them to the article they seek. -- Banjeboi 01:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that redirects are fine in any case where you would use a "maiden name" redirect for a person whose name changed due to marriage, divorce, or court order. (The "birth name" of a trans person isn't really too different from any other birth name that is later changed.) If it's a generally known name that a reader might search for, then we should have a redirect. If it's an obscure name, then no. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:21, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this. I don't have a problem if it's something that people might actually search for - i.e. the handful of people who were actually notable under their prior names. This isn't the case for most people though, and redirects would be problematic in those cases. Rebecca (talk) 12:30, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
It may make sense to add a note on this as well then. One case in particular is when a person's legal name pops up and is propagated before and in place of their name of choice. This is quite common in hate-crime murders. -- Banjeboi 13:05, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

So let me get this straight. Two days ago, somebody changed a relatively obscure project guideline, and now people are going around changing articles to conflict with the MOS? I find this highly unacceptable. This needs to be discussed more widely, and be added to the MOS if consensus is reached, before we implement a fairly radical format change. —Chowbok 20:20, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Seeing how not only do we have to give the same answer several times, now we are getting the same question asked more than once, I'll repeat what i posted above here as well:
  • Doesn't conflict with the MOS on identity - it is in line with the MOS, but refines and clarifies it for a specific situation - it may depart from the MOS for bio layouts minimally, but a guideline that concerns BLP person-data overrides a layout guideline for bios - it is not an issue, because by having this as a consistent guideline for a given 'type' of biography, we ensure a standard, and thereby consistency, where before there was none. All these types of bio were being managed in different ways according to the preferences of whoever was editing those bios - simply not good enough - now we have guidance that sets out the information is not used where it is unnecessary, only when it is relevant for notability reasons. If you have issues about us treating trans people with respect and dignity and respecting privacy, then RfC it up to sex/society/sport. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 21:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
That "relatively obscure project guideline" is only obscur if you don't need it every week for the last two years or so. This is how guidelines become policies, they grow from the needs of the community. We are helping guide editors on issues that impact these articles as we go through these discussions all the time. We are the de facto specialists here and we are sensitive enough to offer insights on what guidelines and policies and how they can be applied and where grey-area issues should be sorted ut on the talkpage or elsewhere. On BLP's especially we'd rather err on the conservative but even for folks who have died we need to show a humane decency and respect. MOS is a guideline and this area is only touched on and would be a nuance to MOS, we don't trump human decency to follow a guideline. If a policy stated something in opposition we likely would change the policy to clarify exceptions. -- Banjeboi 23:23, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

User Alfred Kinsey

Anyone want to play detective? Alfred Kinsey (talk · contribs), likely not the deceased sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, seems to be quite experienced and making a lot of interesting edits to talkpages - editing others' comments is usually discouraged but most of these seem borderline. Thier edits as a whole might be borderline but I smell an issue - and I have issues with issues! -- Banjeboi 04:30, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be a POV thing going on in there, and looks like UK-based Talk:Michael Barrymore#Not a tabloid Mish (talk) 09:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Hmmmm, another homosexual warning seems due - posting notes on LGBT article talkpages makes you gay, shhhh, pssssst, pass it on. -- Banjeboi 08:38, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Quite sure that's a sock of a certain banned user with whom I am familiar. Will report for CU; thanks for pointing it out. Maralia (talk) 20:53, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
And so blocked. Thanks, Benji. Maralia (talk) 03:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Have their edits been rolled back or anychecked through them all? -- Banjeboi 23:27, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Roberta Close

I'm starting a sweep through the trans-related biographies affected by the above guideline change, and I've come across the Roberta Close article.

This is pretty awful for a BLP - it's badly written, offensive in places, and is totally lacking sources. I'm doing a quick pass through taking care of the worst of it, but it could do with someone willing to dedicate some time.

