GLAAD's Tiq Milan and Christina Kahrl share best practices for covering transgender stories on CNN's Reliable Sources

Christina Kahrl, a transgender writer for ESPN, and member of GLAAD's board, and Tiq Milan, a transgender advocate and GLAAD's Senior Media Strategist appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter to discuss best practices for reporting  on transgender people, particularly in light of Grantland's salacious article, "Dr. V's Magical Putter," which outed Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt as a transgender woman.

Both Kahrl and Milan talked about the importance of respecting a transgender person's identity, and the fact that articles like "Dr. V's Magical Putter" reinforces the wrongful misconception that transgender people are somehow being deceptive by living their everyday lives.

"Some of it is basically a privacy issue, and not ceding the ground to trans people to who should control their own narratives and sense of self of who they are. Not ever trans person is comfortable with their past, and the gender they were born into. Not every trans person wants to have to explain that," Kahrl told Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter. "Basically, and especially in the case of Essay Anne, she wanted to be seen as a woman, as far as it was germane to the story, she should have been seen as a woman."

Tiq Milan agreed and called attention to hardships facing hard-working transgender Americans.

"We have to understand that we live in a culture that marginalizes transgender people," Milan stated. "Transgender people are four times more likely to experience poverty due to rampant employment discrimination. Over half of transgender people have experienced family rejection. And 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide, compared to less than 2% of the general population."

Milan also pointed out that the Grantland article is a part of a wider pattern of disrespectful reporting when it comes to transgender people. He referenced Katie Couric's questions about Carmen Carrera's anatomy, as well as disrespectful reporting that regularly occurs after the murder of a transgender person.

Statistics show that transgender people - particularly transgender women - are subjected to incredibly high levels of discrimination and violence. In 2012, 53% of anti-LGBT homicide victims were transgender women. The report "Injustice at Every Turn" found that transgender people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate. And 41% of survey respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.

For more information about best practices in reporting about the lives of transgender people visit GLAAD's media reference guide.

 

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