Last night, 60 Minutes aired a segment focused on transgender healthcare. The piece included representatives from organizations like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), while also featuring individuals who have detransitioned. The segment discussed the need for gender-affirming healthcare, as well as the recent wave of legislation intended to curb gender-affirming medical care for transgender people in 33 states.
It is critical for news outlets covering trans topics, including gender-affirming care and detransitioning, to provide adequate context and avoid false balance and equivalences. It is very important for news outlets covering trans topics to include the voices of transgender individuals in their reporting.
The number of people who choose to detransition is believed to be a very small share of the trans population, as 60 Minutes noted, and their experiences do not negate those of transgender individuals who have successfully transitioned. It is important to remember that gender-affirming care is vital for the health and safety of transgender people, and guidance from leading medical experts and associations tells us that discussions of detransitioning must be decoupled from the bills moving through state legislatures. A number of medical associations have released statements condemning legislation that restricts access to gender affirming care, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
In addition, Grace Lidinsky-Smith, one of the individuals interviewed in the 60 Minutes segment, was not identified as a board member of the Gender Care Consumer Advocacy Network (GCCAN). Her position in the organization should have been noted by 60 Minutes.
It is our responsibility as journalists to report stories with fairness and accuracy. NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists serves as a resource for journalists and newsrooms covering LGBTQ communities and issues. We urge outlets to contact us for guidance in order to ensure that their coverage is fair and accurate. Our Stylebook on LGBTQ Terminology includes guidance for journalists on covering trans people and issues.