New York Times Writers Condemn Newspaper For Publishing Pieces Critical Of Gender Transitions For Minors

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On Wednesday morning, a group of 200 New York Times journalists and contributors published an open letter to the newspaper, criticizing the decision to run articles that criticized sex-change treatments and procedures for children.

The letter claims that the Times has expressed “poor editorial judgement” in deciding to run these pieces. The letter expressed dismay that Times articles have been cited in court cases that have limited transgender rights, such as the defense of Alabama’s Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act. It claimed that the paper’s decision to platform voices critical of the transgender movement meant the publication decided to align with “hate groups” and continues the publication’s tradition of “demonizing queers through the ostensible reporting of science.”

The articles the letter takes issue with include Emily Bazelon’s “The Battle Over Gender Therapy” (June 24) and Katie Baker’s “When Students Change Gender Identity And Parents Don’t Know” (Jan. 22). The Bazelon article referred to a trans-child as “patient zero,” which the letter claims paints transgenderism as a disease. The letter also claims that the Baker article failed to acknowledge that court cases brought by parents over child transitions are part of a broader legal strategy by so-called hate groups.

Signers include writer Roxane Gay, former “Sex And The City” star Cynthia Nixon and former “Girls” star Lena Dunham.

“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” the letter reads.

The letter also suggests that supporters of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and sex-change surgeries for minors should not be subject to critique in the pages of the Times. “All of us daresay our stance is unremarkable, even common, and certainly not deserving of the Times’ intense scrutiny,” the letter claims.

The paper’s decision to publish a diversity of voices on transgender issues has drawn intense criticism from multiple progressives and LGBT organizations.

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib sponsored a petition asking the Times to “stop providing a dangerous platform for transphobic hate, and instead amplify trans voices.”

“Is there any reporting on why the NY Times is leaning so hard into TERF-y coverage of the trans issue?” tweeted Jeet Herr, a writer for The Nation, using the acronym for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

Media Matters published a report accusing the Times of propelling an “anti-trans panic” and claimed the publication has distracted from conversations about trans equality and acceptance.