An apology: Sometimes we get things wrong and we should know better

Concern over reference to intersex people

Recently we published an article from rights organisation just.equal that took measure of what the McGowan government has achieved in the area of LGBTIQA+ law reform over the last four years. 

As we head toward the WA state election in 2021, we believe it’s essential to reflect on what our elected officials have achieved, and what they had failed to deliver.  Alongside the article from just-.equal you may have also seen our live stream of an event held by the rights group Rainbow Futures. 

Regrettably the article from just.equal contained phrasing that did not meet our standards for publication. It indicated that the concerns of people who are transgender are equivilent to the concerns of people who are intersex. 

The experiences, challenges and needs of these two groups within our communities are different, and should not be automatically grouped together. 

I should have noticed this when editing the article prior to its publication. It’s an error I am genuinely sorry for, and I should know better. 

As soon as our error was highlighted we adjusted the wording of the article and I sincerely apologize to everyone. I will do better in the future. 

Today we have shared a piece written by a person who is intersex and I encourage everyone to read it.

Slow response to local stories

Additionally this week we received messages from readers concerned that our team had not covered significant stories reported in other media outlets in Western Australia.

Firstly I’d like to acknowledge how amazing it is that across the media landscape many news providers are covering these topics – it’s not too long ago that queer media were the only ones following these issues. 

Leigh and I try to stay on top of everything that is going on, but sometimes we have to give time to our partners and families, other jobs, behind the scenes tasks and our own health. 

When we fall behind, we work hard to catch up and over the weekend we’ve tried to get up to speed over many different stories that were waiting in the queue. 

We thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Improving warning signs for readers who are transgender

Today we published the results of a scientific survey that highlighted that negative stories about transgender people in the media, have an impact on the mental health of people who are transgender. 

This should come as no surprise to anyone, you only have to look at the groundbreaking to research done by Perth’s own Telethon Kids Institute to find out more about this. 

We never want to add to the burden anyone is facing, and spend a lot of time considering the ethics behind each story we publish, and whose views we share. 

The balance between legitimising views, and challenging them can be a fine line to walk. 

While we always add support information to articles where it is required, we have also begun increasingly using warning tags to help people who do not wish to read articles that cover certain topics. 

As always we’re interested in your feedback on these issues, and we’re always ready to hear your concerns. 

Sending an email to [email protected] will be seen by both Leigh and I, and you can find our mobile numbers on our contact details page.

Graeme Watson
Managing Editor

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