Anyone want to take a shot at giving this one some work? Rebecca (talk) 14:56, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Add Bobby Darling to that list. Rebecca (talk) 15:01, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Working through these, I'm surprised at how many of them are in a pretty poor state, and they're nearly all lacking references. I'm having to go through correcting pronouns and removing some pretty awful wording in places, but the whole area could really do with a concerted cleanup. Rebecca (talk) 15:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Please add {{BLP unsourced}} or {{BLP refimprove}} as needed. I would suggest creating a list, and presenting them here one at a time every week or so along witha link to the main list. -- Banjeboi 01:51, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I tend to stick to UK subjects and issues where possible - if you come across any UK bios, push them my way. Mish (talk) 22:40, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Light assistance needed at List of LGBT rights activists

If anybody would like to contribute a little light assistance to an article (for example new editors or people who can spare ten minutes here and there), List of LGBT rights activists still shows several dozen people who are tagged with "citation needed". Finding a source that simply verifies that so-and-so is an LGBT rights activist in country such-and-such should be pretty quick. Thanks. -- (talk) 02:11, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I've done the UK activists, and added three that weren't there (may be others to follow). I'll look at any non-USA ones when I have more time. Mish (talk) 13:32, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Anybody else? -- (talk) 19:26, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Editor blocked: Copyvio problems

I just learned about this because my cocoon is ever so small, warm, and opaque. I am unable to see outside of it.

At any rate, longtime WP:LGBT contributor User:Allstarecho appears to have been blocked indefinitely for copying copyrighted sourced information and pasting it into article space. I learned of it at this thread, and was very surprised by it. If anyone has any information to shed on this issue that is not apparent in that thread, please do.

And a general statement/warning: don't copy. I'm of the idea that Wikipedia can be a better source than anything, and even if text is public domain it should not be copied. I get skeeved when chunks of one article are copied into another on Wikipedia. --Moni3 (talk) 19:25, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

On a related note, I spent a few days battling for points at WP:TFAR for Stonewall riots to appear on the main page. The setup at TFAR is quite narrow: 5 articles at a time no more than 30 days in advance. Articles with low points can be replaced by articles with higher points per the point schedule on that page. As I consider Stonewall riots to be basic subject matter, I gave it an extra point, which prompted a lengthy discussion about what kind of material is taught to 12-year-olds. It ended badly; I removed the request from that page. I believe it will still get featured on June 28, but if there are editors who plan to work on FAs to get them on the main page, indeed...the article for Homosexuality may not be considered basic subject matter per the discussion that went nowhere. Due to my overall fatigue, I'm not going to request another FA I write to be on the main page, otherwise I would start the discussion on the talk page myself.
That is related because I had no idea this issue was being discussed with Allstarecho. I don't believe other WP:LGBT editors (except for Otto4711) were aware of this points issue at TFAR. --Moni3 (talk) 19:34, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I have been following the process now being brought to bear on Allstar, and some of what is going on is a bit worrying. I think that we need to be aware of one problem raised in this situation, as LGBT articles are often subjected to tag-teams where sources are challenged, removed, then tagged in need of citation and ultimately deleted - then new sources are looked for, found, material restored, with new citation backing up the restored text. I requested clarification on this at the appropriate point on Allstar's user page:
  • Can I check this out, as I have been trying to follow this whole process. Somebody inserted some text into this article, which included this:
  • "Authorities claim that the two men murdered Kocis as part of a plan to get Corrigan to work for their adult film company. Pennsylvania State Police and a multi-agency task force investigating the Kocis murder believe Corrigan never knew these two men would really kill Kocis to get him to work for them."
  • without any reference to the source. This was challenged as it needed citation. And deleted. Allstar went to the effort of finding sources to verify the insertion, and restored it with citations.
  • The text he restored included the line "Authorities claim that the two men murdered Kocis as part of a plan to get Corrigan to work for their adult film company".
  • This has now been located as being taken from a blog that says (not in itself a reliable source)
  • "Authorities claim that the two men murdered Kocis as part of a plan to get Corrigan to work for their adult film company. Evidence against the two suspects reportedly includes surveillance recordings of conversations in which one of the accused discussed details of the murder with Corrigan after the fact."
  • On this basis the whole section, including material not lifted from the blog, has now been removed.
  • This copyvio is being atributed to Allstar, because he restored material inserted by another editor and provided reliable sources to that insertion.
  • I am quite new here, so is it policy that copyright violation is attributed to the person who restores material inserted by another in the process of providing reliable sourcing, even if originally deleted for being unsourced (not copyright), and the editor was not aware that it was taken from another source? I understand why this would be case, because technically it is, even if not intentional. Could you point me to where this is detailed as policy or whatever - if it is not, is it possible to make this sort of situation explicit so people know. It is important people are clear that simply restoring information can lead them into this sort of touble. Also can it be clarified that this is a technical violation in this case, and not one where any 'blame' can be directed at Allstar.

