Featured photo: Shots from the 2022 Greensboro Pride Festival. (photo by Carolyn de Berry)

It’s something of a curse in the news landscape. We see it every day.

Images, stories, video of catastrophes, murders, debilitating legislation being passed, families and whole communities being demonized. In some newsrooms, they still go by the old rule: If it bleeds, it leads.

Of course, the news exists to educate the public on everything that’s going on in our communities and in the broader world. A lot of that, unfortunately, centers around suffering. 

But our role needs to be much more than just a chronicle of pain.

This month, there has been so much attention on the increasing targeting of trans communities, the mental and physical harm these attacks can cause, how families are having to flee their home states. And all of that is important to know, because how can we fight back without being informed? But the trans community deserves joy, too. We all do.

The news shouldn’t just be about suffering.

For so long, marginalized communities have only existed in the news through a deficit lens or a hyperfocus on what’s going wrong. The negatives, the atrocities.

But there’s so much going right, too.

Last week, when protesters gathered in front of the city council building in downtown Greensboro, trans people and allies spoke out against hate and chanted in both joy and anger, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous, don’t fuck with us.”

So like them, we can exist in both.

And as we round out this month, we as news organizations need to be mindful of celebrating and highlighting the triumphs, the small joys, the mundane parts of these marginalized communities, too.

Because we are all so much more than our suffering. Marginalized communities know this already. But it never hurts to say it out loud.

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