Transgender people identify as a gender that is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender woman was assigned to be male at birth; a transgender man was assigned to be female at birth.
In general, use the name and personal pronouns that are consistent with how the individual lives publicly. When unsure and if possible, ask what the subject prefers.
Only reference transgender status if the person has self-identified as such and it is germane to the story. In instances when it is unclear and impossible to ask what name or pronoun a subject prefers, cite the source of the information (e.g., the police).
Be especially sensitive when covering transgender individuals who have been victims of crime, as to not re-victimize them. When covering violence against transgender individuals, be careful of sensationalizing the crime; avoid describing the victim’s clothing, manner or genital characteristics. Avoid giving the impression that the victim is being deceptive about his or her identity. If police suspect the crime was motivated by anti-transgender bias, state that.
Be particularly sensitive when covering transgender women of color, who are disproportionately affected by anti-transgender hate crimes. If police characterize a victim as “a man in a dress,” make an effort to determine if the victim identified as transgender. If it cannot be determined, be sure to cite who provided information about the victim in your story. If possible, provide context for the reader, who may be unfamiliar with issues faced by transgender people, such as those surrounding legal name changes and lack of anti-discrimination protections.