Current as of 15 December 2021
Footnotes should be used only where necessary to provide supplemental information that does not fit into the flow of the main text.
BATS adheres to the Author-Date system of the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, Chapter 15.
If an author has changed names since the original publication of a work, cite the work with their current name in the reference section.
Example book citations
Stryker, Susan. 2017. Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution. 2nd ed. New York: Seal Press.
Tate, Charlotte Chuck, Ella Ben Hagai, and Faye J. Crosby. 2020. Undoing the Gender Binary. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Example edited volume citations
Currah, Paisley, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Price Minter, eds. 2006. Transgender Rights. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Koyama, Emi. 2006. “Whose Feminism is it Anyway? The Unspoken Racism of the Trans Inclusion Debate.” In The Transgender Studies Reader, edited by Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle, 698–705. New York: Routledge.
Example journal article citations
Billard, Thomas J. 2019. “Setting the Transgender Agenda: Intermedia Agenda-Setting in the Digital News Environment.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 7 (1): 165–76. https://doi.org/10.1080/21565503.2018.1532302.
Johnson, Austin H, and Baker A. Rogers. 2019. “‘We’re the Normal Ones Here’: Community Involvement, Peer Support, and Transgender Mental Health.” Sociological Inquiry 90 (2): 271–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/soin.12347.
Example online periodical citations
Steinmetz, Katy. 2014. “The Transgender Tipping Point.” TIME, May 29. https://time.com/135480/transgender-tipping-point/.
Green, Erica L., Katie Benner and Robert Pear. 2018. “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.” New York Times, October 21. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html.
Unless otherwise indicated in this style guide, manuscripts should follow either the New Oxford American Dictionary, 3rd edition or the Oxford Dictionary of English, 3rd edition for spelling. Authors may employ either US or British English spellings, as long as they are consistent within a given manuscript.
Except where otherwise indicated in this style guide, BATS adheres to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.
Avoid explicitly gendered language when referring to mixed groups (e.g., firemen, chairmen, mankind, etc.) if they can instead be referred to in a gender-neutral manner (e.g., firefighters, chairpersons, humankind, etc.).
When making references to a generic person, use the singular “they” instead of using “he or she,” “s/he,” etc.
References to race, ethnicity, and culture
When referring to individuals, groups, or ideas in racial, ethnic, or cultural terms, always capitalize the “B” in “Black,” “Blackness,” etc. and the “I” in “Indigenous,” “Indigeneity,” etc. Never capitalize the “w” in “white,” “whiteness,” etc.
Use “Black,” rather than “African American” unless it is contained in a direct quote, organizational name, etc.
“Asian American” and other such racial, ethnic, or cultural identifiers should be written as two separate, unhyphenated words.
The phrase “Asians and Pacific Islanders” and its acronym “API” should only be used when referring to all Asians and Pacific Islanders; it should not be used as a general replacement for saying “Asian.”
Use “Latine” or “Latinx,” rather than “Latina/o” or “Latin@.” “Latine” is preferred over “Latinx.” “Latine”/“Latinx” refers to individuals from Latin America (including Brazil). “Hispanic” refers to individuals from Spanish-speaking countries (i.e., including Spain, but excluding Brazil).
Use “Indigenous Peoples,” rather than “natives,” “aboriginals,” etc. “Native Americans” and “American Indians” are acceptable when referring to Indigenous Peoples in the United States of America. “First Nations” is acceptable when referring to Indigenous Peoples in Canada (except Inuit and Métis) and Australia.
Avoid pan-Indigenous terms when more specific terms are available (e.g., “she is Ojibwe,” instead of “she is a Native American”).
Refer to Indigenous People “in” a country, rather than Indigenous People “of” a country (e.g., “Indigenous People in Mexico,” not “Indigenous People of Mexico” or “Mexico’s Indigenous People,” etc.)
Unless contained in a direct quote, organizational name, etc., avoid terms like “tribe,” “band,” and “clan” when describing Indigenous Peoples. Instead, use terms like “nation,” “people,” “society,” etc.
“Transgender,” “cisgender,” “gender identity,” and “gender modality”
The first reference to “transgender” should spell out the full word. Subsequent references to “transgender” may be abbreviated as “trans.” Unless it is contained in a direct quote, organizational name, etc., or used to make a specific argument for which it is necessary, BATS does not accept “trans*” as an abbreviation of transgender.
“Transgender” and “trans” are adjectives, not nouns. Accordingly, someone can be a “trans woman,” “trans man,” “trans person,” etc., but not “a transgender,” or a “transwoman,” “transman,” “transperson,” etc.
The first reference to “cisgender” (i.e., non-transgender) should spell out the full word. Subsequent references to “cisgender” may be abbreviated as “cis.”
“Cisgender” and “cis” are adjectives, not nouns. Accordingly, someone can be a “cis woman,” “cis man,” “cis person,” etc., but not “a cisgender,” or a “ciswoman,” “cisman,” “cisperson,” etc.
“Gender identity” refers to the gender category with which an individual identifies (i.e., man, woman, nonbinary, etc.). “Gender modality” (sometimes called “transgender status”) refers to an individual’s status as either transgender or cisgender. “Gender modality” is preferred over “transgender status.”
