New York Magazine’s Justin Bond Controversy


This morning The Awl alerted us to the fact that Justin Bond is royally pissed about the recent New York Magazine profile by Carl Swanson, titled, “The Story of V.” In the article, Swanson writes, “One of the difficulties of writing about Bond’s reality flux is very basic: the pronoun. His friends mostly refer to him as “he,” though many go back and forth depending on the context or the fraughtness of their relationship (the musician Rufus Wainwright notably seems to use ‘he’ just to irk Bond). For the record, he would prefer to not be referred to as he or she but rather the faux-noun v, which references ‘Vivian,’ the new middle name he gave himself early this year.”

On Bond’s website, there’s a list of “key terms” explicitly laid out in order to properly refer to the cabaret singer/performer:

prefix: mx

pronoun: V

gender: trans or T

full name: Mx Justin Vivian Bond

However, Swanson disregards these suggestions and insists on referring to Bond by “he,” even after explaining the pronoun situation in the article. Now, we realize some people find it’s frivolous or just frustrating to alter their language, while others will readily point to the grammatical issues involved, but we think it’s just good manners to call people their requested name and pronoun. What do you think, dear readers?

In other news, Justin V. Bond’s upcoming mini-memoir, Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels , will be out this September and we’re excited for it. Maybe we’ll all get a little more educated as a result.