Call for Solidarity with Iowa City Trans* Communities and Concerns with Media Coverage during TransWeek!
A Call for Solidarity with Iowa City Trans* Communities and Concerns with Media Coverage during TransWeek!:
Over the last several years, many of us in the Iowa City trans* community have agreed to participate in interviews with local newspapers. Sometimes, every once in a very infrequent while, a journalist does it right, does their homework, and follows journalistic integrity practices for their discipline (as outlined in the Associated Press stylebook). However, we have found that usually our pronouns are not respected, our names have been distorted, or that the journalist simplifies our identities down to a simplistic and transnormative narrative, even when we take the time to explain that we might not fall into that medicalized discourse (i.e. born in the wrong body, etc).
Our Request of You
We ask that if the Daily Iowan (and this only applies to the Daily Iowan) contacts you to comment on TransWeek! that you reply with the following statement. Additionally, if a reporter from the Daily Iowan asks for a quote during a TransWeek event, please also consider not engaging and mentioning something like what appears below:
I am not able to grant you an interview on TransWeek! events for this year. While I appreciate the DI attempting to cover social justice issues, as they are vital to creating an affirming and safe place for all people – trans-identified folk included – on this campus and in our Iowa City community, it has been brought to my attention that your news organization does not honor the Associated Press’ guidelines on how to work with and report on transgender populations. Recently a trans-identified person requested that their birth assigned name be removed from an on-line story, from the DI, for privacy and safety reasons and that request was denied. Therefore, in solidarity with trans* communities in Iowa City, I cannot consent to an interview until you change your policies. A blanket policy on not changing or updating stories might be “equal” in that it is applied to everyone. However, equality is not the same as equity. Trans* populations have specific concerns and needs that cisgender populations may or may not have to negotiate with media sources.