2023 Annual Report

Learn more about our recent work and impact on the journalism industry, plus opportunities to support our growth.

In 2023, the Trans Journalists Association stood up.

Amidst a record number of anti-trans bills and policies, we watched our colleagues and our industry struggle to spot misinformation, follow the money, seek truth, and report it. Often, publications dissected and debated trans experiences instead of holding to account the politicians and officials attempting to curtail our rights. And from the reporters and editors working hard to get this coverage right, we heard the same thing, over and over: We need help.

We're here to offer that help. 

After all, we're the only trans-led professional organization of journalists focused on improving the state of gender-expansive journalists and coverage of trans issues. 

But in order to do this work, we needed to grow. So we worked with the Vance Center’s Lawyers for Reporters program to develop our bylaws and partnered with Tiny News Collective as a fiscal sponsor. That allowed us to accept our first major philanthropic gift, a generous $50,000 seed grant from the Ford Foundation, and to begin building more robust grassroots community support. We also announced our full board.

When we launched as a grassroots group in 2020 to respond to the lack of resources for trans journalists and those reporting on trans issues, we never imagined that trans people would become this present in the news. We envisioned our organization primarily as a solidarity space, one where trans journalists could share tips for surviving in the industry. That's sorely necessary: The handful of newsroom diversity reports that include us at all show that we usually make up less than 2% of reporters and 0% of editors and leadership. At least a third of our members are full-time freelancers fighting to get in newsroom doors, and many have been among those recently laid off.

We're still that group — all volunteers committed to fostering a news industry that is more welcoming to trans workers, does better by trans sources, and tells more accurate, nuanced stories about trans communities. That solidarity and community is still integral to, and the foundation of, all our work.

But we're thinking bigger now, too.

We doubled down on newsroom outreach last year. Through five conferences, ten formal and informal conversations with newsrooms, three j-school events, and a Pulitzer Center webinar, we reached more than 1,100 students and journalists with resources for covering trans communities with accuracy and nuance. We also revamped our style guide, doubling the content and modernizing the website to add crucial tools for understanding trans people and communities even on a deadline.

Going forward, we have two core goals: 

  1. Help trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive journalists thrive in their workplaces and careers; and
  2. Promote accurate, nuanced coverage of trans communities and issues.

We seek to build a news industry where accurate, nuanced news about trans people is the norm, not an outlier. An industry that retains trans journalists so that more of us can become news and media leaders, cultivating diverse and gender-aware coverage across all topics. An industry that sees us, instead of treating us as a theoretical exercise.

And we're poised to grow in 2024.

Will you join us?

Kae Petrin
President & volunteer Executive Director

Read more:

Building Towards the Future: 2023 

Our Impact

Coverage Guidance

In September, we revised our style guide. The revision dramatically restructured it and added more than 6,500 words of brand-new material intended to address frequent questions we've received since its original publication.

The updated style guide has been cited widely, receiving more citations in four months than the original style guide did in its entire first year. It's referenced in newspapers and coverage guidance internationally, and partially translated into Portuguese.

We issued quick-response coverage guidance on breaking news involving trans communities such as the Covenant School shooting. That guidance was circulated by organizations such as the Association of Health Care Journalists, International Center for Journalists, Poynter, Local News Lab, and NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, as well as numerous outlets that covered the story.


Our online spaces have grown to include more than 800 trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive journalists, current or former, plus more than 100 journalist allies interested in supporting our work. We worked hard to introduce new ways to support their journalism careers, networks, skill development, and resources.

