Wednesday 24 November 2021


If you've never actually read in full the BBC Style Guide's entry for 'gender/sex' - the controversial one that's alleged to have been wholly informed by Stonewall's 'woke' ideology on transgender matters - then please take a few minutes to read it. 

As 'pure wokery' expressed in BBC terms it really is quite something: 


Using appropriate language is an important part of how we portray people in our stories. Sexuality, race, ethnicity or disability should not be mentioned unless they are relevant to the subject matter. But when we do focus on one aspect of a person's character we should ensure we do not define them by it.

Where possible, use the term/s and pronoun/s preferred by people themselves, when they have made their preferences clear.

Gay/lesbian: Use gay as an adjective rather than a noun (eg: two gay men - but not "two gays"). It can apply to members of both sexes, but current preferred practice is to refer to "gay men and lesbians".

For wider references, talk about LGBT people or the LGBT community (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender). If this does not suffice, the preferred initialism is “LGBTQ”or“LGBTQ+” - the “Q” means questioning and/or queer, the “+”acknowledges not all people may feel represented by these initials. Where possible, however, initials should be avoided. The issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can be very different and the more specific we can be with our language, the better.

If using LGBT+ or another formulation - for example in a quote – consider the likely audience of the story and whether the term needs explaining. Instead of “LGB”, for example, consider “lesbian, gay or bisexual”.

Homosexual means people of either sex who are attracted to people of their own gender, but take care how you use it. While it can be fine in historical, judicial or legislative references, it can be considered offensive in other contexts because of past associations with illegal behaviour and mental illness.

Bisexual is an adjective to describe someone who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to more than one gender.

“Gender identity” has come to mean how people feel or present themselves, distinct from their biological sex or sexual orientation. Use sex to refer to a person’s physical development and gender to describe how they identify themselves.

Transgender, or trans, is a good umbrella term for a person whose gender identity differs from their sex at birth. A person born male who lives as a female, would typically be described as a “transgender woman” and would take the pronoun “she”. And vice versa. Use the term and pronoun preferred by the person in question. If that’s unknown – apply that which fits with the way the person lives publicly. If reporting on someone who is making their transition public, it may be appropriate to refer to their previous identity to help audience understanding. It may also be appropriate to refer to a transition to make sense of some stories.

Transsexual refers to someone who has changed, or wishes to change, their body through medical intervention. Use as an adjective - do not say “transsexuals”, in the same way we would not talk about "gays" or "blacks". Transsexual is not an umbrella term. Many transgender people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. Try to ask or find out which term a person prefers.

Take care with the term “sex change”, unless referring specifically to the surgical element of a transition. It should not be used as a general description for a transgender person.

Queer is an adjective used by some people who find more specific terms, such as lesbian”, “gay”, “bisexual”, “trans and “LGBT”, too limiting to describe their romantic or sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. Originally a pejorative term, more recently “queer” has been reclaimed by some in the LGBTQ+ community, to describe themselves. However, it is not universally accepted and has the potential to cause offence. Be careful when using the term. We should not apply the term to an individual or group unless they have already adopted it.

Non-binary is an adjective used to describe a person who does not identify as only male or only female, or who may identify as both . It is increasingly common for non-binary people to use the singular pronoun “they”. Obviously, we should not ascribe a gender to someone non-binary. But we may need to explain any use of “they” as a singular pronoun to the audience for clarity. This could be without explicitly mentioning their gender, however (eg: [First name surname] - who uses "they" and "them" as personal pronouns - is…).

“Sexual preference” suggests a person chooses to be gay or bisexual. For the same reason, phrases such as “alternative lifestyle” should also be avoided where possible. Instead of “sexual preference” and “admits being gay”, consider “sexual orientation” and “is gay”.

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