A handy guide for navigating gender terminology via the Washington Post

Although it’s about a year old now, the Washington Post’s guide to gender, LGBTQ issues and other similar topics has started making the rounds again. The Post’s approach is both educational and explanatory, outlining what it is doing and why it thought publishing this would be helpful:

Depending on one’s life experiences, it can be challenging to navigate some of the terms of the debate. Informed by the guidance of a number of organizations, including GLAAD, the Trans Journalists Association, InterAct, the American Medical Association and the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, The Washington Post has compiled a glossary of the terms and concepts that show up in our coverage.

The glossary below is not comprehensive, and there is ongoing conversation about which language is most appropriate and accurate. This guide is intended to be a clear and accurate starting point to help readers better understand gender issues.

The organizations that the Post listed have provided guidance to the media over the years with style guides that have defined similar terms, made specific requests for eschewing certain words and generally provided journalists with ways to speak more inclusively and intelligently on these topics.

The Post’s effort is helpful in providing additional context to its readers regarding specific terms they might have seen in the paper’s coverage. It also provides that mainstream voice that can convince other publications to make similar decisions in terms, explanations and approaches. As much as journalists tend to think of themselves as ahead of the curve on what’s happening around them, a lot of us tend to stick to our own tried-and-true approach until “the big dogs” make a move. (This is why we tend to cling to our AP style books.)

For a full look at the Post’s ongoing efforts and the glossary itself, here’s the link.

Hope it helps.

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