As a transgender woman, I have to deal with glaring instances of transphobia on a near daily basis. “Oh, what’s that? A joke on a popular network TV show where they laugh about a ‘dude in a dress’ or react in absolute disgust thinking about ‘accidentally’ being attracted to a “tranny” (see: How I Met Your Mother, South Park, the Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Family Guy, Community, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Bob’s Burgers, Go On, and The Simpsons…just to name a few)? Great! After a long day, I love to come home and listen to jokes that attack my very existence!”
Should I go online and read about one of the all-too-common stories outlining the murder of a trans woman, I’ll find instances where the victim is blamed for their own demise. Similarly, authors of these stories seem to revel in the ability to play gender police, reverting to the birth names and pronouns of the recently assaulted or deceased. Even outlets that are “on our side” aren’t an exception. For instance, just this past June, HuffPost Gay Voices ran a story about a “transgender man” (by which they meant a transgender woman). After corresponding with an editor for nearly an hour, informing them that they were violating the AP Stylebook and the GLAAD guidelines for reporting on transgender individuals, he relented and “compromised” by changing the headline to read “transgender person” (while still leaving the victim’s birth name in the article).