It is something we need to be cautious about, as it potentially makes maintaining articles not directly invloved with more difficult. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 09:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I didn't see any ANI items that alerted me until I noticed Allstar's user page. I'm trying to dig into all of this, but it takes an extensive amount of time researching histories and references due to all the changes. Allstar says he is not guilty of inserting copyvios, rather of restoring content that was previously copyvioed by someone else, and not knowing it was copyvio content. If I understand it correctly. I was also very surprised to hear this and I am maintaining an open mind, as I'm not sure I check all content I revert to either, since it's not my content. Read his talk page User talk:Allstarecho. — Becksguy (talk) 10:21, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

He seemed quite angry so that added heat coloured the whole issue. I'm keeping a very open mind on this as well as it seems out of step but I can easily envision quite a few scenarios. -- Banjeboi 13:07, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

It is an unfortunate situation, and I am mostly avoiding comment so far (except that I agreed with Benji's suggestion in the ANI thread). LadyofShalott 13:43, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

trans and other bios addressed using the LGBT project guidance

I have attended to two bios,

  • Jan Morris (placed name in lede in relation to her writing career)
  • Walter Carlos (shifted name out of birth section and retained in lede in relation to her music career)

wait to see if there are any issues. Mish (talk) 23:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Checked out:

Supplemented, amended or did nothing as appropriate. Mish (talk) 23:44, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Dawn Langley Simmons (somebody didn't like her!) Mish (talk) 00:05, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Lauren Harries (apart from thin lede, now expanded a little, lots of name/gender refs needed work. Some of the refs look like they may not meet muster as non-reliable, but I really cannot face it on this BLP). Mish (talk) 00:46, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Nice work on these - the Harries one in particular is much improved. Rebecca (talk) 01:57, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

We need to work out guidance on use of pronouns etc. My own practice (outside here) in dealing with trans biographies is to use the former gender in describing events prior to transition ensuring it is clear as historic context (this avoids certain problems), but here I try to use the surname to avoid gender reference. It makes no sense to refer to events that were undertaken and appropriate to one gender at the time as if they were undertaken in the current gender ('she was a Spitfire pilot in WW2' - she wasn't, he was; 'he went to an all-girl's school' - he didn't she did'). The important thing is that it is not weighted in a way that the former gender reference appears several times in many sentences - which has to be seen as vexatious. If the person was non-notable before transition, I would suggest the details of early life be kept to a minimum to avoid this problem where possible, unless this is an important aspect to the transition (so, Ashley's experiences identifying with sea queens and drag queens in Liverpool and London in the 1950's is relevant, as well as problems of growing up as a feminine boy in a working class area, while others won't). Mish (just an editor) (talk) 11:56, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
This has actually been discussed before, and my understanding was that the consensus then was, at least generally, to use their current pronouns for their entire life. I think it's more respectful to use the right pronouns the entire way through, or else to not use pronouns for the first bit (as long as this doesn't make for tortured grammar). I don't have a problem with sentences like the examples you give. If you're talking in the present about a transman who went to an all-girls school, you're still going to wind up saying "he went to an all-girls school" unless you're being purposely rude; I think it makes sense to apply the same logic when talking solely about that transman's past. In this way, I really don't have a problem with sentences like "she fathered" (both aspects of this sentence are true, and it avoids value judgements). As I said, I know this has been an issue in the past, but I can't for the life of me remember where the discussion was. Rebecca (talk) 12:15, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure it has, and that is why I think while we are discussing the use of the former name we would be wise to incorporate the outcome of such discussion in the past alongside it - then we won't need to have that discussion again, but point to the guidance, and when necessary RfC with reference to this project's guidance. Mish (just an editor) (talk) 12:23, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Not a bad idea. I'm just not sure where that discussion actually was... Rebecca (talk) 12:28, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Cool, I've linked to this from the guidelines section, as that is essentially a clarification and refinement in the context of LGBT BLPs & bios.Mish (just an editor) (talk) 13:04, 9 June 2009 (UTC)