5 Transgender Victims Of Media Violence

The blog, PolicyMic, posts about the added insult to injury when transgender people are misgendered by the media when reporting on trans violence.

Sonia Burgess

While covering the murder trial of Sonia Burgess, who was pushed under a train in 2010, the Telegraph quoted the prosecution as saying that “socially, the deceased lived as a woman and was known by friends and family as Sonia … I intend to refer to the deceased throughout as of the female gender because that is the wish of her family.” Despite that, the newspaper identified her as Mr. Burgess and referred to her with male pronouns throughout its coverage. Misgendering like this is astoundingly commonplace in media coverage of transgender deaths. As a spokesperson from Trans Media Watch pointed out in response to the Telegraph’s coverage, “Using the wrong pronouns to describe a trans person may seem like a small thing but it has a big effect. It sends out a message of disrespect … That the Telegraph should show such disrespect for a murder victim, whose loss is felt dearly by all who knew her, is particularly unfortunate.”

The post notes that the Associated Press style guide directions are to “use the pronoun preferred by the individuals … If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.”

Read the full article

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