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Share the reigns, don’t generalize and admit what you don’t know — Lessons from Trans Sarasota

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The reporting for what would become Trans Sarasota, a multimedia storytelling project on transgender Floridians for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, started in a chance meeting with a student named Tyler.

Last summer, Tyler spoke to me about the complications of being transgender on a college campus. I was struck not only by my own ignorance about transgender experiences, but Tyler’s strong, immediate concern that what I would write about transgender people would be utterly wrong.

Later, I would learn another journalist had visited campus, and insisted on identifying transgender people by the pronouns they were given at birth, rather than those they identified with. Some students had grown mistrustful of reporters.

At that point, I had only a clear sense that I needed to tread carefully, that there were mistakes to be made, concepts about gender identity to learn and a community’s understanding of trans people at stake.

As journalists, we rely on process and precedent to guide decision-making, even as our own standards evolve. Read more

from Poynter. http://ift.tt/1EU50x8

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