“Nonbinary,” “nonconforming,” and similar
The word “transgender” includes, by default, nonbinary people, and thus the phrase “trans and nonbinary” is redundant. However, in specific circumstances where authors make intentional and explicit arguments for separating “nonbinary” out from the general “transgender,” it is acceptable to do so.
“Nonbinary” should be written as a single, unhyphenated word, rather than as “non-binary.”
“Nonconforming” should be written as a single, unhyphenated word, rather than as “non-conforming.” When referring to people who do not conform to conventional gender norms, use the adjectival phrase “gender-nonconforming.”
Prepubertal children may be referred to with the term “gender diverse.” Unless an individual self-identifies with the term, it is contained in a direct quote, organizational name, etc., or used to make a specific argument for which it is necessary, BATS does not use “gender creative” or “gender expansive.”
Unless an individual self-identifies with the term, it is contained in a direct quote, organizational name, etc., or it is used to make a specific argument for which it is necessary, BATS does not use “genderqueer.” Either “nonbinary” or “gender-nonconforming” should be used instead.
Region- and culture-specific gender-variant identities
Region- and culture-specific gender-variant identities (e.g., two-spirit in North America, hijra in the Indian subcontinent, muxe in Oaxaca, waria in Indonesia, etc.) should not be italicized as non-English words (counter to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, Chapter 7). All other non-English words should be italicized.
“Two-spirit” should be written as a hyphenated term, rather than as two separate words.
Individuals who self-identify as holding a region- or culture-specific gender-variant identity should always be referred to by that specific identity label and not “transgender,” unless they also self-identify as transgender.
When referring to transgender identity and region- and culture-specific gender-variant identities in one inclusive category, use the term “gender minorities.”
“Transsexual” and similar
“Transsexual,” “transvestite,” “cross-dresser,” and other such outmoded terms should never be used as a general descriptor for contemporary transgender people. Such terms should only be used when discussing historical contexts in which they were commonly used, when an individual self-identifies with the term, or when it is contained in a direct quote, organizational name, etc.
“LGBT” and similar
When referring to the broad community of sexual and gender minorities, use the acronym “LGBTQI+” (short for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, etc.”), rather than “GLBT,” “LGBT,” “LGBTQIA,” “LGBTTQQIAAP,” “LGBTTIQQ2SA,” etc. The “+” in “LGBTQI+” should be understood as inclusive of the various other sexual and gender minority identities often included in longer acronyms, as well as inclusive of region- and culture-specific gender-variant identities (e.g., two-spirit, hijra, muxe, waria, etc.).
When discussing multiple identities within the LGBTQI+ acronym, but not all of them, always specify which ones you are referring to (e.g., “cis gays and lesbians,” “transgender and intersex people,” “lesbian and bisexual women,” “hijra and aravani,” etc.). Additionally, always note whether you are discussing cis people or trans people if you are not referring to all people within a category (e.g., say “cisgender gay men” instead of “gay men” if your use of the term does not include cis and trans gay men, or say “transgender women” instead of “women” if your use of the term does not include cis and trans women, etc.).
Never use “LGBTQI+” to describe an individual person (e.g., “he came out as LGBTQI+”); always specify the specific identity/identities the person holds, if relevant (e.g., “he came out as bisexual”).
“Sex assigned at birth” and similar
When referring to the sex designation that was assigned to someone at the time of their birth, use the phrase “sex assigned at birth,” rather than “natal sex,” “genetic sex,” “biological sex,” etc.
When referring to people by their sex assigned at birth, use the sex designation term in adjectival form (i.e., “people assigned male at birth” rather than “assigned males”). Alternatively, authors may use the abbreviations for “assigned male at birth” (“AMAB”) and “assigned female at birth” (“AFAB”) as adjectives (i.e., “AMAB trans people,” etc.) if those abbreviations have been defined earlier in the text.
The phrase “gender assigned at birth” may be used when specifically referring to the societal assumptions associated with the sex a person was assigned at birth.
Medical and psychiatric terminology
Do not use the phrase “gender identity disorder” to refer to the psychiatric diagnosis associated with transgender identity, unless referring to an individual in historical context or making explicit arguments where using the phrase is necessary. If reference to a diagnosis associated with transgender identity is necessary, be specific in noting the DSM-5 diagnosis “gender dysphoria,” the ICD-11 diagnosis “gender incongruence,” or other relevant diagnosis in question.
Outside of the DSM-5 diagnosis, BATS uses “gender dysphoria” as a non-diagnostic term to describe the specific psychological phenomenon of a dysphoric emotional state resulting from incongruence between one’s gender and aspects of how one’s gender is expressed (including through the social meaning assigned to anatomy) and perceived (either by oneself or others).
Use “neurodivergence,” rather than “mental illness” or “disorder” when describing autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other such variations in human brain function.
Use identity-first language when referring to disabled people and neurodivergent people (e.g., “blind person,” “autistic person,” etc.), unless such an individual expressly prefers otherwise. However, use person-first language for individuals with chronic illnesses (e.g., “person with diabetes,” etc.), unless such an individual expressly prefers otherwise.
Use “non-disabled,” rather than “able-bodied.”
When discussing specific accommodations, refer to individuals’ use of an accommodation, rather than confinement to or dependence upon an accommodation (e.g., “wheelchair users” not “wheelchair-bound people,” etc.).
Use “died by suicide,” rather than “committed suicide,” “killed themself,” etc.