Friday, November 01, 2013

Tampa Area Media, Read Your AP Stylebook

Coko-murder-trial-102913White I was happy about how the Tavares Spencer trial turned out in terms of being tried as an adult for his hate crime perpetrated upon Ms. McDonald, and convicted of all five charges yesterday in his attempted murder trial, one thing I was NOT happy about was the repeated misgendering in the Tampa media of Coko McDonald

Tampa Bay Times , Bradenton Herald and other area media, Coko McDonald is not a 'transgender man', 'a crossdresser', 'really a man' or a 'man dressed as a woman', she is a transgender woman and as such, feminine pronouns should have been used to describe Ms. McDonald in any story you wrote or broadcast about her.

Several Tampa area television stations weren't much better in reporting this story either and I am more than beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of African-American trans women being disrespected in the media in life and death.  

Coko was the one who was shot and robbed by Spencer, remember Tampa media?    
Sigh.  Let's do this once again and review what the AP Stylebook has said since 2001 about the coverage of transgender people in the media.
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.   GLAAD has a media guide you can peruse in addition to the NLGJA in case you are confused about something so simple even the GEICO caveman gets it. 

So did
WPTV-TV, the NBC affiliate.  They got it.  

So let's see Tampa media if you get it right when i comes time to sentence Tavares Spencer and beyond when it comes to reporting on trans people, because this won't be the first or the last time you'll encounter a transperson as you do your jobs..

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