We provided new member services:

  • A revamped website, including a members website that streamlines event planning and tracks active memberships
  • An early-career fellowship partnership with Business Insider, which provides extra training and a stipend to a TJA candidate hired through the program
  • A new public jobs board and jobs listserv to make it easier for newsrooms to reach trans journalists with freelance calls for pitches and staff job postings

We grew our online communities and opportunities for interaction by:

  • Launching the TJA+Allies Slack to facilitate discussion of trans coverage in news and trans issues in newsrooms
  • Co-hosting an editorial meet-and-greet with Pulitzer Center editors to share fellowship options with trans and nonbinary journalists
  • Connecting TJA members to New York Times editors who hosted a webinar for freelancers
  • Hosting eight online community events for TJA members to discuss journalism, news cycles, and the industry

We coordinated in-person events by:

  • Hosting networking events at conferences held by Investigative Reporters & Editors (with support from OpenNews), National Association for Hispanic Journalists, Online News Association, and NLGJA: The Association for LGBTQ+ Journalists
  • Planning informal networking events in New York and Washington and partnering with other journalism affinity organizations to host mixers in Chicago and D.C.


This year, we began developing in-house TJA training on coverage best practices. 

Internally, we connected TJA members to the following opportunities:

Publicly, we reached more than 1,000 journalists, including some internationally:

  • The Pulitzer Center featured our leadership and members in a webinar about trans coverage best practices
  • The Society for Professional Journalists Region 10 conference hosted a panel on best practices for covering trans communities
  • NLGJA hosted two panels at their national convention on covering trans issues well and understanding anti-trans legislation 
  • ONA hosted a panel on going "beyond trans 101" in reporting and editing
  • AccessFest hosted two digital panels on finding data about trans people and reporting investigative stories that center trans people's autonomy

And we spoke to newsrooms and news networks, offering formal training and informal conversations about coverage best practices. We also answered dozens of questions about breaking news dilemmas and ethical complications from reporters and editors in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.


TJA leadership met with editors at multiple publications that came under public criticism for their coverage of trans communities and anti-trans legislation. We hope that these conversations will promote nuanced, accurate, and ethical coverage of trans issues. 

We also began building more formal relationships with other journalism associations.

By the Numbers


800+ trans journalists, current and former, in our online spaces
100+ ally journalists have engaged with our work
210 active members of our association (with more signing up) 
111 freelancers in our directory
10 in-person events for trans journalists
8 online community meetups for trans journalists

Stylebook & Coverage

6,500+ words of new style guide material
5,900 unique visitors to the style guide site in just three months
83 countries viewed our style guidance
30 mentions of our work in journalism industry publications
17 citations of the new guide across the globe
7 sections of fresh content
4 in-depth topical guides on specific beats
1 medium guide on photo and visual journalism
1 resource on how or when to identify trans people during breaking news


$50,000 seed grant from the Ford Foundation
4 gifts of $500+
66 members and supporters who gave smaller donations


850+ working journalists attended our trainings, panels, and conversations
250+ student journalists attended j-school events
10 newsrooms or news networks brought in TJA trainings, conversations, and brown bags
9 panels or webinars on trans coverage
3 journalism schools hosted our board members as speakers

How We Got Here: 2020-2022 

Our Founding

In 2019, a group of several dozen trans journalists and media workers began collaborating to launch the Trans Journalists Association. We launched the next June as a grassroots group with no structure or funding. Everything that came next involved a lot of elbow grease from dedicated volunteers. We ran the association, built up our community, and financially supported all of that work out of our own pockets.

Once we completed our state incorporation in 2022, our small, temporary board began looking for legal representation and administrative partnerships, putting us on a strong footing for the next phase of our development.

When we launched on June 30, 2020, we did the following:

Our Impact

Coverage Guidance

Our style guide was cited as a resource in industry publications from the International Journalists' Network, the Education Writers Association tipsheets, the Institute for Nonprofit News, and ACES: The Society for Editing. 

Outlets like The Washington Post, The Associated Press, City Bureau, USA Today, the Huffington Post, and The Open Notebook used our guide to inform their own in-house practices for covering stories about trans communities. Journalism school programs also integrated our style guide into their standing resources.

We also helped launch the SPJ Race and Gender Hotline, which continues to be administered by the Society of Professional Journalists, and released an FAQ for Reporters Writing about Anti-Trans Violence.

We issued quick-response statements advising best practices for breaking news coverage of trans stories. Our guidance informed coverage of Elliot Page’s coming out announcement, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court ruling, and the Colorado Springs shooting. This coverage guidance was referenced and republished across the news ecosystem.

