“Transgender people make news of all kinds, so reporters of all kinds need to know how to write about them – not just journalists whose beats regularly include diversity issues,” Klinger writes. “Recently, government reporters found themselves writing about Pvt. Chelsea Manning, crime reporters in Orlando covered the murder of Ashley Sinclair, and Cosmo got an exclusive shot at punk rocker Laura Jane Grace’s coming out story.”
But there’s more to covering members of the transgender community than just using the right words.
“You can still be insensitive using the right words,” Janet Mock, an advocate, author and former journalist at People, said in a phone interview. “You can still completely be dehumanizing using the right words.”
— Lauren Klinger (@LaurenKlinger) November 11, 2013
“We can’t just accept people for who they are now,” Mock said. “We have to compare it to who they were before.”
“The main way you see trans people show up in the media is as dead bodies,” said Jos Truitt, executive director for development and policy at Feministing.com, a feminist blog and online community.