Crossing the Line? Reporting Transgender

Networking group Women in Media WA held an event examining the representation of transgender people in the media. The event was held at The Dominion League in Northbridge and featured a panel with both professional and personal knowledge on the trans community. Louise Pratt, a former WA senator, spoke of the challenges she faced when her partner was forced to transition in the limelight due to Louise’s position. Tina Ross transitioned in 2012 and was brave enough to tell her story. Dr Rob Cover from UWA, author of “Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity: Unbelievable Lives?” shared his expertise in gender.

WIM

Key Terms

The three terms you should familiarise yourself with when writing about gender diversity as a PR practitioner or journalist are ‘transgender’, ‘non-binary gender’ and ‘intersex’. If someone is transgender it typically means they identify as a gender that is different to the one assigned to them at birth. People with a non-binary gender or gender queer do not see themselves as exclusively a man or woman. Gender is fluid for gender queer individuals. Intersex means that biologically a person has both male and female characteristics whether it be their hormones, chromosomes, internal reproductive system or external genitals.

The Problem

In the past trans people were seen as ‘freaks’, the butt of the joke and in some cases even dangerous. Dr Rob Cover gave the example of the serial killer in the 1991 film ‘Silence of the Lambs’. Whilst Rob said there has been significant change in the past 5-7 years there is definitely still room for improvement. Many public relations practitioners and reporters are well meaning but can unwillingly perpetuate negative stereotypes.

  • Objectifying transgender people in an attempt to increase listeners, ratings or readership.
    Hayley Davis who facilitated the discussion gave the perfect example of this exploitation in the media coverage of the murder of transwoman Mayang Prasetyo. Mayang was killed and dismembered by her partner. The Courier-Mail chose to run the headline “Monster Chef and the She Male” with an image of Mayang in a bikini and repeatedly mentioned that she was a sex worker. Though the Australian Press Council deemed the story offensive and a breach press standards it illustrates we still have a long way to go.
  • Only showing the challenges to being trans and the “struggle with no end”
    Dr Rob Cover spoke of the danger of only presenting the negative side of being transgender. He said people are likely to commit suicide when they feel they don’t belong and they cannot see a future for themselves. This highlights the medias responsibility to show diverse representations of trans people, that it is not all doom and gloom, so the trans community can see how resilient they are. Dr Rob Cover praised the Amazon TV series ‘Transparent’ in their depiction of a strong, resilient, caring transwoman.
  • Not including a trans voice in the discussion of gay rights
    Louise Pratt expressed her disappointment that trans people were often left out of coverage on issues such as gay marriage. She spoke of several laws that are prejudiced towards the trans community that are often not bought into the public sphere by those working in PR and journalism such as the fact that an individual has to have major, invasive, irreversible genital surgery to be covered by the anti-discrimination act.
  • Asking members of the trans community inappropriate questions
    Louise Pratt said she felt stressed and traumatised by some of the stories that were reported on her and her partner. Louise made it clear it was not acceptable to ask someone about their genitals and encouraged those working in the media to make their interview subject feel comfortable.

The Solution

  • Positive gender diverse role models
    Tina Ross communicated her wish that she had known about transsexual US tennis player Renée Richards when she started to struggle with her gender. She recalls thinking “Am I the only one? What’s wrong with me?” Tina said she would have liked to have seen more role models who were not in the sex industry. Dr Rob Cover said he would like to see more representations of trans people in the media where they are not just pigeonholed for their gender.
  • Educating both children and adults about gender diversity
    Tina Ross commended programs in schools that educate children on gender diversity but emphasised the need to inform adults on the trans community. The panel said before we can change representations of trans people in the media we need to change how people think.
  • Being fair and ethical in producing content on transgender individuals
    Respect people’s history and pronouns and make use of the numerous resources available on gender diversity. Tina Ross explained for some trans people talking about their past can be very upsetting so let them guide the conversation or focus on the person they are today. When it comes to what people prefer to be called Tina said the safest thing to do is simply ask. The panel also suggested putting the number to QLife at the end of articles featuring a transgender person.

    The contact number for QLife the counselling and referral service for the LBTIQA community is 1800 184 527.

Top Five lessons I have learned during my PR internship with Launchcode PR.

For just over two months I have been doing an unpaid internship with Launchcode PR. Launchcode PR specialises in public relations and marketing for tech start up companies. This has been my first internship and it has been a big learning curve. I would like to share what I have discovered during my work experience.

