Trans voices and trans lives are gaining increasing exposure in the mainstream media, and to many they feel new. As with all newness there is ignorance, and with ignorance comes recurring offence and damage.

To help avoid this, Kaya Wilson has put together a foolproof guide for journalists and publishers to follow:

  1. Mention Caitlyn Jenner and the “transgender tipping point” in your intro. 
  1. Being trans is a full-time job. Never mention any occupation or enterprise of a trans person other than being trans.
  1. Trans people are never well-adjusted or have healthy relationships with their families. Reflect this fact.
  1. Whenever you mention trans children, be sure to mention surgery and hormones in the same sentence and include the phrase “children as young as” somewhere in the mix.
  1. Pronouns are hard. What even are pronouns. Get confused over pronouns. If you’re feeling extra clever use them as a literary device …”he”, “he”, “he” and then for the great reveal “he” becomes “she” and everything falls nicely into place. If you’re still struggling give up completely and use “it”.
  1. Don’t forget Caitlyn Jenner.
  1. Trans people are never mediocre or dull or pay taxes. They are BRAVE and INSPIRING.
  1. Use the phrase “authentic self” a lot and wistfully.
  1. If you are reporting on an unrelated newsworthy item and someone involved is trans, be sure to mention this, preferably in the headline.
  1. Throw in some tragedy.
  1. Never do your research. Research is for topics people already know about.
  1. As you may be aware, The Danish Girl is a documentary. Use it as a source.
  1. Trans women are men until they have The Surgery and then they become women. The Surgery is a treated as a proper noun and is commonly used for surgery between the legs. Surgery not preceded by “The” refers to other, more boring surgeries.
  1. Incessantly ask about their junk.
  1. As an absolute last resort pay a trans person to write the article. Here’s a list of writers for you.
  1. Caitlyn Jenner.

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and protect yourself against news that goes viral.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW