A Transgender Story Heard Around the World

LGBT Issues reporter Steve Rothaus recalls 2014 article that went viral.

SteveRothausTwitterPicTwo years ago this month, Miami Herald LGBT Issues reporter Steve Rothaus (pictured) quickly wrote up a piece about Jennifer Gable. At age 32, the Twin Falls, Idaho transgender woman had passed away suddenly from an aneurysm; his story focused on the fact that her father had chosen to present her at the open-casket funeral in the guise of her previous male identity, with her hair cut short and her body outfitted in a suit and tie.

Rothaus is an alumnus of Florida International University and this week, as part of a good piece by student reporter Stephanie Castro, he recalls the viral momentum that followed that item:

Rothaus wrote the article in 30 minutes and went back to work. That same night, the article had received over half a million views on the Herald’s website. Within two days, it had gone viral with more than a million page views.

“The reason why it was so highly read was because I was the only source for information. After I spoke to the funeral home the family shut them down and told them not to talk to anyone else,” said Rothaus.

As a result, the story was picked up by websites all over the world which linked back to Rothaus. It ended up becoming the most-read single story, not just on the Miami Herald web page, but the entire McClatchy Company, for that year.

In the article, Rothaus also recalls his initial entry point at the Herald, a Sunday shift that paid off thanks to his patience. Read the rest here.

Photo via: Twitter