NEW YORK, NY – GLAAD has released the tenth edition of its Media Reference Guide, the industry standard style guide for reporting on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and the issues that affect their lives.
The newly released tenth edition of the guide includes an updated terminology section and, for the first time, encourages journalists and other media content creators to adopt the use of ‘LGBTQ’ as the preferred acronym to most inclusively describe the community.
“On one level, it is just adding another letter,” says Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO. “But really it is bringing a whole new definition to the way we describe ourselves. It’s the start of a bigger shift.”
“Queer” existed as a slur for a long time, an arrow slung at people to make them feel like freaks or deviants, writes Katy Steinmetz in Time. The oldest meaning, going back to the 1500s, is strange, peculiar or questionable, and the word will still ring pejorative in many older people’s ears. Yet around the time of the AIDS crisis groups really started to reclaim it (“We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!”), and today young people are increasingly gravitating toward this label, one with no precise definition related to sexuality or gender. Which is the point.
For more than two decades, the GLAAD Media Reference Guide has provided journalists with the essential information they need to report fairly and accurately on the LGBTQ community. The GLAAD Media Reference Guide has also informed the style guides of leading news organizations including The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and others.
The word has been on the rise for the past several years, as has the acronym, Steinmetz continues. Some media outlets are already using it, as are lots of advocacy organizations and even government programs. Teen magazines from outlets like Vogue are “going queer.” Liberal politicians are using the five-letter version, as are some Republicans. (Donald Trump used “LGBTQ” during his acceptance speech at the convention this summer. Twice.) When the National Park Service embarked on a mission to identify places of significance related to sexual and gender minorities two years ago, one of the first actions scholars recommended was changing the title of that mission from an “LGBT heritage initiative” to an “LGBTQ” one, so as “to have the initiative be explicitly inclusive of those who, for personal or political reasons, do not feel represented by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender identifiers,” as the eventual report explained.
GLAAD today also renewed its commitment to working on behalf of queer-identified people, updating its mission to include “queer” in the organization’s work to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people. GLAAD’s powerful media programs will continue to share stories from the LGBTQ community that lead national dialogue, build understanding, and drive acceptance forward.
“The GLAAD Media Reference Guide is the industry standard for fair and accurate reporting on the LGBTQ community, and informs the style guides of the world’s leading news organizations,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “This latest edition reflects the increasingly diverse ways LGBTQ people, especially young people, talk about their identities.”
Additional updates to the GLAAD Media Reference Guide include an updated glossary of terms that includes “Asexual,” “Aromantic,” and “Intersex”; an updated transgender terminology section; and updated In Focus sections for reporting on the bisexual community, nondiscrimination laws, religion and faith, and HIV & AIDS.
The tenth edition of the GLAAD Media Reference Guide is available here: