Authors Note:

While I understand that “The Onion” is a satirical publication trying to draw attention to serious matters, even they should know that people will take this type of thing seriously and draw the wrong conclusions.

Reporting on transgender topics should always be done respectfully and accurately, and it is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of the transgender community. The Onion’s article advocating for the endangerment of transgender individuals is offensive and dangerous.

It is essential to know how your audience will consume and disseminate the information you report instead of just posting it because you can and hope for the best.

The Importance of Responsible Reporting on Transgender Issues

The Onion, a satirical news publication, recently published an article titled “It Is Journalism’s Sacred Duty to Endanger the Lives of As Many Trans People as Possible.” As much as the article is satirical, the underlying issue is serious. Media outlets have a responsibility to report on transgender issues in a way that does not endanger their lives or contribute to their discrimination.

Transgender people experience high rates of discrimination, violence, and suicide. According to a report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, nearly one in four trans people has experienced assault or violence because of their gender identity. This makes it crucial for journalists to approach reporting on transgender issues with care and empathy.

Responsible reporting on transgender issues means giving them a voice and treating them with respect. It also means not sensationalizing or perpetuating myths about transgender people. Journalists must strive to be accurate and informative in their reporting and avoid using language perpetuating stigmas about the transgender community.

It is essential for media outlets to provide visibility for transgender people and their issues. Journalists can achieve positive visibility by covering stories that focus on the daily lives and experiences of transgender people, such as their struggles with employment, housing, and healthcare. Coverage should also highlight the efforts of the transgender community to promote equality and challenge discrimination.

Inaccurate reporting on transgender issues can have serious negative consequences for the community.

Some examples of erroneous reporting include:

  • Misgendering: This is when a person is referred to by the wrong pronouns, such as referring to a transgender woman as “he” or “him”. This can harm the individual and contribute to a culture that denies the existence of transgender identities.
  • Sensationalism: Sometimes news outlets will report on transgender issues sensationally, such as focusing on surgery or other medical procedures rather than on the experiences of the individuals involved. This can reduce transgender people to their bodies and can be dehumanizing.
  • Stereotyping: News outlets may also rely on stereotypes when reporting on transgender issues, such as portraying all transgender people as hypersexual or mentally ill. This can contribute to negative attitudes toward the transgender community.

On the other hand, accurate reporting on transgender issues can also have negative consequences if presented for wrong reasons.

For example:

  • Clickbait: Some news outlets may report on transgender issues accurately but with sensational headlines that are designed to generate clicks and views rather than to inform the public. This can be harmful because it can contribute to a culture where transgender issues are only discussed in terms of their “shock value”.
  • Political agendas: Some news outlets may report on transgender issues accurately but with a political agenda, such as to advance a particular political viewpoint or to attack a specific political party. This can be harmful because it can lead to a lack of nuance in reporting and can contribute to a climate of hostility towards transgender people.


In conclusion, the media has an influential role in shaping public perceptions of transgender issues. While sensationalized reporting may generate more views and clicks, it does so at the expense of the safety and well-being of the transgender community. Responsible journalism on transgender issues can help to promote understanding, compassion, and acceptance towards a vulnerable and marginalized population.