EDITORIAL : Learning From Our Mistakes Using Our Platform To Educate Others
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
When people speak openly about trans experiences, it creates an incredible opportunity for other people to get educated, learn and encourage discussion around the topic. The news of Elliot Page’s transition is one such example. Indeed, our comment sections and inbox were swamped yesterday with many quick to point out that we had transgressed members of the LGBTIQ community by using the actors ‘deadname’ in our headline.
Before we get into this post we’d like to offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who may have felt hurt or disrespected by that headline. I think you’ll come to understand that it was far from our intention.
Up until yesterday we had no idea what it meant to ‘deadname’ somebody. If we did, then certainly we would have approached that headline differently. Learning to be an ally to the transgender people in your life, or to transgender people overall, is an ongoing process. Some ways to be a good ally are relatively simple and easy, while others require more time, energy, and commitment.
We’re not as well-educated on transgender issues as we’d like, but we tackle them and put them at the forefront of our news agenda, because we understand that these issues matter, to you, and to society as whole. The reaction to our post has been eye-opening. It prompted us to conduct independent research on what it means to be transgender, the proper vocabulary to use when discussing gender identity, deadnaming and beyond.
Making less mistakes is definitely something we’re working on. GLAAD - a website which provides useful information on how to fairly and accurately report on transgender people was super helpful in this respect.
Being a neutral platform with a large following, we have a responsibility to ensure accurate representation of social issues, be they trans issues or anything beyond. But becoming flawless in the way we do this is part of a journey, which you as audience members are a crucial part of.
We see you, we hear you and we listen to you. Continue calling us out whenever you feel we’ve made a mistake or acted inappropriately, because ultimately it can only help us represent the people in our community better.