Detroit local media misgenders, stereotypes three transgender victims of violence

According to local news outlets in Detroit, police are investigating three recent shootings in the Palmer Park area as possible hate crimes. One of the victims was killed, and the two other victims were injured in separate incidents. All three victims are transgender women.

Making these tragedies even worse is the reporting from local news outlets in Detroit. Several outlets misgendered the victims, used the wrong pronouns to refer to them, and conflated sexual orientation and gender identity. Some referred to being transgender as a matter of "lifestyle," rather than a matter of someone's internal, deeply held sense of their gender.

The coverage from WJBK Detroit, a local Fox News affiliate, was especially disturbing. While the written story does not misgender the victims, the broadcast segment does, and it promotes the stereotype that transgender women are not who they say they are. Even worse, rather than hearing from friends and family of the victims, the report includes commentary from complete strangers who did not know the victims, but who nevertheless make gross speculations about the victims' lives.  

GLAAD has reached out to WJBK repeatedly about this problematic coverage, but the station has not responded. Journalists covering this story should refer to GLAAD's Media Reference Guide and our report, Doubly Victimized: Reporting on Transgender Victims of Crime.

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