NCTE Condemns Sensationalist Trans Segment on “Anderson Live”

Tomorrow, Anderson Live will feature an exclusive interview with a person who claims an anti-baldness drug made them transgender. In response to the show’s decision to air the segment, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

“All of us here at the National Center for Transgender Equality are surprised, saddened and disappointed that a respected show like Anderson Live would give credence to this type of sensationalism and misinformation. This segment is just another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple.”

Tweet this to keep Anderson honest about trans lives:

I share @TransEquality’s disappointment in @anderson for sensationalizing #trans lives. #lgbt RT to #KeepAndersonHonest

The segment, as described on the Anderson Live website, says “Mandi, who was born male, speaks out for the first time, claiming that a hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender. Mandi is joined by her ex-wife, Michelle, who opens up about how Mandi’s identity transformation has affected their son.”

Keisling added, “In the past, Anderson Cooper and his team have earned a great deal of respect from trans people for their coverage of our issues. Tomorrow, they’ll throw all of that away. Worst of all, they seem set on misinforming the public about the causality of trans identity.”

Anderson Cooper’s other show, AC360 on CNN, airs a segment called “Keeping Them Honest,” in which he addresses hypocrisy among public figures and elected officials on, among other things, critical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. NCTE urges transgender advocates and allies to keep Anderson Cooper honest about how this segment does real harm to real trans people.

“Anderson Cooper knows better than this. Anderson’s team is better than this,” said Keisling.

27 Responses to NCTE Condemns Sensationalist Trans Segment on “Anderson Live”

  1. This is so disappointing, especially after his previous positive show on gender-nonconforming and transgender youth and teens. Thanks for the alert.

  2. LOIS says:


    I’m just wondering if you’re aware of the video put out a couple of months ago by the Episcopal Church. It’s very affirming, and tells the stories of several trans persons within the Church. The Episcopal Church is dedicated to — and working toward — trans equality, as well as GLBT equality.
    “Voices of Witness: Out of the Box” – YouTube

  3. Tammy Story says:

    I am shocked! Not at Anderson, no not at all. I am Shocked that the Trans community actually thought a Gay man would actually get it. That a gay man could present Trans-issues in an honest open way. Let him bolster his ratings at our expense. Let him spew more misinformation on an already deluded public. Let that *not so friendly term inserted here* not only fill the cis-gender world with more reason to hate and mistrust us, let him also drive a deep wedge in the LGBT community. It has taken me many years for the Gay community here to accept me and allow me to work for equality beside them. Cast us aside. just like they did the crossdressers and drag queens that where the true catalyst for Stonewall. I will never trust a Gay man again!

    Tammy Story
    MtF Transsexual (no pill made me!! my parents did)
    Omaha Nebraska.

    If Anderson has an issue with my words let him come to me and we can talk.

  4. Zander Keig says:

    Reblogged this on Zander's Blog.

  5. Debby Miller says:

    Hair treatments, bee stings, lightening strikes, hell, I just pricked my finger on a spinning wheel. . . oh wait, I was just born this way! :-/

  6. Robyn Nicole says:

    What about the one who was stung by a bee?

  7. I totally agree with Tammy on this issue I am really dissappointed in Anderson I thought he was above the sensationalism of erroneous and misinformation on his program. Sorry to see that he does not get it! One less fan here and I have been a fan for years!

  8. Nikki Hatch says:

    Maybe Anderson wants to discredit this idiot? Let’s hope so.

  9. How do we know Anderson isn’t simply going call this person’s claim outrageous and bogus. He has done it before. He has asked people to leave his stage because disagrees with them so passionately. Let’s actually watch the show before we make such ridiculous claims.

  10. selena martinez says:

    My ten year old is rolling on the floor laughing it’s so bizzare….Really Anderson? really? REALLY? I cannot imagine this being anything but a hoax or Anderson just using this to crush them on national TV. Even the most ignorant hater would laugh at this it’s so weird. I gave my daughter cough syrup and now she loves me because I am her Trans mom……….psych!! please Anderson, do not destroy your credibility with this, it sounds like insane ranting.
    I am proudly Transsexual, a mom and community member, Veteran and treated with dignity and respect by the Veterans administration, that is who we are, members of the human race.

  11. Red Durkin says:

    Another young trans woman of color was murdered this week in Philadelphia. But you’re right, THIS is the appropriate focal point for our outrage. Finger on the pulse, NCTE.

    • Jay says:

      That’s right, every important issue out there must be halted immediately because some other issue is important.

      • Red Durkin says:

        Oh, BTW this isn’t important. At all. “Some dumb white lady picked a ridiculous excuse for her transition and Anderson Cooper’s gonna make fun of her.” Is NOT an “issue.” There is an epidemic of of trans women of color being murdered and the nation’s largest trans advocacy group in America isn’t talking about it is a HUGE issue.

    • GrossedOut says:

      Propecia/Finasteride doesn’t make you gay or trans. Finasteride is an anti-androgen drug. That’s how it combats hair loss. You take a very small dose and it blocks enough free testosterone that it doesn’t get converted to DHT and cause hair loss.

      If your doctor isn’t monitoring your hormone levels properly or you take a ton of it it can cause minor breast growth, erectile dysfunction, skin softening, minor facial feminization etc. Because it is an anti-androgen medication. It DOES block testosterone and can cause hormonal changes because IT IS SUPPOSED TO.

      Trans women are prescribed it every day to help block androgen absorption and production. Trans women are given a much higher dose than men looking to block hair loss; this is a common off-label use.

      Basically, Mandi is either
      1) Trying to maintain some facade that she somehow transitioned on accident because of internalized transphobia and bullshit or because of a lie to her family/loved ones that has blown out of control
      2) Trying to get famous quick by being a complete trainwreck in public
      3) Really is a victim of medical malpractice by her doctor, not by any drug manufacturer or any bad or unknown side effect of the drug finasteride
      4) Too dumb to not talk to her doctor/discontinue use of medication when side effects that are flagged in the literature that comes with a finasteride prescription start happening (like chest tenderness/breast growth and body fat redistribution)

      That Anderson Cooper is bringing this person on his show is disgraceful. He should be talking about the epidemic violence against trans women of color if he wants to talk about a REAL sensational trans issue.

      Likewise with the NCTE, they really shouldn’t even rise to bother with this. This Mandi person’s just being a publicity scammer touting a bunch of crap information about nothing. How about the NCTE start doing work to stop the epidemic violence against trans people, particularly women of color, that is sweeping the United States.

      And how about everyone stop giving this Mandi person the time of day, since her entire argument is just made up crap.

  12. Dr jean rich says:

    Anderson coopers staff should be let go for even bring ing this fantasy story up to him for consideration. It might be possible ,that the first time Mandy shaved her legs an yet unknown bacteria from .a cut invaded her body and caused her to become transgendered. How plausible does that sound Anderson!

  13. Jake Finney says:

    what’s also disturbing is that the interviewer is not Anderson, but has-been comedian Howie Mandel.

  14. KayDee says:

    Even if you took tons of finesteride, there is a declining effectiveness to it taking 20 capsules doesn’t make it 20 times more potent. Its blocking binding DHT binding to receptors, which leaves more of it as free testosterone, which can be converted to estrogen in small quantity; depending on sensitivity of estrogen receptors, you can then get further slight feminisation. Another de-masculinisation path is through the fact that the presence of unbinded T makes the testes produce less T through a feedback mechanism (the amount of DHT is pretty small, so this feedback loop is not very strong compared to what it would be if you’d be taking injected steroids which do shut down the testes).

    Conversion of testosterone to estrogen is how males get estrogen into their body. Which helps bone longitudinal growth and then fusing of the bones. The fact men’s puberty comes later (and thus the conversion of T to E is later, explain why men are taller than women).

    So, I call total BS on this. Androcur, is a much more powerfull anti-androgen, which blocks both binding and production of androgens and yet, you don’t get turned into a girl if you take it alone.

  15. Robyn Nicole says:

    Red Durkin why don’t you set up and lead the way to do something about the cause YOU are so passionate about? Why do you feel it’s appropriate to this topic? If you lead your own organization, you get to make the calls. In short, put up or shut up! Oh, the racial comment was completely inappropriate.

  16. Ger says:

    It is not like it is a bad thing to make the transition, as long as you are happy with yourself, in your picture you are pretty hot, lets have coffee, maybe if I had the same treatment I would have had the courage to do the same, internal voices can be a bitch sometimes

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  18. Sorry, crowd, and at the risk of getting-branded here as a so-called, “Concern-Troll–;” I’m afraid I have to weigh-in with my following, “intended-as-enlightening,” dissent–:

    Having done just a little more research
    than it were clear anyone else bothered to do here,
    my only-takeaway from the actual “story”
    presented on Mr. Cooper’s show is that the “story,” itself was probably “true,” even if some characteristics of the way it was “presented,” might be faulty.
    A man was severely injured by a drug which apparently is being
    prescribed wrongly in terms of strength formulations,
    excessive risk-to benefit-ratio for too many clients and either not-monitored, or the provider ignores critical damage even when they’d seen it.
    Mr. Cooper was completely right to warn us about this.

    Of course, however, the way he presented it, by mis-equating accidental drug-damage that caused despair, with the rash behavior that followed from the despair the drug caused–; or by calling a person acting out of-despair or-fear a transitioning “transgender–;” was truthfully a slight to the transgender community, since what we do is change what we already started-out with instead of resignedly “finishing,” whatever “job,” some “nasty-accident” caused, as with Mr(?s?) McKee.

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