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Hundreds of ‘New York Times’ Contributors Sign Open Letter Condemning the Paper’s Dangerous Anti-Trans Bias

Ne York Times building

The fight for trans rights and lives has been an uphill battle recently with public figures showing their transphobia and entire news organizations like the New York Times revealing their own anti-trans bias. In just the last eight months, the paper has reportedly published over 15,000 words questioning the support of trans youth. Now, in a letter signed by past and present contributors to the New York Times, 180 writers (and counting) have condemned the “ongoing unethical anti-trans bias in its coverage of trans, non-binary and gender noncomforming people.”

The letter itself points out that, according to the guidelines set in place by the New York Times themselves, writers must keep their own personal bias out of their work and yet there have been countless examples of their anti-trans bias showing in their work, examples listed of it throughout the letter.

The letter includes an explanation of the paper’s policy on reporting that states: “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.”

Writer Harron Walker posted the letter with the information on the growing number of writers who are signing it.

One of the writers includes Roxane Gay, who posted on Twitter about it writing: “I am proud to be among so many New York Times contributors signing this open letter calling out their egregious coverage of trans issues. The bias has been glaring and it’s dangerous and if we don’t speak up, we are part of the problem.”

Stand by your guidelines.

The brave writers and contributors standing up against the New York Times should be commended, especially for calling out the NYT’s own policy on personal bias. It’s one thing to require your writers to follow a set of guidelines and it is another to change that rule to fit a harmful bias and publish pieces that question the healthcare that trans youth need.

Part of the letter that really stands out is when it talks about how the NYT is following the tactics of far-right hate groups. Writing: “As thinkers, we are disappointed to see the New York Times follow the lead of far-right hate groups in presenting gender diversity as a new controversy warranting new, punitive legislation. Puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and gender⁠-⁠affirming surgeries have been standard forms of care for cis and trans people alike for decades.”

The numbers on this letter continue to grow with nearly 200 signatures at the time of writing, including Cynthia Nixon and John Cameron Mitchell. These contributors deserve our praise and support because the New York Times cannot continue to get away with their anti-trans bias in their publication. Especially with the knowledge that it is against their guidelines put out for their contributors.

(Featured image: Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress)

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