Thursday, 31 March 2016

We Celebrate Transgender and Remind of the Importance of Joint Struggle for the Rights of Transgender People in Serbia

International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, is the day when we celebrate transgender, courage and persistence of individuals in the determination to live their lives outside gender norms and be who they are, despite all the difficulties they face after speaking out and affirming their own gender identity. 

Although there are anti-discrimination legislation in Serbia, which prohibits discrimination and guarantees equality of all citizens, transgender people are, more likely than others, exposed to discrimination and violation of basic human rights such as the right to human dignity, bodily integrity, life without violence, the right to medical care, the right to marriage and many others.

The greatest legal impediments to protection and full equality of transgender people include the lack of legislation that would protect the rights of transgender people in Serbia and regulate important issues from different areas of life, such as the ability to change mark of sex/gender, name and personal identification number in all personal documents.

Why the visibility of transgender persons is important

The high level of violence, stigmatization, inability to change documents, unemployment, lack of financial resources for sex reassignment (for those who want it), lack of safety in public spaces and non-prosecution of hate crimes towards transgender people are just some of the difficulties that they face in everyday life. Nevertheless, transgender people and the problems they face remain largely invisible. Even if when they are mentioned, transgender people in the media are often presented in a negative context and in the spirit of sensationalism.

To support transgender people and encourage ethical and professional reporting which recognizes and respects the personal integrity and dignity of transgender people, we have analyzed the reporting of print and online media about transgender people in Serbia and made recommendations for reporting. In addition to the analysis of the value context related to transgender people and the presence of sensationalism in the texts, the essential category of analysis was the knowledge whether a transgender person, mentioned in the text, is referred to in accordance with his/her gender identity.

The Analysis of reporting of print and online media about transgender people in Serbia can be downloaded here, and Recommendations for media reporting on transgender people can be downloaded here. Both publications were created as part of cooperation with Gayten-LGBT and media archive EBART.

We hope that in this way we will contribute to a clearer definition of professional and ethical standards in reporting on the topic, but also to better visibility and knowledge of transgender identities and specificity of the context of existence of transgender people.

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action