The importance of language has been widely acknowledged by field studies that have underlined not only its descriptive but, above all, its performative value. For this reason, it is essential to fill the information gap by increasing the dissemination of information on the transgender condition. The goal of strengthening awareness of the difficulties related to the transgender condition is successfully implemented through initiatives that pierce the invisibility cloak around the issue. Examples are TDor, Transgender Day of Remembrance, a memorial for the victims of hatred and prejudice towards transgender people– and other public outreach events on the issue.
- Report news stories about transgender people without undermining their dignity or reputation through judgement or stigma, that is, in any way that you would not apply to anyone else involved. For example, avoid describing assaults and robberies against transgender women who engage in prostitution by “debasing” the impact and seriousness of the crime. The robbery can be told as a news story and not as a relevant fact just because the victim is a transgender person.
- Always use the correct pronouns when referring to transgender persons. If it is a transgender woman, use the feminine pronouns (e.g., she, her, hers); if it is a transgender man, use the masculine pronouns (e.g., he, him, his). To avoid any kind of error it is recommended to always speak and write in terms of a “transgender person” (e.g. a transgender person was found murdered, a transgender person was assaulted, etc.).
- Carefully review the use of inappropriate terms and photographs that are unfitting with the event reported, to avoid conveying stereotypical and improper readings that stigmatize the transgender condition.
- Hold training courses for journalists, communicators and communication operators, aimed to increase knowledge about the transgender condition and raise awareness about the importance of the proper language and images used to report the news.