Local and national organizations released the annual Iowa LGBTQ Media Guide today, to provide accurate information and encourage appropriate representation of the LGBTQ community in the media. One Iowa, Transformations Iowa, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, GLAAD, and Progress Iowa jointly released the guide, which can be viewed by clicking here.
The following leaders issued statements to be included in the Iowa LGBTQ Media Guide:
“Pride Month is a time for celebration and renewed action in Iowa. We have so much to celebrate as we come together as a community, with the freedom to marry recognized in all fifty states, as well as protections in Iowa from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for the past decade. But we have much work left in front of us as well: so-called “conversion therapy” which has been denounced the the American Medical Association is still allowed under Iowa law, transgender Americans are harassed and even killed at an alarming rate, meanwhile President Trump is attempting to reinstate a ban on LGBTQ persons from serving in the military, and for the second year in a row he refuses to even recognize Pride Month. This month I look forward to celebrating, and to working with all Iowans in the fight for equality.” -Rep. Liz Bennett, State Representative, Assistant Democratic Leader, First Openly-LGBTQ Woman to Serve in the Iowa Legislature
“While Iowa has made significant progress on issues impacting equality, much more needs to be done. I was proud to help pass a ban on conversion therapy and add transgender individuals to Iowa’s Hate Crimes Statute in the Iowa Senate. I was very disappointed that the Iowa House chose not to take up these measures. We must stay organized and keep working for a day when we these and other measures to advance equality will be passed in Iowa. We can’t take our advancements on equality for granted. It would be very easy for Iowa to rollback hard won gains on civil and human rights.” -Sen. Matt McCoy, Des Moines
“As we celebrate our great and diverse community and honor our many accomplishments we must keep pushing forward to ensure full equality for all and make a commitment to stay vigilant so that rights now gained are not lost tomorrow. The truth is our transgender brothers and sisters face violence and widespread discrimination, LGBTQ people lack equal protection under the law in many states, our children are bullied, our desperate take their own lives, and I am one of just a very small handful of LGBTQ citizens to hold elected office in Iowa. There are vicious forces at work everyday that would like to take away our right to marry, to adopt, and to live freely, some would even take our lives. We must never become complacent or too comfortable, rights won over the course of decades by the blood sweat and tears of our many martyrs can be taken away in the blink of an eye. We must forever stand in solidarity with all members of our community and band together so that we can fully realize the promise of our movement.” -Chris Schwartz, Openly Gay Black Hawk County Supervisor
“The LGBTQ community has worked for equal treatment and respect for decades. As the community becomes more visible, it is imperative that LGBTQ Iowans are accurately represented in media coverage. Our community continues to face harmful stigma, and respectful and accurate media coverage is key to educating the public and breaking through false narratives about LGBTQ people. One Iowa is committed to assisting journalists with best practices for covering our community to accomplish this.” -Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, Executive Director, One Iowa
“For many people, their first exposure to the transgender community is through the media. Whether that be tv shows, movies, or the news it is imperative that we are depicted accurately and respectfully. This is especially important when reporting on a transgender person’s death. Things like dead names and the wrong pronouns should never be reported. This is important not only to respect current trans people, but to show those who are not yet out that it is okay to be yourself.” -Sophia Stone, Transformations Iowa President
“Words matter. It is important that the media take the time to understand and correctly use language that is based in best practices and is respectful. In doing so, it helps to report events accurately and educate the public in the process. Interfaith Alliance of Iowa has been a proud ally of the LGBTQ community for more than two decades. We will always advocate for the rights and dignity of LGBTQ Iowans and stand against any effort that uses religion as a weapon to discriminate.” – Connie Ryan, Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
Included in the guide, which can be viewed by clicking here, are an overview of the LGBTQ community in Iowa, including demographics, a background on Iowa laws, media contacts, and best practices for LGBTQ coverage, including a glossary of common terms.