Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE
Univision and Telemundo, the biggest players in Spanish-language media, are making notable strides in their coverage of transgender issues, a topic in need of improved visibility among Hispanic audiences.
During the first third of 2016, a Media Matters guest demographic study showed transgender voices were absent from Spanish-language Sunday shows. But recently, Univision and Telemundo have both included transgender voices -- Univision on their nightly news show and Telemundo on their Sunday show -- in their reporting on the recent slew of anti-LGBT bathroom bills, which bar transgender people from using facilities that correspond to their gender identity. On the May 22 edition of their Sunday show Enfoque, Telemundo brought on a transgender teenager to talk about discrimination:
Latinos and Latinas face extra hurdles compared to other LGBT folks in the form of family structure and religion that may often suppress their ability to be open about their gender and/or sexuality. When Hispanic media gives transgender people a platform to tell their own stories, it helps educate viewers and debunk myths and stereotypes about transgender people.
In the past, Spanish-language news networks have aired stories that include inaccurate and dehumanizing language about transgender people. Last year, networks also failed to cover a wave of deadly violence against transgender women of color. National news networks have a history of irresponsible and inaccurate journalism when it comes to transgender issues, but Spanish-language networks are taking a much-needed step in the right direction.