10 New York Times Readers From All 50 States Join Coalition Calling on Times to Stop Irresponsible, Biased Coverage

Airplane Banner Will Fly Over Hudson River Corridor Today With Message: '10k NYT Readers Say: Better Trans Stories!'

(Friday, February 24, 2023) Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, are announcing that 10,000+ New York Times readers from all 50 states have joined last week's coalition call to the New York Times, demanding that the Times stop printing irresponsible misinformation about trans people, meet with trans community leaders, and hire trans writers and editors. The coalition plans to spotlight the 10k+ signers by flying an airplane across New York City at 9am with a banner stating "10k NYT readers say: better trans stories!" (Photos will be available via press@glaad.org and on GLAAD's Twitter @glaad once available.)

Public outcry about the paper's coverage comes after more than a year of irresponsible, biased front page news and opinion pieces about transgender people. A number of these pieces have been cited by politicians to justify discriminatory bans and criminalizing efforts against best practices, consensus-based healthcare for trans youth (see below). A number of harmful opinion pieces, written by non-LGBTQ essayists, spread harmful misinformation about transgender people and do not include their voices or accurately reflect their realities.

Thousands of Times' readers have written letters of their own or added their signatures to the coalition letter signed by more than 100 organizations and leaders delivered to Times' leadership last week. The coalition letter was delivered to the Times the same day a separate letter from 1,000 Times contributors was sent, citing specific examples of bias and how they have been weaponized by anti-LGBTQ politicians to justify targeting of trans people and youth. As of today, more than 10,000 Times readers from all 50 states took action on GLAAD and HRC's websites, sending messages directly to the NY Times.

The coalition of organizations and leaders has not received a direct response to their letter. The contributors have also not received a direct response to their letter. The Times' top editors sent an internal memo last week threatening employees for speaking up about the outlet's trans coverage.

"Last week, HRC joined hundreds of people and organizations, including many of the Times' own contributors, to call on the New York Times to stop publishing stories that harm the transgender and non-binary community. And just one day later, yet another transphobic column by one of their most consistently anti-transgender opinion writers is published to defend one of the most famous transphobic writers in the world. The circumstances are so outlandish that I almost can't believe it-but that's the reality for transgender people in our country: every day is a battle. And now, 10,000 readers from all 50 states agree: the Times must stop consistently platforming anti-LGBTQ+ extremists. They must do better, because there are real lives at stake." said Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

"The shockwaves the events of this past week have sent through the worlds of journalism and media speaks volumes. Our coalition has not heard back directly from the Times, but we all read the biased opinion piece published the morning after," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD, referencing an opinion piece defending JK Rowling's well-known anti-trans politics. "It has always been our job at GLAAD to call on the media to represent our community in a fair, accurate, and inclusive way, but we are far from the only stakeholders invested in the Times' coverage of trans people: more than 100 civil rights organizations and leaders, 1,000 and counting of the Times own contributors, and now more than 10,000 Times readers all agree: the Times must examine its coverage and address the blatant bias thriving across the Science Desk and Opinion Page."

Excerpt from letter signed by 100+ organizations and leaders:

"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' fearmongering 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.

The public can also continue to sign the letter and send a copy of it to the New York Times at glaad.org/nytimes and on HRC's site 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:

Coverage of the trans community recently published by the New York Times that received loud negative responses from leaders in the LGBTQ and medical communities includes:

Facts about trans youth:

Additional response to the Times' irresponsible, biased coverage includes:

Full list of signers to the coalition letter at www.glaad.org/nytimes

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