The unfortunate truth is that, although trans-person representation in the media is rising thanks to more and more big-name celebrities coming out as trans, there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know how to refer to trans people. It’s slightly more unfortunate when you’re writing an article about a trans person and every reference you make to them is wrong. Take this article from the Sun, which unfortunately kinda misses the mark.
Problem 1: Referring to a trans woman as a “transgendered man"
The article in question is about a trans woman, Silvani Marques, who is currently facing deportation from Canada to Brazil. The problem: the title they went with was “Transgendered man in Uxbridge fears deportation to Brazil.” Well, not quite.
Problem 2: Referring to her as “he"
Over the course of article, the writer uses 25 gender-specific pronouns, all of them referring to Marques as either “he,” “him” or “a man.” Come on, you guys, seriously? Try that again, only this time do the exact opposite of everything.
Problem 3: Confusing being trans with crossdressing
At the beginning of the article, the writer says that Marques “has been taking hormone treatments and dresses as a woman.” The problem here being that Marques doesn’t just dress as a woman; she lives her life as a woman and identifies as a woman. I’m not going to discount the possibility that all of this is simple human error, but if you’re going to write an article about trans issues, at least get to know your subject well enough to use the proper terminology.