In a time when transgender issues are frequently in the news, with a current flood of invoices being introduced in mostly Republican-led states that aim to limit transgender rights, Ms. Chua said her own experience had led her to think more deeply about how the media covers stories like hers.
You need to be careful who your sources are, Ms. Chua said. “There are organizations who purport to speak for one side or another and they are not the right ones, even if they are the loudest ones. ”
While there are no statistics on how many American journalists recognize as L.G.B.T.Q., an industry body that represents them has more than 1,000 members, while the comparatively new Trans Journalists Association counts about 400 members.
Ms. Chua warned of the danger of portraying trans people or those in minority communities as victims, rather than people “as fully fleshed out as they would be in any other story. ”
Her friends are seeing her completely fleshed out in her own life, too.
I loved her before, but theres just this additional level of comfort today, said Anya Schiffrin, a media scholar at Columbia who met Ms. Chua in Southeast Asia in the early 1990s. Ms. Schiffrin said she was thrilled Ms. Chua was willing to talk about her experiences.
All of this talking about her personal life and her feelings is truly a new thing for all of us, she said, adding: We have a few friends whose kids are transitioning, and shes said shes happy to speak to them. ”
As New York City has been reopen, Ms. Chua is preparing for a return to the Reuters office in July amid significant changes: A new job and a new public identity. It’ll require some adaptation — a skill she sees as necessary for the media business as a whole.
Were getting closer to rethinking what stories are about, who they are for, or what things, she said. “And I think that’s driven in some part from the audience changing and how stories are being distributed. There are many more avenues for people to call out stories that they feel are lacking. ”