Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, 100+ Organizations & Advocates Call Out Biased, Harmful New York Times Coverage of Transgender People in Joint Letter

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.

Everyday, a barrage of hate targeted at transgender people online is fueling real world violence. Adding fuel to that fire is biased coverage that harms the transgender community in mainstream publications – notably, the New York Times. The Times continues to give a platform to anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, while ‘just asking questions’ about best practice, medically necessary healthcare for transgender kids that is already supported by every credible medical association, representing over 1.3 million doctors. Recent stories are being used by dangerous people who are looking for any reason to attack the transgender community – from lawmakers who cite New York Times stories as reasons for introducing anti-transgender measures to extremists who are issuing bomb threats at children’s hospitals and harassing doctors, their patients and their parents, who are only trying to care for their kids as best they can. We are demanding immediate action—stop giving a megaphone to people who want to erase transgender people. Uplift and empower transgender voices, it’s that simple.”

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

“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:

  1. Stop printing biased anti-trans stories, immediately.

  2. Listen to trans people: hold a meeting with trans community leaders within two months.

  3. 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:

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.

  • In 2022, more than 220 bills disproportionately targeting LGBTQ youth were introduced in state legislatures to restrict access to school sports, healthcare, books and inclusive curriculum, and the bathroom. None of these bills are based on facts or medical expertise or supported by medical professionals who treat LGBTQ youth. Evidence is growing about the harm of these bills and other efforts to target trans youth:
    • 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

Alejandra Caraballo

Ali Forney Center

Alok Vaid-Menon

Amber and Adam Briggle

Amy Schneider

Arianna’s Center

Arkansas Black Gay Men's Forum

Ashlee Marie Preston

Athlete Ally

Basic Rights Oregon

Blair Imani

Braunwyn Windham-Burke

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Charlotte Clymer

Christian Fuscarino

City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission

Diverse and Resilient

Dr. David J. Johns

Dylan Mulvaney

Equality Arizona

Equality California

Equality Delaware, Inc.

Equality Federation

Equality Florida

Equality New Mexico

Equality North Carolina

Equality Ohio

Equality South Dakota

Equality Texas

Equality Virginia


Erin Reed

Ethan Cole

Fair Wisconsin

Fairness Campaign

Family Equality

Feminist Bird Club

Freedom Oklahoma

Gabrielle Union-Wade

Garden State Equality

Gender Justice

Georgia Equality





Hannah Gadsby

Heather Dubrow

Helen Boyd & Rachel Crowl

Human Rights Campaign

Jack Ketsoyan

Jameela Jamil

Jazz Jennings

Jen Grosshandler

Jen Richards

Jessica Garcia

Jessica Herthel

Joey Soloway

Johnny Sibilly

Jonathan Van Ness

Josh Helfgott

Judd Apatow

Ken Phillips

Kit Mee Kuen Yan

Lena Dunham

Lina Bradford

Louisiana Trans Advocates

Maeve DuVally

Maine Transgender Network

Marci Bowers, MD

Margaret Cho

Marti Cummings

Mass Equality

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Matt Wolf

Matthew Shepard Foundation

Melissa Li

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

Nina West

NYC Pride

One Colorado

Out Montclair

OutFront Minnesota


OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center


Partnership To End AIDS Status Inc.


PFLAG Mt. Horeb

PFLAG National

PFLAG Newport Beach

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog

Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities

Precious Brady-Davis

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

Tommy Dorfman

Transgender Education Network of Texas

Transgender Law Center

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Transinclusive Group


Victoria Kirby York


Wilson Cruz

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Women’s March

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)

Zackary Drucker

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