Sick Of You Washington Media Peeps Disrespecting My Departed Sister Zella

Zella Ziona Dead TransgenderIt’s bad enough that we US based trans people have lost 22 trans women to anti-trans violence this year with the latest being Zella Ziona Smith a few days ago

It’s even more infuriating when their local media outlets add insult and disrespect to their memories by misgendering them.

And it happens far too often to murdered trans women of color.

Once again for you media peeps who refuse to get the message, since 2001 the AP Stylebook has guidelines has guidelines that tell you how you should cover trans people.

The Associated Press Stylebook 2015

transgender-Use 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.  If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the individuals live publicly.

Translation: transgender woman = use female pronouns in story. Transgender male = use  male pronouns in story.   We determine that by gender presentation, not genitalia. .
GLAAD has a media guide you can peruse in addition to the NLGJA one.  

Once again, we have a trans sister in Zella Ziona Smith murdered, and the local media get it totally wrong by referring to a trans feminine person  as a ‘transgender man’

Yeah FOX5, WTOP, I’m talking about you and your messed up stenography in this case so far.

Now let’s try to once again get you media peeps to understand a concept so simple that even the GEICO caveman will get it.   A transgender woman is a woman, a transgender man is a man.

It is also not necessary for a reader to know Zella’s dead  name or add to the story the problematic lines ‘her legal name is ______’ or ‘born as’.  You have already let your readers know that Zella is a trans feminine person by stating that fact in the headline or opening paragraph of the story or in your opening commentary

Throwing the old name in the story is disrespectful, unnecessary (and in some cases triggering) to the trans community and the people who knew and loved Zella.

If we mere bloggers easily get this and consistently write stories with this in mind since we sadly have had way too much practice over the last few years doing so, what’s your problem Washington media?

It’s not like you are not going to have the situation of not compiling a  story about a transperson ever again because we make up 3% of the population in the Washington metro area and elsewhere.

And may I remind you that some of the people you write or broadcast these news stories for are transgender people  depending upon you as the professional journalists to get it right the first time.


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