Monday, July 22, 2013

Nefertiti, Read Your AP Stylebook

Nefertiti J√°quez
Nefertiti Jaquez until January 2013 used to be an award winning reporter and part time anchor working for KPRC-TV, our local NBC affiliate here in H-town.

She now works for the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, and it's why I'm majorly disappointed to hear that in this unfolding case in which Charles Sargent has been arrested for killing and dismembering a girl like us, the story about it misgendered the victim, the 'male prostitute' angle was highlighted, an old arrest record and mugshot was plastered all over it without any attempt at balance in terms of finding anyone in the trans community who knew the victim.

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The How Not To Report On Black Transpeople playbook was followed once again to perfection..

But then again Nefertiti, if you'd taken the time to call the William Way Center to balance this story out or use the femme name once you discovered the person was trans, maybe you would have quickly found someone who knows Ms. Williams by her femme name. 

The reason you're getting pushback from trans community people all over the country and GLAAD is that we have this crap happen far too often.  It happens far too frequently with trans victims of color and were beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of it..

BTW, here's what the AP Stylebook says about reporting on transgender people.
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.  If the transperson in question has acquired the outward physical appearance of a female regardless of the genitalia configuration between their legs, they are a transgender female and need to be referred to with feminine pronouns and a feminine name.   If the transperson in question has acquired the outward characteristic of a male regardless of the genitalia configuration between their legs, then that person is a transgender male and need to be referred to with masculine pronouns and a masculine name.

One of the reasons we're getting more combative about insisting on respectful media coverage for transpeople is because potential jurors that watch these misgendering and sensationalized reports are being poisoned with this slanted anti-trans coverage that could result in the murder victim at trial not getting justice and the alleged killer going free.

Granted we realize you were possibly on a deadline to get it out, or you possibly received incorrect gender info from the PPD about Ms. Williams, but whoever is doing the fact checking or research needs to be aware of that and ask that question, especially when the killer says he committed the deed because he discovered he 'slept with a man'.

That's a hint and a half that you're dealing with a trans woman, and questions you need to ask to get a story respectful to the victim need to change to fit this situation. 

TransGriot Update:  Been advised by several Philly activists Ms. Williams femme name is Diamond.  As soon as I get or can find femme pictures of her, I'll post them on subsequent posts about this case instead of that jacked up mugshot.


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