Trans Rights

These GLAAD Guidelines are Missing One Very Important Detail…

Language: it’s an ever-evolving framework of meaning. But that doesn’t stop people from using it in completely baffling and bizarre ways!

Case in point: GLAAD’s guidance on appropriate terms to use for reporting on LGBTQ+ concerns is making the rounds this morning, and it didn’t take long for trans folks to smell a gigantic rat.

Basically, GLAAD is advising media workers not to use the phrase “trans rights” because trans rights are, in fact, human rights. Yes, agreed! However, the idea that we should avoid using the term “trans rights” is a little bit strange to say the least. Especially when a separate guidance glossary explains that we shouldn’t use the term “special rights” for the same reason.

The 11th edition of the glossary is certainly in depth, but the explanation for not using “trans rights” as a shorthand is a bit screwy, admittedly. 

Many users are being very polite about it: we all know what you were trying to say, but this did come out quite poorly.

That part:

Unfortunately, this is what it’s giving:

This sums it up perfectly:

See below for GLAAD’s comment:

“No, GLAAD isn’t suggesting that people “don’t say trans rights.” Of course GLAAD supports trans rights and we say it loudly, as all community members and our allies should. Indeed, trans rights are human rights.

Many trans people, inside and outside of GLAAD, wrote and reviewed this section of the Media Reference Guide. The guide is not a recommendation for how LGBTQ people should speak about ourselves, it is intended for journalists who may not realize that there are anti-LGBTQ activists who weaponize phrases like “trans rights” “gay rights” and “special rights” to falsely insinuate that we are fighting for special treatment that could harm others or that we want “more rights” than cis straight people are guaranteed. When anti-trans activists like Tucker Carlson talk about “transgender rights” they are using it as a scare tactic – we want journalists to expose such rhetorical devices. We will make sure that is clear in the guide going forward.”

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