Here's how you should be writing about transgender people

June 19, 2013

This week, the Associated Press reported on the New York City election campaign of Mel Wymore, a transgender man running for a city council seat in his Manhattan neighborhood. The article is noteworthy in its respectful approach toward sharing Wymore’s story, even when touching on his past.

Unfortunately, journalists do not use this approach in all cases, particularly when reporting on stories involving transgender women of color who have been victims of violence, or accused of crimes. Wrong names and pronouns, a reliance on dehumanizing stereotypes, and many other offenses are substituted in place of fairness and accuracy in such stories.

Other than the outright and unprofessional bias of a given journalist, there is no reason why any story involving a transgender person should be told with less respect than that afforded to Mel Wymore. The AP Stylebook’s guidelines for reporting accurately on gender identity are relevant regardless of circumstances.

GLAAD thanks the Associated Press for this story on Mel Wymore, and will continue to hold the media accountable for offensive, anti-transgender reporting. For more information, check out GLAAD's Media Reference guide