PETALING JAYA: A localised guidebook on gay and transgender people has been produced to create greater sensitivity in the media and among the public.
The guidebook was produced by the American media group, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and has been translated into Malay and Mandarin, according to Star Online.
It incorporates local phrases such as Mak Nyah and Pengkid.
A civil society group Justice for Sisters produced the translated versions, and printed about 1,000 copies for the media. Copies are also available for download from the website justiceforsisters.wordpress.com.
The 44-page guidebook contains explanations on gender identity, acceptable terminology, problematic language, case studies and existing anti-transgender laws in Malaysia.
The president of the National Union of Journalists, Chin Sung Chew, was quoted as saying the union would disseminate the information to its members, but the editorial tone of newspapers and other media was determined by the publication’s editors and not the reporters.
In the report, Transmen of Malaysia founder Dorian Wilde urged media outlets and bloggers to be more sensitive and less sensational when reporting on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues.
He said English-language online media and Chinese-language newspapers were more progressive, while noted newspapers in English and Tamil were making progress.
However Malay-language newspapers tended to shame the LGBT community with outrageous and defamatory statements.