Although The Daily does not usually write editorials on style guide changes, this particular change is very important. Instead of using the term ‘trans*,’ The Daily will be using ‘trans’ as our default umbrella term for this large and diverse community of individuals. This change follows in the steps of numerous trans activists and organizations. As a largely cisgender editorial board, we based our discussions on this change on resources from members of the trans community, and the decision was not taken lightly.
While we will use ‘trans’ as our default term, we will nonetheless make a conscious and consistent effort to ask individuals and organizations whether they prefer to use the asterisk in reference to themselves. Self-identification remains paramount and trumps our style guide in every case. Individuals should be able to use the term that they are comfortable with and that they feel has power for them.
Because of its history, and because our editors and contributors covering trans issues are often cisgender, in The Daily’s current usage the asterisk does not convey the meaning of inclusion that we would like it to. As we make the change to ‘trans’ as a default term, we will continue to prioritize trans issues and voices in our coverage, as our Statement of Principles (SOP) mandates us to be anti-oppressive, both in our language and in the events and issues we give space to in our paper.
The change from ‘trans*’ to ‘trans’ is not set in stone and is not one we feel we have the power to make alone. As such, we invite discussion, questions, and especially criticism from those who are well-versed in these issues and from those who are affected. To do so, you can leave a comment online, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write a letter (300 words or less) to be published in our next issue.
– The McGill Daily Editorial Board