Transgender People Get Refreshing Visibility On Univision's Late Night News Coverage Of North Carolina's HB 2 

Univision's late night news coverage of North Carolina's recently adopted anti-LGBT bill featured a transgender woman and advocate brought on to explain the dangerous impact of the discriminatory HB 2, providing refreshing visibility to transgender people and a noteworthy improvement in news coverage.

On May 9, the evening news shows on the two biggest Spanish-language networks -- Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo -- reported on the “dueling lawsuits” between the state of North Carolina and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over North Carolina's anti-LGBT law HB 2. The discriminatory bill bans transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificate and has been defended by those echoing right-wing media's repeatedly debunked fearmongering about the risk of so-called “bathroom predators.”

Univision's late night news show Noticiero Univision Edición Nocturna added a breath of fresh air to news coverage of North Carolina's anti-LGBT law by interviewing Abigail Pereira, a transgender woman and civil rights advocate. Pereira explained that forcing transgender people to use bathrooms that don’t match their gender identities could cause more “shock” and fear than her simply going to a women's bathroom.

Coverage of important transgender news stories has been a challenge for national cable, broadcast, and Spanish-language news in the past; they previously largely ignored an “epidemic of deadly violence” against the transgender community, and they have mostly failed to include the voices of transgender individuals, especially transgender women of color. And that’s what makes Univision’s recent coverage so noteworthy: Including transgender voices and using culturally competent language are momentous steps toward improvement in covering issues that impact the transgender community.