THIS GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Early Saturday morning when I was scanning the news reports about the stabbing of a transgender woman, I crossed several news reports that had the pronouns wrong or in some cases, sensational headlines like “A MAN IN A DRESS STABBED AT D.C. BUS STOP.”
These things are, sadly, par for the course. If I were to police the media, I’d never get anything else done — it is fairly time-consuming to confirm an actual gender identity and make the corrections for MY story without letting something else erroneous slip by. This has happened to me.
But today, “a man wearing a dress” stuck in my head. I was thinking there must be protocols already in place that one can easily point to help mainstream media get thing right in the first place. As it turns out, there is, in the AP Stylebook.
Another writer points it out:
“The AP Stylebook is relatively clear on the issue: “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 way the individuals live publicly.” In this case, saying “she was stabbed” and “she died” would have been accurate.”
The writer, Martin Austermuhle, owned up to being one of those who got the gender pronouns wrong in the stabbing story.
Basically the protocol is this: If the person’s preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individual live publicly.
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