Pastiche Foundation

Gender Variance made Simple

Reporters and Laymen II

Something I neglected to mention in the previous post:

Reporters and bloggers, use your pronouns wisely.

Q. What guidance does AP Stylebook give about the use of pronouns in stories about transgender persons? Should the pronoun reflect the gender with which the person identifies or the person’s actual sexual anatomy? – from Greensboro, N.C. on Wed, Jan 17, 2007
A. See the AP Stylebook entry on transgender: Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

In other words, the pronouns are he/him/his in an article about Lucas Silveira, Chaz Bono, Diego Sanchez (Democratic Representative Frank’s employee), Loren Cameron (artist and speaker), Jamison Green (author, speaker, and mentor), and thousands of other out transmen. She/her are reserved for Diane Schroer, Charlene Hastings, and other ladies.

If you think about it, it makes sense–after all, it’s difficult to comprehend a complete stranger’s identity, trans or not. Before starting my transition, I never realised how central gender is to identity here in the US, but it is. Think about it–even a person whose sex and gender are completely in alignment may be upset at being called the wrong gender.

As any author or musician knows, media is the mythmaker of society. You guys now set the terms of how Joe Q. Public (Or should I say, Joe The Plumber?) sees the world. Anyone who’s been on a non-trans website with articles knows the ignorant and sometimes hateful things being said. You’ve got a chance to make the world a better and safer place, simply by respecting our names/pronouns and refusing to validate ‘tranny panic’ defenses and the like.

Are you going to take the chance?


June 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment