GLAAD Reminds Viewers How to Discuss I Am Cait

Caitlyn Jenner on the ESPY Awards.

Caitlyn Jenner on the ESPY Awards.

GLAAD has re-released it’s extremely insightful (and, to be honest, pretty common sense) “tip sheet” on how to discuss transgender individuals in writing, conversation, and social media. The sheet has been custom-tailored around Caitlyn Jenner surrounding the I Am Cait television series that debuted tonight on E! Network.

The full tip sheet can be found here, but some of the basics outlined include the following:

“DO refer to her as Caitlyn Jenner. DON’T refer to her by her former name. She has changed it, and should be accorded the same respect received by anyone who has changed their name. Since Caitlyn Jenner was known to the public by her prior name, it may be necessary initially to say ‘Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner…’ However, once the public has learned Jenner’s new name, do not continually refer to it in stories.

DO use female pronouns (she, her, hers) when referring to Caitlyn Jenner.

DO avoid male pronouns and Caitlyn’s prior name, even when referring to events in her past. For example, ‘Prior to her transition, Caitlyn Jenner won the gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the Summer Olympics held in Montreal in 1976.’

DO refer to Caitlyn Jenner’s female identity as her gender identity, not her sexual orientation. Gender identity is one’s own internal, deeply held sense of being male or female. Sexual orientation is who one is attracted to. They are not the same thing and should not be conflated or confused.”

As much as many of the above items appear to be “common sense,” no doubt that we’ve all seen some poor examples of transphobic rhetoric spewed on social media. It’s a good time to remind our “friends” of how to properly refer to all trans individuals to give them the appropriate respect they deserve.