Origins Of Internet Transphobia Originating From Capitol Hill Should Be Investigated

by Ianthe Metzger

WASHINGTON –– Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, condemned the alleged use of taxpayer-provided equipment on Capitol Hill to spread intolerance over the Internet.

Reports that transphobic edits of a Wikipedia site for the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” were made anonymously from IP addresses linked to Congressional office buildings are “deeply troubling,” said Jeff Krehely, vice president and chief Foundation officer at HRC.

“At a time when more and more Americans are recognizing and upholding the rights and dignity of transgender Americans, it is an unwelcome reminder of how much work remains to be done,” says Krehely. 

HRC further called on House Speaker John Boehner to launch an investigation into the origins of the edit, which changed the Wikipedia language describing Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox, a transgender woman, to read that she is a "real man pretending to be a woman."

The edits were first noted on @congressedits, a Twitter feed that automatically tracks anonymous Wikipedia edits that come from Congresional IP addresses. The same IP address has been linked to other anonymous transphobic edits on transgender-related Wikipedia pages.

"Laverne Cox not only plays an inspirational character, but has inspired so many of us as an advocate for transgender equality," Krehely said. "She deserves much better than this."


The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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