Style Guide Note

I heard that as per GLAAD guidelines CNN banished the word transsexual and replaced it with transgender.

On this blog anyone caught using “GG” for natal female will be ridiculed unmercifully as being a clueless heterosexual cross dresser and misogynist.

Suggested alternatives “assigned female at birth” or “natal female”.

Have a nice day

11 Responses to “Style Guide Note”

  1. Anna Says:

    “I heard that as per GLAAD guidelines CNN banished the word transsexual and replaced it with transgender.”

    Yet more abusive colonising by transgenders of others’ identities, even more obvious in their trying to replace traditional terms, that have their own significant distinctions, in countries of South and Soth-East Asia and the Pacific.

    They had great hopes of getting Transgender into UK law in the new Equality Act, to match the addition of anti-discrimination protection for people who transition without any medical involvement (whatever that means in a country where everyone has a general practitioner and medical care is free of charge) but the Government Equality Office’s initial proposal of terming everyone from first proposing to undergo reassignment (i.e. first telling anyone, through the rest of their life) with medical involvement, a “transsexual person” was retained. Despite objections to being legally termed transsexual after transition is complete, as if the treatment never worked, and despite other proposals to switch it to “protected on grounds of gender identity”.

    The obvious problem in parliamentary debates was that no one seemed to be able say what precisely “transgender” includes. That concern was voiced.

    You’d have kinda thought that maybe a 24 hour news channel would have wanted to use a term they knew the meaning of, but, heh, I hear CNN is going down the tubes.

    “Suggested alternatives ‘assigned female at birth’ or ‘natal female’.”

    Wouldn’t “WBF” be a more consistent preferred alternative?

  2. penguirl Says:

    According to this page GLAAD MEDIA REFERENCE GUIDE they haven’t banished the word transsexual, they just give the same usage instructions for both words as they also do with gay & lesbian. This actually comes from the AP’s style guide.

    If however it can be confirmed that GLAAD has indeed banished the word transsexual, I would really like to know so that I may give GLAAD a piece of my mind.

  3. dianakat Says:

    Following Penguirl’s link, it looks like GLAAD recognizes “transgender” as an umbrella term. For terms like “transsexual” or “sex change” it just says “see transgender.”

    These are advocates? Clueless.

    Calling me transgender would not lead to a happy time.

  4. Michael Woodward Says:

    Actually, the best term for describing non-transgender people is “cisgender,” which means the opposite of “transgender”.

    I’ve heard several cisgender people complain about the word because they don’t want to be “labeled”. Labels tend to be used by the mainstream to point out how others are “other”. So let the mainstream wear a freakin’ label for a change!

    There’s nothing wrong with the word “transsexual” either so long as it’s applied properly and respectfully.

    Michael Woodward
    lgbtQ&A Diversity & Inclusion Consulting
    Tucson, AZ

  5. dianakat Says:

    Oh gosh, “cisgender” now? I truly hate that one.

    In any case, no one should be involuntarily subjected to labels by others.

    I consider cisgender and transgender both to be disrespectful terms when used to categorize people against their will.

    In fact, with respect to “cisgender,” like “GG,” in my book that term says as much about the person using it as it does about the target.

    Sometimes description is necessary. I agree that “natal female” is generally an inoffensive description.

    • Suzan Says:

      When I’m really snarky I use one I got Sophie, “normborn”. I give into using a variation on occasion, cis-sexual/gender but mainly in the quasi-theoretical.

  6. Lisa Harney Says:

    Cisgender/cissexual just exist to give equivalency between cis and trans people, and to decenter the idea that cis is normal and trans is deviant.

    It really shouldn’t be any more controversial than “straight” or “heterosexual,” but it seems to collect a lot of resistance, almost as if people are opposed to language that implies an equivalence between cis people and trans people.

    GLAAD selectively supports the trans community and is primarily focused on cis gays and lesbians. They awarded Glee for “supporting the LGBT community” the weekend after Glee dropped “shemale” as an insult on prime time television.

    I don’t really care about people calling me transgender.

  7. dianakat Says:

    Lisa, many people, especially among those that have undergone correction to physical and legal female and are living privately, have trouble with that nomenclature because they view its common usage as emphasizing a distinction between them and natal females. Many feel they did not go through all that is necessary in order to be part of a “transgender” community that appears to define itself as distinct and can seem hostile to other members of their sex. To some, the use of the term “cisgender,” particularly when used to criticize (as happened casually earlier in this very comment thread), emphasizes such a distinction.

    Of course, I do not begrudge anyone’s voluntary self-identification as transgender, cisgender or otherwise.

  8. tinagrrl Says:

    “Of course, I do not begrudge anyone’s voluntary self-identification as transgender, cisgender or otherwise.”

    Agreed. Call YOURSELF what you will. Then, be kind enough to respect my wishes.

    After going through all the various changes to bring my body and mind together, to achieve congruence — to have that person looking back at me from the mirror fit the inner image of myself — I absolutely REFUSE to allow people who know NOTHING about me to define me.

    I am NOT transgender. I am a post-operative woman born transsexual. I live a rather normal life as a rather normal woman.

    There really is no “transgender umbrella”.

    Why some folks continue to INSIST on that construct is totally beyond me.

    I support the rights of ALL people. I support the rights of people who accept the designation of transgender. I will march, etc., with them —– BUT —– I will not accept the designation of “transgender” when I am, and have been, a rather unremarkable old lesbian with a wonderful partner.

    This insistence on a mythic “transgender umbrella”, this decision by others to ERASE the existence of transsexuals/post-ops/women of transsexual experience/Women Born Transsexual, and turn us ALL into some strange sort of “third”, some sort of poor relation of the LG majority has led to a very strong backlash against the LGBT communities by quite a few post-ops — especially those who ID as “straight”, are married to men, etc.

    These are folks who could have become allies, rather than enemies — all that was needed a few years ago was the willingness to say: “transgender AND transsexual”. I think it was that simple, but beyond the ability of so many of the various “leaders”.

  9. tinagrrl Says:

    I understand GLAAD has never been our friend. I think it’s also clear that many look to them for “guidance” on language. Once “transgender” becomes the common usage (again) it will become difficult to change it.

    At times I begin to think many of the LG and transgender “leaders” see a willingness to co-operate as capitulation. Too many folks still see kindness and a willingness to co-operate as weakness, and begin taking liberties.

    That is a mistake.

  10. tinagrrl Says:

    By the way, in reference to “cis-sexual” — I do not give a damn what others choose to say. I, for one do not, and will not, use that term.

    Since I prefer to be called a WOMAN. Since I identify as a WOMAN, I see no reason to differentiate between myself and other women.

    Why would I call another WOMAN “cis-sexual” when that usage defines both of us? You are “cis-sexual” — I am not, is what it says.

    Why would I want to emphasize any difference between us when I do not identify differently?

    I’m not transgender. I do not see myself as a “third”. Why would I want to use language that makes any difference between us greater.

    WBW vs. WBT, or WBF vs WBT are terms I’d use if I had to compare — perhaps “normborn” if I was feeling pissy —- but “cis-sexual” seems a bit much —- and, counterproductive.


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