Katie Couric found herself in hot water last week after fans lashed out at her for the “invasive” questions that she asked transgender stars Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera about their genitals and the surgeries they’ve had to transition. Recently though, Couric opened up about the controversy and shared her side of the story.
In her “Follow Up Friday” segment, Couric responded to the massive criticism from angry fans and explained that, despite the response to the interview, she’s glad that it has stirred up national conversation about the trans community.
“Even if some thought my question was off base, I wanted to make sure my question and Carmen’s answer stayed in the show as a teachable moment for me, as well as our viewers. I’m really proud we were able to spotlight such an open and honest conversation with Carmen and Laverne Cox, who are both terrific, about the myriad of struggles that this often maligned, marginalized and misunderstood community faces.”
Both Carrera and Cox, though taken aback by Couric’s questions, handled them with grace on the show and since then Cox has thanked Couric for the interview.
“I am so deeply moved by the dialogues that are happening around my appearance with Carmen Carrera on ‘The Katie Show’ on Monday. It is my dream that by highlighting the deep humanity of trans people’s lives in the media, elevating actual trans voices to speak the truth of our lived experiences in ways that don’t sensationalize and objectify us. Those human voices and stories can be a part of the disruption needed to end the disproportionate injustices that threaten so many trans people’s lives, particularly the lives of trans women of color,” Cox wrote in a Tumblr post.
Indeed, whether anyone found Couric’s questions to be inappropriate or not, her questions do reflect the lack of understanding and education that most people have when it comes to the trans community. And if it can spark a national dialogue that results in a better understanding of the lives and humanity of trans people, then it was all for the greater good and worth it. – nicholas robinson