Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Media must make transition with transgender language

Bruce Jenner finally revealed the fact that he is transitioning into womanhood during a 20/20 interview on Friday night, and, as Jenner braved talking openly about his situation, there have been a wide array of reactions.
While it has been suspected for some time that Bruce Jenner was slowly starting the process of an identity change, he only just publicly spoke about the situation in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer.
“For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” Jenner said during the 20/20 interview.
There have been many transgender celebrities before, but now these men and women are being more openly discussed, accepted and criticized then ever before.
For anyone who may be uninformed about what being transgender means, it is defined as when a person’s self-identity does not match the conventional notions of the gender they were assigned at birth.
As a former Olympian athlete, many people were shocked when rumors began circulating about Bruce Jenner becoming a woman. Many would say, “but he was an Olympian!”
But he is also a human, with his own identity and desires.
Despite his pronouncing himself a woman, news sources are continuing to refer to Jenner as a ‘he’ or ‘him’.
After reading several articles about Jenner’s transition, this is what bothered and stuck with me the most.
While this is per his request to be temporarily referred to by the familiar name and pronouns, aspects of the coverage hint to a larger problem.
What if the media continues to refer to Jenner by the incorrect first name and pronouns once those are announced? It is almost certain that some media sources will do so.
Many news sources did not bother to designate in their reporting on the interview that the continued use of the familiar name and pronouns were temporary, which contributes to the confusion and the problem.
This is one of the biggest flaws in how the media currently portrays transgender people.
Once someone has came out as transgender, then it is the time for the media to also go through a transition: referring to them as the gender they identify with, and with the correct pronouns.
All media, including television, magazines, and websites, need to begin to properly addressing transgender people in their reports. It not only is the correct thing to do, but it also shows the required amount of respect for them.
By referring to people as they wish to be seen and discussed, it shows an acceptance that most media sources have yet to fully embrace. Once this happens, many more transgender men and women may feel comfortable coming out on their own just as Jenner has.
Bruce Jenner was an exceptional man, being a famed Olympian athlete and father of six.
Jenner is an amazing woman, as well, who will go on to continue accomplishing whatever goals are ahead.

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Media must make transition with transgender language