Fox News' Transphobic Coverage: When Will It Change?
With the exception of a couple of pro-Chaz hiccups, Fox News has a terrible history of covering the transgender community. For example:
Now, two new stories are highlighting the protections that transgender people continue to gain. And they highlight Fox News' apparent commitment to ridicule trans people.
As the transgender community continues to gain rights and freedoms it didn't have just five years ago, universities and schools are now realizing they need to revamp policies and procedures to accommodate transgender students. Most recently Brown University has decided to include sex reassignment surgeries under its healthcare policies for transgender students. Brown is following behind such universities and colleges as Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Penn, Emory, Yale, Princeton and MIT, which include SRS in their healthcare plans for students.
While reporting on the changes to Brown University's healthcare policies, several news anchors from Fox & Friends candidly mocked the University for its Decision. "This way you don't have to do it in high school, you can wait to go to college to get a sex change, this is great," one reporter stated sarcastically after a clip on the story aired. The immature nature of the reporter's comments following the clip only further encourages the public to not view the needs of transgender people as a serious issue.
On another Fox show, The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly called a Massachusetts policy that ensures transgender students will be respected by teachers and school administrators "insane." O'Reilly further mocked the policy by asking his guests what name they would choose if they identified with a gender other than that which they were assigned.
The continued airing of such news broadcasts has prompted several LGBT groups to petition Fox News to end its transphobic news coverage. In January, Basic Rights Oregon called out Fox News for running a story about Oregon's trans healthcare policy and using a photo from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire to depict a transgender person. As different sectors of society begin to meet the needs of transgender people, it is important that journalists report fairly and accurately on these changes. To continue forward in the movement for transgender equality, such negative and crude comments by public figures needs to end.