Announcing the TJA's new mentorship program

Trans journalists need support and models to navigate journalism, especially as the industry becomes increasingly turbulent. The new Peer Career Network works to address this.

The TJA is excited to announce our newest program, our Peer Career Network. Our founding cohort of 10 mentors has volunteered time to support trans journalists' professional development.

Through this new program, TJA members will be able to schedule office hours with later-career volunteers who can give professional advice on topics ranging from reporting and editing, to using data, to transitioning in a newsroom.

Managed by TJA Board Secretary Adam Rhodes and Seattle Times reporter Tat Bellamy-Walker, the initial program will continue for six months.

Bellamy-Walker pitched a mentorship program to the TJA because they saw an unmet need in journalism.

They said:

Trans journalists are largely underrepresented in newsrooms across the U.S. We need peer support to thrive and remain in this industry. Our voices remain critical in this field, particularly at a time of increased hostility targeting LGBTQ+ communities. We need support from people who share our experience and who understand the challenge of navigating transphobia, racism, and misogyny.

I hope this can be a safe space where trans journalists can learn, be vulnerable and have access to tools that can accelerate their career goals. The Peer Career Network is yet another tool to provide trans journalists with a more sustainable path.

TJA members interested in the program can access the Peer Career Network through our member portal while logged in.

Not a member? Membership is free. About 1 in 3 of our journalists are full-time freelancers, and it's important to us that trans journalists can access professional development opportunities even when they're not supported by a newsroom employer.

Join now, or learn more about membership.

TJA professional development fellowships

Are you a trans, nonbinary, or gender-expansive journalist looking to access journalism training opportunities?

The TJA is presenting a Trans Coverage Track at the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference in Anaheim, CA from June 20-23. TJA fellows will receive registration, a hotel room for all three conference nights, and travel support.

The conference is an opportunity to learn more about public records, data reporting, and other crucial tools for high-impact accountability news.

Plus, join the TJA's members meetup. We're also hosting investigations-focused panels on covering trans communities and the issues that face us.

Apply now.

We're seeking sponsors for travel fellowships, a TJA members meetup, the coverage track itself, and more. Learn more about sponsoring our event.

Misinformation watch

  1. ‘Gender ideology,’ the new anti-LGBTQ2S+ buzzword, explained from Xtra* Magazine
  2. Queerphobic misinformation has a tangible impact on Philadelphia from Philadelphia Gay News
  3. Tuberville’s claim that Olympics decided ‘men can box women’ misses the mark from PolitiFact
  4. EXPLAINER: Drag queens and how they got pulled into politics from The Associated Press
  5. 'Groomer,' 'pro-pedophile': Old tropes find new life in anti-LGBTQ movement from NBC News

Journalism events

Thanks to everyone who came to our March book club! Our next event is in late April.

Want to discuss the book club on Slack? Join TJA here and make sure to check the box indicating that you would like access to the Book Club Slack channel. Already a TJA member? Join the #tja-x-nlgja-book-club channel in the TJA+Allies Slack group.

Blue and orange image for journalism events

Join the National Writers Union - Freelance Solidarity Project for a Zoom panel discussion about the present and future of the media industry. Brandi Collins-Dexter, Matt Pearce, and Victor Pickard will consider how we got here — the structural problems and bad actors that brought us to this point of crisis — and what we do next to build a better, more equitable, and more sustainable industry. FSP-NWU’s Kate Harloe will moderate. RSVP and submit questions for the panelists below.

Register here!
Tuesday, April 9, 2024
7-8 PM ET / 4-5 PM PT

What we're reading

How Cecilia Gentili Mothered a Generation of Trans Liberation Fighters
Gentili lived a life dedicated to our collective liberation. Now, her loved ones are fighting to honor her legacy.
Years Later, VA Still Has Still Not Fulfilled Promise to Cover Gender-Affirming Care
Transgender veterans say they see the latest Department of Veterans Affairs delays as further evidence of politically motivated bias against them.
After a county restricted transgender women in sports, a roller derby league said, ‘No way’
A women’s roller derby league in suburban New York has thrust itself into the national discussion over the rights of transgender athletes.
Southern Anti-Trans Laws Are Uprooting Families -- And Leaving Them With Impossible Choices
Rural communities had long accepted trans kids — but lawmakers in red states went after them anyway.
7 Trans Students on the Fear, Humiliation, and Loneliness of Life Under Bathroom Bans
Students in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Iowa, Utah, Alabama, and Tennessee talk to Them about the practical hurdles and psychological fallout of simply using the bathroom at school.
An interstate trans healthcare crisis: Illinois prepares for influx of people seeking gender-affirming care - Windy City Times News
Windy City Times News - With hard-won rights, such as access to hormone replacement therapy or permission to use one’s chosen pronouns in school, breaking down in states across the country, trans residents of all ages are left with a choice:
These GOP Activists Are Coming For An Unexpected Deep-Blue State
California conservatives are trying to get anti-trans measures on the ballot in November. It’s a long shot — but it still gives advocates reason to worry.
‘This school district has failed him’: Trans Katy teen drops out after gender policy passes
The district’s new approach to gender identity has dramatically impacted students like Kadence Carter, who dropped out after it took effect.
Seen but not heard: The New York Times failed to quote trans people in over 60% of 2023 stories on anti-trans legislation
A new report from Media Matters and GLAAD finds that The New York Times excluded the perspectives of trans people from two-thirds of its stories about anti-trans legislation in the year following public criticism for its handling of the topic. Media Matters previously reported that the Times helped fuel a right-wing anti-trans panic in 2022 by platforming anti-trans extremists, painting rising transgender identification as a social contagion, and fearmongering about the costs of transgender acceptance. In February 2023, the paper received two separate open letters: one from a coalition of 150+ organizations and leaders, including GLAAD, and a separate letter signed by hundreds of Times contributors that criticized the outlet’s contributions to a deadly anti-LGBTQ culture war. The newspaper attempted to conflate both efforts, dismissing all criticisms of its coverage as merely “protests organized by advocacy groups.” Between February 15, 2023, when those letters were separately delivered to the Times, and February 15, 2024, the Times published at least 65 articles that mentioned U.S. anti-trans legislation in either their headline or lead paragraphs. We counted how often the paper quoted openly trans or gender-nonconforming sources, cited anti-trans misinformation or talking points without context or adequate fact-checking, and accurately represented the records of anti-trans figures mentioned in its stories. Our findings: 66% of the articles did not quote even one trans or gender-nonconforming person. 18% of the articles quoted misinformation from anti-trans activists without adequate fact-checking or additional context. 6 articles obscured the anti-trans background of sources, erasing histories of extremist rhetoric or actions.
The Right to Change Sex
The moral case for letting trans kids change their bodies.
Opinion | As a trans person, focusing on ‘micro-kindnesses’ is the best way I’ve found to be happy
Ahead of the Transgender Day of Visibility, one nonbinary writer explains how a focus on ‘micro-kindnesses,’ not microaggressions, is the way to feeling comfortable and happy.

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