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Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:21

Respectful reporting on gender identity

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has developed an easy-to-use gender identity reporting guide in time for this year's Midsumma Festival.

Kristen Hilton, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, said that despite great advances in recent years misgendering still occurs in the media and can be particularly harmful to trans people.

"With trans issues likely to be in the media during Midsumma Festival, I encourage all journalists to use our language guide. Getting the language right is respectful and easy to achieve," Commissioner Hilton said.

Ro Allen, Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality also welcomes the guide saying it is a useful tool that can make a big difference.

"It was fantastic to work with the Commission on such a useful straightforward resource. All we need is respect, use the correct pronoun, if you don't know ask, and if you get it wrong (sometimes I do as well), apologise and move on, it's not difficult and makes a big difference to people," Commissioner Allen said.

In Victoria, it is against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of gender identity. However, complaints to the Commission show that transgender and gender diverse people face discrimination every day in their schools, employment or in accessing healthcare.

"Continued misgendering, including using 'he/she' or 'it' to describe a transgender person without checking their preferred pronoun not only reflects a lack of acceptance but can perpetuate ignorance and confusion. This guide will assist the media to deliver respectful and accurate information," Commissioner Hilton said.

Anyone who experiences discrimination on the basis of their gender identity should call the Commission's Enquiry Line on 1300 292 153 for more information on making a complaint.


Media contact

Peter Davies
0447 526 642
Email: [email protected] 

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