GLAAD has published resources designed to help the media cover transgender people and youth accurately and inclusively.
Among the set of tools is GLAAD’s Southern Storybank, featuring video portraits of transgender Southerners and people living with HIV describing their daily lives and lifelong journeys.
Southern Storybank stemmed from GLAAD’s deep dive into media, particularly in Southern states, to see how many transgender stories are being told, said Barbara Simon, senior director of news and campaigns.
“Once we understood what we’re up against, we worked to elevate local advocates, people and groups from those states,” Simon said. “These videos are quite simple but powerful, because it’s all in their own words.”
This week, some conservative commentators and news outlets focused heavily on Nashville mass-shooter Audrey Hale, who killed six people, including three children, being transgender. On Tuesday, the cover of the New York Post read: “Transgender killer targets Christian school.”
Simon says GLAAD intended to launch the resources for International Transgender Visibility day, which takes place on Friday, but added that “what happened this week accelerates the need for the resources.”
The release also takes place as the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate found an increase in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric on Twitter since billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform last year.
Other materials include GLAAD’s fact sheet, which helps reporters covering transgender people, issues and legislation, and the advocacy organization’s media reference guide, containing information on LGBTQ topics and terminology.
Using these resources, the media can not only cover transgender people more equitably, but also combat extremists working to suppress their voices, Simon added.
“It’s a matter of trying to educate the media to elevate these stories and to include [transgender people]. If you’re going to do a story on transgender healthcare, please go talk to a transgender person,” she said. “This isn’t a culture war, it’s a visibility war.”
GLAAD is the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, aimed at increasing media accountability and community engagement that ensures authentic LGBTQ stories are seen, heard and actualized, according to its website.