by Aryn Fields •
Signatories include: PFLAG, Transgender Law Center, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Women’s March, Judd Apatow, Margaret Cho, Wilson Cruz, Tommy Dorfman, Lena Dunham, Jameela Jamil, Ashlee Marie Preston, Shakina, Amy Schneider, Gabrielle Union-Wade, Jonathan Van Ness, and more
Today The Human Rights Campaign joined GLAAD and more than 100 journalists, organizations, community leaders, and notable influencers in calling on the New York Times to improve their coverage of transgender people and issues. These calls come after more than a year of irresponsible, biased news and opinion pieces about the transgender community. A number of these pieces have been cited by politicians banning and criminalizing health care for transgender youth.
Notable signatories to the open letter to the Times include PFLAG, Transgender Law Center, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Women’s March to Ashlee Marie Preston, Gabrielle Union-Wade, Jameela Jamil, Jonathan Van Ness, Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, Margaret Cho, Peppermint, Shakina, Tommy Dorfman, Wilson Cruz.
Additionally, more than 180 contributors to the New York Times published a letter to the Times this morning, calling out the outlet’s biased transgender coverage, including Ashley P. Ford, Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado Thomas Page McBee, Andrea Long Chu, Carmen Maria Machado, John Cameron Mitchell, Zach Stafford, Raquel Willis, and more.
“The New York Times has long had a reputation as a leader in the world of media, but the example they are setting for coverage of transgender people is downright shameful,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD. “From the front page to the opinion page, readers are too often getting an inaccurate view of transgender people, with poor reporting that elevates harmful opinions from known anti-trans voices and so-called ‘concerns’ over the fact that every leading medical organization affirms healthcare for trans youth as safe and necessary. And even more dangerous, politicians are using biased Times’ articles to justify support for anti-trans legislation. GLAAD and other advocates have tried to educate reporters and editors at the Times, but our community can no longer wait for the Times to do the right thing. We need to see action now: Start by listening, hiring, and reporting accurately and inclusively on trans people. Anything less than an intentional and meaningful effort to reach out to and listen to transgender experts is unconscionable and a violation of the public trust.”
Excerpt from letter signed by HRC, GLAAD & 100+ organizations and notables:
“For those of us who truly treasured the Times’ coverage for so many years, it is appalling to see how the news and opinion pages are now full of misguided, inaccurate, and disingenuous ‘both sides’ fear mongering and bad faith ‘just asking questions’ coverage. We won’t stand for the Times platforming lies, bias, fringe theories, and dangerous inaccuracies. We demand fair coverage, we demand that the Times platform trans voices as both sources and full-time writers and editors, and we demand a meeting between Times leadership and the transgender community.” Read the full letter and list of signers here
Excerpt from the letter from 180+ New York Times contributors:
“The newspaper’s editorial guidelines demand that reporters ‘preserve a professional detachment, free of any whiff of bias’ when cultivating their sources, remaining ‘sensitive that personal relationships with news sources can erode into favoritism, in fact or appearance.’ Yet the Times has in recent years 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.” Read the full letter and list of signers here.
Demands from the 100+ organizations and notables signed onto coalition letter:
Stop printing biased anti-trans stories, immediately.
Listen to trans people: hold a meeting with trans community leaders within two months.
Hire at least four trans writers and editors within three months.
Direct negative impacts of irresponsible Times coverage for trans people and their families and medical providers includes:
The State of Texas quoted Emily Bazelon’s June 2022 report to further target families of trans youth in court documents over their private, evidence-based healthcare decisions.
The Arkansas Attorney General cited three biased Times articles in her amicus brief supporting an Alabama law that criminalizes doctors and parents for ensuring trans youth can access necessary medical care: Emily Bazelon’s June 2022 piece, Azeen Ghorayshi’s January 2022 piece, and Ross Douthat’s April 2022 piece.
And just last week, in a Nebraska legislative hearing, the Times’ reporting on trans youth and its reputation as the “paper of record” was used to justify a bill that would criminalize healthcare for trans youth.
Facts about transgender youth:
Best practices medical care for transgender youth is supported by every leading medical association including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, The Endocrine Society, and The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Statements here.
85% of transgender and nonbinary youth — and 66% of all LGBTQ youth — say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.
52% of trans and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 attempted suicide.
36% of LGBTQ youth reported being physically threatened or harmed due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Using a trans youth's authentic name and pronouns improves mental health and reduces suicidal ideation.
Psychology Today reviewed 16 studies on healthcare for trans youth: The Evidence for Trans Youth Gender-Affirming Medical Care.
Learn more about trans youth from HRC’s Myths and Facts: Battling Disinformation About Transgender Rights.
Full list of signers to the coalition letter:
Accountable for Equality
Advocates for Youth
Alaskans Together For Equality
Ali Forney Center
Amber and Adam Briggle
Arkansas Black Gay Men's Forum
Ashlee Marie Preston
Basic Rights Oregon
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission
Diverse and Resilient
Dr. David J. Johns
Equality Delaware, Inc.
Equality New Mexico
Equality North Carolina
Equality South Dakota
Feminist Bird Club
Garden State Equality
Helen Boyd & Rachel Crowl
Human Rights Campaign
Jonathan Van Ness
Kit Mee Kuen Yan
Louisiana Trans Advocates
Maine Transgender Network
Marci Bowers, MD
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
Mixed Media Works
Montana Human Rights Network
National Black Justice Coalition
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Women’s Law Center
Nefesh Los Angeles
New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center
Partnership To End AIDS Status Inc.
PFLAG Mt. Horeb
PFLAG Newport Beach
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog
Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities
Producer Entertainment Group
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie
Rabbi Bonnie Margulis
Rabbi Susan Goldberg
Southern Legal Counsel
Tennessee Equality Project
The GenderCool Project
The Hetrick Martin Institute
The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc.
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, IX Bishop of New Hampshire (ret.), The Episcopal Church
The Transformation Project
Transgender Education Network of Texas
Transgender Law Center
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
Victoria Kirby York
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
100% of every HRC merchandise purchase fuels the fight for equality.