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

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

WASHINGTON - February 15, 2023 -Today The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, 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," said Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President. "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."

"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 signershere

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 signershere.

Demands from the 100+ organizations and notables signed onto coalitionletter:

  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:

Full list of signers to the coalitionletter:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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