THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — “A man in a dress”, “he’s a male to female transsexual”, “he calls himself Brandi” — whether ignorant, unintentional, confused or deliberate, mainstream media simply cannot get it right. Writers gaffe, anchors misspeak, copy editors get confused and proofreaders change previously fixed errors back into mistakes again. Every day one can find a handful of such gaffes.
Should it be this way? Of course not. But until all things transgender become the norm in this ignorant world, I suggest we not blow gaskets but instead, educate and move on.
Indeed, in my own research I’ve lost track of a person’s correct gender more than once. In other research instances, contradicting sources left me making educated guesses, but usually choosing to use “person” instead. Sometimes, often actually, there is very little in the media to work from.
There are very few of us writing almost exclusively on trans issues and most of us are likely unpaid and don’t have a second set of eyes looking over the material. In reporting, paramount are the four “W”s — who-what-where-when. On trans topics, it is correct gender and pronouns over the “W”s, period. And with the source material likely being incorrect somewhere within it, we’ve our hands full.
So, if anyone of us, or our allies, should make one of these gender errors, know that society gave us the downside of a lopped playing field. Give us a break, hmm?
This does not, however, excuse ANY media that deliberately misinform, or launches a hate piece. If this happens, there should be no holding back.
I wrote this piece after a LGBT organization was blasted by a trans blog for getting a gender wrong on a story they wrote based on a TV station’s news report. A third trans blog later stated that the LGBT’s initial report was correct after all. Getting confused? I know I was. I changed the gender in my report from “male” to “person”. Then back to “male” again.
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