Stop misgendering us! Using correct pronouns is basic journalistic accuracy.

Editors of Major News Outlets

The other day, I was misgendered literally hundreds of times in a matter of hours. 

As a musician and the spokesperson for a civil liberties nonprofit, I get quoted in the press fairly often. Even though I make a point to list my correct pronouns in my email signature, twitter profile, and organizational bio, I get misgendered in mainstream news articles all the time.

In my case, it's because I'm transgender, and reporters are making assumptions based on my voice or my written name. But this happens to people outside the LGBTQ community as well, especially to people with non-English names, or those with names that are gender neutral. 

For me it happens at least once a week. It happens in outlets from across the political spectrum, from The Guardian to  Fox News. I've even been misgendered by LGBTQ publications like The Advocate.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution for this. Reporters should be required by their editors to ask every source they talk to to confirm their preferred gender pronouns, the same way they would confirm the spelling of your name or your official title. 

Not only will this improve the accuracy of their journalism, but it will help continue a critical conversation about of the importance of using correct gender pronouns for everyone. 

Being misgendered can be painful. It contributes to the violence, oppression, and self-doubt that trans and gender nonconforming communities face every day. 

When you're misgendered a news source that's read by millions of people, it feels pretty devastating. But beyond that, it's simply bad journalism. Using the wrong pronouns for someone is inaccurate, and undermine's any publications' journalistic integrity.

Please sign my petition calling for news editors to implement a policy requiring journalists to confirm their source's gender pronouns, and I'll deliver it to the editors of every major news organization.

Petition by
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

To: Editors of Major News Outlets
From: [Your Name]

Dear Editors,

Using correct pronouns for sources is critical for maintaining accuracy and basic journalistic integrity. When reporters make assumptions about a source's gender pronoun based on their name, voice, or appearance, it often leads to misgendering and inaccuracy, which can cause emotional distress for the source and undermine a news outlet's credibility.

Please institute a policy requiring your outlet's journalists to confirm every source's gender pronouns before quoting them in a story. This is as basic as confirming how their name is spelled and what their official title is.

Requiring journalists to confirm this basic information is the only way to prevent misgendering and inaccuracy.

Thank you for your quick attention to this matter.