The letter

The letter is available at the elegantly short address

We write to you as a collective of New York Times contributors with serious concerns about editorial bias in the newspaper’s reporting on transgender, non⁠-⁠binary, and gender nonconforming people.

Plenty of reporters at the Times cover trans issues fairly. Their work is eclipsed, however, by what one journalist has calculated as over 15,000 words of front⁠-⁠page Times coverage debating the propriety of medical care for trans children published in the last eight months alone.

15 thousand in eight months? So under two thousand a month? That’s not a lot. That’s not even close to a lot. An article or two per month. It’s a pressing issue, it’s in the news constantly, why would the Times not be covering it? Apart from the fact that the letter-writers don’t like the content?

Last year, Arkansas’ attorney general filed an amicus brief in defense of Alabama’s Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, which would make it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, for any medical provider to administer certain gender⁠-⁠affirming medical care to a minor (including puberty blockers) that diverges from their sex assigned at birth. The brief cited three different New York Times articles to justify its support of the law: Bazelon’s “The Battle Over Gender Therapy,” Azeen Ghorayshi’s “Doctors Debate Whether Trans Teens Need Therapy Before Hormones,” and Ross Douthat’s “How to Make Sense of the New L.G.B.T.Q. Culture War.” 

Then again calling it “gender⁠-⁠affirming medical care” is also highly tendentious, and in fact misleading. It’s not medical care as commonly understood, and “gender-affirmation” isn’t medical at all, it’s political, and fatuous besides.

To sum up the letter is bad and wrong, and the writers and signers should feel bad.

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