  1. People are friendlier than you would expect.

I don’t know why but I assumed doing an internship would be like The Devil Wears Prada. I thought I would be working for a cold unapproachable boss and would be eaten alive if I made a mistake. The reality was my boss was patient, friendly and encouraging. Launchcode PR is located in a co working space in Northbridge called Tech Hub. As a female going into tech, which is mainly a male dominated industry, I was a bit intimidated but soon realised I had nothing to worry about. The Tech Hub members always made me feel included. So don’t be afraid to speak to the people you work with, everyone has something they can teach you.

  1. Believe it or not working in an office can be hard on your body.

It never occurred to me that I might find it difficult to sit in one spot from 10am to 4pm but it was at first. I suppose I got used to primary school, high school and university where we got regular breaks. Whilst I have been fortunate to go out to lunch with my colleagues on a few occasions I often didn’t like leaving my desk because of the work time I felt I would miss out on. My shoulders, neck and back could get pretty sore being hunched over my laptop so my advice to people starting work experience would be to force yourself to get up and stretch your legs every now and then.

  1. The workload can be full on and fast paced.

At university we have a month to complete an assignment. At my internship I can be writing up to 1000 words a day. Just work hard and do the best you can to meet deadlines. If you suspect you might not get something in on time speak up early so your boss can help you address any problems you might be having. Furthermore if you are a perfectionist like me you can sometimes struggle with having to hand over work you aren’t entirely happy with. Honestly in a busy, fast paced company there is no time for unrealistic expectations. Do the work to the best of your ability, send it and move on to the next task.

  1. Getting involved really makes a difference.

I admit it; tech really isn’t my thing but I refused to not at least try and improve my understanding of it. I applied to be involved in Perth {Web} Girls which encourages women to get into tech by teaching them programming. It was a great experience and I got the chance to meet a lot of interesting people. A few weeks later at Lanchcode PR’s first birthday I came across an important figure in the local start up community. He recognized me from Perth {Web } Girls, we talked and he ended up giving me his business card. I also got the chance to go to the West Tech Fest Oz App Awards. Speakers flew in from Silicon Valley, the Lord Mayor was there and so was the US Ambassador John Berry (I got to sit next to his security guard). Attending events that important in your industry will not only teach you new skills but are also great for networking.

  1. There is a big difference between learning how to do something and actually doing it.

I walked into my internship a little bit smug. Through my time at university I had created countless campaigns and written several reports and essays. However I soon learnt there was a big difference between hypothetically creating a campaign and actually implementing it. Whilst I knew the theory behind why newsletters were important, I had never had to write one. This highlights just why work experience is so important.

So don’t put it off any longer because although internships can be overwhelming and painful (literally) at first, there is no better way to make future contacts and take your first step in the work force as a public relations practitioner.

Brooke Napijalo is a third year student at Murdoch University studying a Bachelor of Digital Marketing and Media, her degree involves several public relations units and she wishes to go into PR once completed her degree.11131931_929564440416597_629169779_n

*Photo taken at Launchcode PR’s first birthday.

Brooke is on the far left and Shahirah Gardner,  Brooke’s boss, is on the far right*

GUEST BLOG: D Y N A M I Q U E . B L O G

THE WORKINGS OF NETWORKING

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Aditya Bajekal and Sameera Afzaal of D Y N A M I Q U E . B L O G

Photo from PR in Fashion by Ryan Ammon Photography

Bonjour! Buongiorno! Hola! Salam! All that good stuff

Here’s hoping all the rad PURE followers are springing into September because you know its spring. YEAY!?! Time to get them floral tops and capri pants out

We aren’t that funny but we hoped that made you smile.

We cannot express enough how honored we are to be putting together this piece together for y’all and we hope you enjoy.

We are the D Y N A M I Q U E D U O | Aditya & Sameera | #theshycreative & #styledwithasmile | Fashion & Culture Bloggers of dynamiqueblog.com

Emoji and Hashtag obsessives

Lovers of the ordinary | coffee | fashion | travel |

And the extraordinary | simplicity | life |

D Y N A M I Q U E . B L O G is our documentation of culture through fashion.

Our expression of the talent around us | DESIGNERS | FUNKY DRESSES | ARTISTS | PHOTOGRAPHERS |

Highlighting the CULTURE that all awesome beings create with a sprinkle of FASHION

These “awesome beings” include you | Check this out | S H O E C H R O N I C L E S #dynamiqueshoes

|THE WORKINGS OF NETWORKING |

Funny little title aye?!? Almost a pun

Recently we attended the Curtin Public Relations Student Chapters annual event PR in Fashion.

An outstanding evening that showcased runways from upcoming and established local designers as well as inspiring speeches from designers, industry professionals and bloggers of their experience in the industry. Here is the BLOG POST from Renae Cummins of the PURE committee on PR in Fashion.

