In a bold, new move, GLAAD addresses The New York Times (NYT) transphobia for publishing transphobic coverage of LGBT+ issues in a recently launched campaign from the largest LGBT+ media advocacy organization.
“The New York Times has long been the standard for excellence in journalism,” the organization wrote. “A media outlet that New Yorkers, Americans, and people around the world looked to for ethical, thorough reporting, and thoughtful opinion pieces.”
The organization launched its campaign with two hand-delivered letters. One was signed by over 100 organizations and celebrities, and the other was signed by more than 150 NYT contributors.
In the letter, GLAAD says the news giant ignores its duty to conduct unbiased and fair reporting of LGBT+ issues. More specifically, transgender issues.
An article published in January was specifically cited. In it, correspondent Katie Baker covered challenges schools face in accommodating students who change their gender identity without parental knowledge.
GLAAD addresses the New York Times for transphobia further stating that the article was misconstrued. The organization says NYT left out the fact that the current lawsuits surrounding transgender children and schooling are part of a legal strategy by anti-trans groups who see transgender people as an existential threat.
Multiple articles written by contributor Azeen Ghorayshi were also cited multiple times for misinformation, biased reporting, and sensationalism.
Some celebrities like Jameela Jamil and Gabrielle Union-Wade have shown their support by signing the letter. Jamil has been a strong supporter of human rights in the past, and Union-Wade has a transgender child with her husband [name].
GLAAD also cites ways in which the transphobic coverage had real-life consequences on transgender youth and health care access. In 2022 alone, 300 anti-LGBT bills were introduced with Times’ articles being cited as proof in some cases.
Ghorayshi cited by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with Emily Bazelon and Ross Douthat, in her brief that supported Alabama’s law to criminalize doctors and parents who aid transgender youth in accessing medical treatment.
Bazelon’s work was also used as proof to target transgender youth’s private healthcare in Texas. The southern state also shared more than a quarter of trans violence with Florida in 2022, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“We have sent emails, made calls, tried to help reporters source stories, and in one case, after more than four months of trying, some of us were even able to sit down and talk with you,” GLAAD wrote. “It is clear that our behind-the-scenes outreach has had zero impact. What has had an impact, however, is your irresponsible coverage.”
Despite the targeted attacks and discrimination, the community is steadily growing. According to a Neilsen report from 2022, self-identifying LGBT+ adults have grown to almost six percent – rising more than four percent from 2017.
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That same study shows the cultural diversity of the community – over 1 million LGBT+ folks are Black, more than two million are Latinx, and almost one million are Asian. As for the new generation, almost 16 percent identify themselves as part of the community.
Support for LGBT+ rights is also growing as Americans expect, and pressure brands and companies to take a public stance. Last year, a study done by GLAAD and Edelman Trust Institute found that 53 percent of American consumers and workers expect CEOs to inform and shape conversations surrounding LGBT+ issues and awareness, and over half say that a company dedicating a significant amount of resources to the community would leave a positive impact.
Being openly supportive and genuinely committed to LGBT+ rights could also have a direct correlation to revenue. According to GLAAD’s study, Americans are twice as likely to buy and use products from companies and brands that are authentically involved with the community, according to GLAAD.
Despite the numbers and pressure, The New York Times has yet to respond to GLAAD’s campaign. In fact, on February 16 – just one day after receiving the letters – the news giant released another anti-trans piece, written by Pamela Paul, that was in support of J.K. Rowling who had her own scandal with the community.