The New York Times and the Associated Press have issued guidelines stating that from this point forward, Private Manning will be referred to as Chelsea Manning, and for the short term, media outlets will add the clarifier "formerly known as Bradley Manning."
This move follows days of misgendering, inconsistency, and very public confusion from the major media outlets. Since Manning made the statement that she wished to be referred to as Chelsea and with female pronouns, GLAAD has been advocating, both publically and privately, for media outlets to respect those wishes.
The Associated Press issued an editor's note on Monday evening, stating, in part:
The use of the first name Chelsea and feminine pronouns in Manning’s case is in conformity with the transgender guidance in the AP Stylebook. The guidance calls for using 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.
The New York Times has also issued a memo, stating that beginning on Tuesday, all references to Manning will refer to her as Chelsea and use female pronouns.
Many critics of the media coverage of Manning's transition have referenced GLAAD's Media Reference Guide. The reference guide states that the media should use the name and pronoun preferred by the individual.
Other outlets have been less willing to change, CNN stated its policy is, "to reference Manning with masculine pronouns since he has not yet taken any steps toward gender transition through surgery or hormone replacement therapy." More disturbing was a "joke" from a panelist featured on the network, who suggested Manning would "get good practice" being Chelsea in a men's prison.
FOX News has also continued to refer to Private Manning wiht the wrong name and pronouns, withone network host outright refusing to respect Manning's identity. In another instance, FOX offensively teased a broadcast segment on Manning with Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)," making a mockery of Manning and all transgender women.
The Washington Post has stated it will adopt the confusing practice of mixing the pronouns, referring to before the transition and after. In a recent article about the media's use of pronouns, Washington Post stated, "For the historical record, Manning was a he during the former period; during the latter period, Manning has asked to be referred to in the feminine." This practice is not in accordance with GLAAD's Media Reference Guide, which states, "Avoid pronoun confusion when examining the stories and backgrounds of transgender people prior to their transition."
Proper respect for Manning's name and pronouns has been an important issue for GLAAD, given the national, high profile nature of Manning's transition. GLAAD hopes the Associated Press and the New York Times will set the standard for how Chelsea Manning, and other transgender people, are referred to going forward. It will be important that when another high profile figure transitions, or a transgender person garners national media attention, the practice of referring to people with their preferred name and pronouns is well established.
If you see, hear, or read reports that misgender Chelsea Manning, or other trasngender people, please report instances of defamation to GLAAD.