On Tuesday, GLAAD and members of the Los Angeles trans community met with editors and staff members at the Los Angeles Times for an honest discussion about issues that uniquely affect trans people in Los Angeles and the LA Times' coverage of our community.
The meeting stemmed from a problematic article published in the Los Angeles Times in February about the death of Cassidy Vickers, a trans woman who was brutally murdered. After the article was published, local trans advocate Hannah Howard started a petition criticizing the article and asking for more sensible, fair, and accurate coverage from the paper.
Those in attendance at today's meeting included Hannah Howard, GLAAD's Nick Adams and Monica Trasandes, Gender Justice LA (GJLA) staffer Ezak Perez, and GJLA Board member and manager of the Transgender Economic Empowerment Project, Drian Juarez.
The LA Times acknowledged that there were issues with the Vickers article, and committed to an internal training on transgender issues, as well as a review of their terminology guide. They are also quite open to covering more stories about the large, diverse, and vibrant trans community here in Los Angeles. GLAAD was proud to share the Trans 100 list with the journalists.
As of 2012, it is estimated that 14,428 transgender people are living in Los Angeles County, according to The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Research shows that around 75% of Americans personally know someone who is gay, lesbian or bisexual, but less than 10% know someone who is transgender. This means that most Americans can weigh firsthand knowledge when considering defamatory or insensitive media coverage of the LGB community. But the vast majority of Americans have no personal connection to someone who is transgender, so they rely solely on the media for information.
GLAAD hopes that today's meeting will encourage more inclusive, sophisticated, and realistic coverage of trans people in the LA Times, and we're committed to working with the local community and the paper to ensure that happens.