All told, our style guide was cited in at least 38 news and media resources. Our coverage guidance more broadly reached hundreds, if not thousands, of journalists through social media and direct outreach as we discussed standards and best practices with newsroom leadership across the U.S.


More than 400 trans journalists applied to join our online spaces within a year of our launch. As we grew, we continued developing internal resources for TJA members about information security, investigative reporting, and other tools and training.

Our achievements included:

  • Launching a database of trans freelancers for news organizations to develop a community of trans contributors and potential employees. 
  • Emphasizing that newsrooms should change trans reporters' bylines upon request, wherever possible.
  • Partnering with DeleteMe to offer discounted data removal services to TJA membership. 
  • Running a mutual aid initiative to connect LGBTQ+ journalists covering the Colorado Springs shooting to donors gifting food delivery services.
  • Starting a newsletter to keep in touch with TJA members and those invested in TJA’s mission. In some newsletters, TJA members share their stories and perspectives. In others, we provide organizational updates and guidance about media coverage of trans issues. 

We sent TJA members to speak to industry organizations, including the College Media Association, the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Berkeley’s journalism school. 

The association also facilitated multiple appearances by TJA members and leadership on panels at conferences held by Investigative Reporters & Editors, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, the Online News Association, Society for Professional Journalists, and others to share educational materials and best practices on covering trans issues and communities.


We developed a series of trainings to TJA members thanks to other organizations that donated their time:

We began developing a members-only training and resource library based on those materials.

We also partnered with PEN America, NLGJA, and GLAAD on an Online Abuse Self-Defense bootcamp for LGBTQ+ reporters.

Over the years, we also connected members with event organizers to speak to news organizations including Illinois Public Media, the Society for Professional Journalists, Leeds Trinity University, the Philadelphia Inquirer, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, USA Today Network, NPR’s Marginalized Genders, Intersex and People of Color (MGIPOC) Mentorship Program, The Guardian US, Online News Association, and more.


We began discussions with Investigative Reporters & Editors to help their programs, fellowships, and events attract and better serve trans journalists. We also began connecting with recruiters at various publications, including Business Insider and The New York Times, to help them better understand how to attract trans candidates.

By the Numbers

700+ trans journalists joined our online spaces
50+ freelancers listed in our freelancers directory
38 media resources highlighted our style guide
28 news and media publications featured our work
9 skills trainings built trans journalists’ skills
4 quick-response releases provided guidelines for the whole journalism industry

Financial Reports

Once we receive our 501c3 designation from the IRS, please check back for our 990s. 

In the meantime, you can learn more about our fiscal sponsor, the Tiny News Collective, through ProPublica's nonprofit explorer.

We'll be posting our 990-EZ for fiscal year 2022, the first year during which we were incorporated. We received $1,972 in donations and spent $187, so there's not much to see. We're also working on documents for 2023 (once again: very little money).

In 2023, we received a generous $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation through our fiscal sponsor. We will spend those funds throughout 2024, and they will appear on that year's budget and 990-EZ.

Support Us

We want to grow. You can help.

There are many opportunities to reach our network through job postings, paid advertising, and charitable sponsorships

For the first half of the year, we're primarily seeking sponsors for our June event at the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference in Anaheim. You can support networking events, travel funds for trans journalists and/or journalists covering trans issues, or the event as a whole.

Don’t care about credit, and just want to donate? We are a fiscally sponsored project of the Tiny News Collective, a 501c3 charitable organization. You can support us by donating through our web portal.

Does your employer offer donation matching through a program like Benevity? Some employers also match donations to our fiscal sponsor, which can be earmarked for us with a memo or note. Share our work with your colleagues!

If you’d like to discuss a larger donation through ACH, or want to donate to a specific project, please reach out directly to finance@transjournalists.org.

If you’d like to hire us, we also offer consulting services and newsroom trainings. Reach out to contact@transjournalists.org to discuss rates, topic areas, and scheduling.

Our fundraising policy answers common questions.

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Reach out to contact@transjournalists.org for general inquiries or finance@transjournalists.org for donation-related inquiries.

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