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Hundreds of Contributors Condemn NY Times’ Antagonistic Coverage of Trans and Nonbinary People

On Wednesday, a group of hundreds of people associated with The New York Times publicly aired their grievances with the way the paper reports on transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming individuals, publishing an open letter that criticized the paper's coverage as antagonistic.[0] The letter noted that the Times had “treated gender diversity with an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language, while publishing reporting on trans children that omits relevant information about its sources.”[1]

The protesters are asking the newspaper to cease publishing inaccurate data concerning trans people, to collaborate with trans community leaders, and to employ trans writers and editors. The group demanded that the Times stop printing “anti-trans stories” without delay. The demand was for Times management to organize a meeting within the next two months to provide an opportunity for them to “hear from trans sources, trans people, and organizations working with trans people.”[2]

The Times spokesperson, Charlie Stadtlander, defended the paper’s coverage, claiming that it “reported deeply and empathetically on issues of care and well-being for trans teens and adults.”[3] However, the letter noted that some Times reporting has been cited directly by anti-trans legislators in states like Texas and Nebraska to criminalize access to necessary health care for trans youth.[4]

On Wednesday, GLAAD wrote an open letter and demonstrated outside of the New York Times' headquarters to voice their disapproval of the organization's “unprofessional, prejudiced reporting on the transgender community”.[5] More than 100 individuals and organizations, including Judd Apatow and Margaret Cho, signed the letter in support of equality and media.[6] In their letter, the group slammed the paper for allowing a “cisgender heterosexual” like Pamela Paul to write her unfounded thoughts about how LGBTQ people should describe themselves,” and condemned it for hiring conservative thinker David French as an opinion columnist in 2023, citing his profession as “an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group.[5]

0. “200 New York Times writers have called out the paper's anti-trans bias.” Literary Hub, 15 Feb. 2023, https://lithub.com/200-new-york-times-writers-have-called-out-the-papers-anti-trans-bias/

1. “NYT editors: Paper ‘will not tolerate’ its journalists protesting coverage of transgender people” The Hill, 16 Feb. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/3862101-nyt-editors-paper-will-not-tolerate-its-journalists-protesting-coverage-of-transgender-people/

2. “NY Times op-ed defends J.K. Rowling after staffers, celebs blasted paper's ‘anti-trans bias'” New York Post , 16 Feb. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/02/16/new-york-times-staffers-celebs-blast-op-ed-defending-jk-rowling

3. “Nearly 200 New York Times Contributors Are Denouncing the Paper’s Anti-Trans Coverage” Vanity Fair, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/02/new-york-times-trans-coverage

4. “Judd Apatow, Gabrielle Union, Tommy Dorfman Accuse The New York Times of “Dangerous Inaccuracies” in Coverage of Trans People” Yahoo Entertainment, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/judd-apatow-gabrielle-union-tommy-130000833.html

5. “Celebs rip into New York Times for ‘irresponsible' transgender coverage: Demand end to ‘both sides’ focus” Fox News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/media/celebs-rip-new-york-times-irresponsible-transgender-coverage-demand-end-both-sides-focus

6. “New York Times contributors, GLAAD, and many others criticize Times' coverage of trans people” Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.niemanlab.org/2023/02/new-york-times-contributors-glaad-and-many-others-criticize-times-coverage-of-trans-people/