A sign colored like the blue and pink transgender flag is placed outside on a city sidewalk reading "platforming hate speech is not impartial"

Missouri AG Directly Cites the New York Times’ Anti-Trans Coverage To Justify Horrific New Ban

I hope they’re happy.

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The Attorney General of Missouri has issued an emergency rule which will make it effectively impossible for trans people of all ages to receive gender-affirming care. What is an emergency rule? An emergency rule is a policy that an attorney general can enact when they deem their state to be in a “state of emergency”. Apparently the existence of trans people seeking medical care constitutes as much. The rule stipulates that trans people will not be allowed to receive gender-affirming care unless they have had a gender dysphoria diagnosis for over three years and have been in therapy for over 18 months. The rule bars people diagnosed with autism or depression from seeking gender-affirming care entirely.

And the Missouri AG cited a New York Times article to justify this.

This isn’t the first time that the New York Times has fallen into hot water for profligating anti-trans bias. Far from it. They have changed the headlines of articles that are in support of trans people while leaving articles that approach trans issues with more scrutiny alone. Many of their articles that take an “objective” look at trans issues end up painting life-saving treatments like puberty blockers in a dubious light, causing readers to question whether or not such procedures are “safe” for trans kids at all. The bias has gotten so bad that the NYT recently received a letter signed by hundreds of queer contributors outright condemning it. How did they respond? By posting a “J.K. Rowling is right” opinion piece the very next day.

It’s disturbing to note that a major publication located in one of the USA’s most trans-friendly cities has shown such open hostility to trans people. It’s even more disturbing that this hostility under the guise of “objective journalism” has led politicians and legislators to put increasingly draconian laws against trans people in place.

The article that was referenced in the Missouri AG’s emergency rule was the NYT’s The Battle over Gender Therapy, which is as blatant as “both sides-ism” can get without actually saying the phrase. The New York Times continues to frame the issue of gender transition as one that leaves the medical community “deeply divided,” despite most major medical associations saying otherwise. The President of the American Medical Association himself has asserted trans that trans youth should be allowed to seek out gender-affirming care “without bias”. And yet The New York Times has decided to remain purposefully ignorant of the opinions of professionals.

This is not an effort to remain “unbiased” on the NYT’s part. It is an effort to stay in the political “center” in order to appeal to their readership. Support of trans issues falls outside of that center, and so the NYT continues to distance itself from them. They can continue to stick their heads in the sand, but sooner or later they will have to reconcile with the fact that their “journalism” is contributing to the erosion of the rights of trans people, who were already well aware of their bias to begin with.

(featured image: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.