D Y N A M I Q U E . B L O G has provided us with several and incredible opportunities to be a part of such events and shows. While giving us a spectacular insight into the industry and its workings, it has also pushed us to adapt very quickly to circumstances that no university education could have prepared us for.

We are talking | RSVP | dress code | etiquette | trending |

See we are students just like you and sometimes these awesome events may become the straw that break your calendar’s back.

However these events no matter how detrimental to our assignment schedule are severely important to what lies ahead of the books. These events allow us to grow further in a way of presenting our resume in a very interpersonal manner while establishing networks for the future thus the workings of networking.

So here are three ways how we do and how you can do too:-

  1. #Getready, #stressfree before the event without a #ootn meltdown

The Super Advance RSVP #getready #stressfree

So you see an event pop up on your facey, it looks kool and all. What do you do? Check that iPhone calendar ASAP and if you got nothing on and think you can make the time then schedule it in. Spend the next couple of days (approx. 2) roping your friends in and book the tickets ASAP. How does this help you? Now you know that you will be at an event so get all other aspects of your life organised and #getready for an awesome and #stressfree time (because nobody like to think about last minute assignments when you out with your friends posing at media walls and eating macaroons).

Wardrobe Malfunction/Meltdown #ootn

We will sound like your lecturer/tutor when we say don’leave outfit options for an event to the night before. Now this part is probably one of the good ones. Why? Because you get to shop. Leave yourself a couple of hours the weekend before the event to pick out the #ootn for the night. You get to see what you gotta put in the laundry and if there are little things you may be able to shop for to add a little flava-flav to your outfit.

Gentlemen, Adi’s tips for all the grooming:-

  • Style you hair, invest in a good hair product that lets you easily style your hair and get it looking decent
  • Always carry a camera, it makes you look rad and look like you know your shiz. Haha Adi’s little accessory, it is part of his role for the blog but you can always personalize this for something that demonstrates your personality.

Ladies, Sameera’s little tip for the makeup side of the spectrum:-

  • Wear a bare face during the day to uni with just moisturiser, this saves you time later because no reapplication/ cleaning needed as it gives you a clean palette to begin with.
  • Keep the make-up clean, stick to what you know for your features

And wear a nice perfume on the night, it not only serves as a good air cleansing enhancer but can quite often be a conversation starter with potential future working networks.

Smart casual is usually the go, we have invested in some key pieces which are easier to rotate around on a student budget | May be we will do an article on this later on 😉

  1. Etiquette | KEEP CALM AND STAY HUMBLE

Whatever event you may be attending keeping calm and staying humble is key. Remember at every point that you aren’t inferior or superior to anyone. Others may think so (it’s sad but this exists) but you humbling yourself shows you off in great light.

We can say with the MOST CERTAINTY that DEFINITELY make it your agenda to speak to some of the industry professionals present. This is quite a daunting task (we know all too well) so we suggest easing into it through the night. Get some canapés in your belly and sit through some of the presentations. You are bound to click with something that one of the speakers is saying and that will be your pointer or rather your conversation starter. Take a friend along with you and you will be giving yourself a huge hug when you have conquered talking to someone who inspires you. Trust us when we say that this does get easier with time and as you attend more events the crowds become familiar and easier to interact through and with.

So keep calm, stay humble and remember to make a good impression because you may just stumble on a great opportunity unexpectedly.

  1. Get trending #hashtagit

If you have a phone and any kind of social media then you should no problem and/or excuse to get trending on the events social media hashtag.

Now if you are really into it you can keep in tune with the event page to know what the hashtag of the event is. Quite often it will be in the info and if not then someone like Sameera is bound to ask. Also it is most likely going to be publicized on the night so you better have those phones charged.

Get all over the trend and media wall, why? Because this is how peeps will find you. During and after the event people often look through the tagged photos with the trending photos and this is how we find people we may have talked to on the night and want to continue communication with for future projects or just make good friends.

It is basically free publicity for you so use it without shame but with limits (don’t want to put something out that you can’t get back, remember it’s SOCIAL MEDIA)

Check us out trending #prinfashion2014

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Cheeky runway #selfie

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At the ASOS media wall

Ok only about 1300 words later we are going to let you go.

We hope you have relished over our little wisdom.

We are no professionals but we are disclosing our experiences with you.

If you would like to see more from us on the PURE blog please comment down below with what you think. Share and like and do all that good stuff.

We are currently expanding to doing monthly editorials on | ARTIST ENCOUNTERS | MENSWEAR | FOODIE ADVENTURES | If you know of any peeps with talent who would like to appear on our blog please send them to our social media or website. Also send us some of your SHOE CHRONICLES to be featured on our Instagram.

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Sameera & Adi