The Gray Lady Isn't Man Enough
Transgender ideologues want absolute, unquestioning silence from anyone inclined to disagree.
The New York Times, that notorious bastion of reactionary right-wing thought, has come under fire from its own contributors for insufficient enthusiasm for the (LGB)T agenda.
In an open letter first published Wednesday and now signed by more than 1,000 Times contributors—not to mention 23,000 others—a collective of gender radicals accuses the Gray Lady of “editorial bias in the newspaper’s reporting on transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people.”
The trans militants quickly clarify that by “bias” they mean to refer to “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.”
Which is to say, they object not to any actual bias, not to any particularly offensive statements, not to any claim that has been shown to be false or misleading—only to the paper’s willingness to discuss a pressing issue with some small degree of journalistic detachment.
“All of us daresay our stance is unremarkable, even common, and certainly not deserving of the Times’ intense scrutiny,” the letter writers insist.
They treat as common sense and beyond question not just the general belief that a woman can be born in a man’s body but the particular assertion that children’s bodies should be irreversibly mutilated before the age of majority to cater to such fantasies.
The rambling, delusional letter asserts that “puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries have been standard forms of care for cis and trans people alike for decades.” It does not elaborate on these claims.
Yet the airing of grievances also notes that “legal challenges to gender-nonconformity date back even further, with 34 cities in 21 states passing laws against cross-dressing between 1848 and 1900,” while inventing the objection that such laws were “usually enforced alongside so-called prohibitions against public indecency that disproportionately targeted immigrants, people of color, sex workers, and other marginalized groups.”
Which is it?
Is transitioning kids a totally normal thing that we have been doing for ages, so commonplace that it doesn’t merit mention in the paper? Or is the kind of activity these people are pushing for a blatant violation of long-standing social norms (not to mention laws both positive and moral)?
This is a fitting snapshot of the Pride movement’s identity crisis—and the broader crisis of the radical left—in 2023. They find themselves torn between their own outgroup identity on the one hand (and the necessarily implicit understanding of their lifestyle as antisocial) and the sudden realization of their massive institutional power on the other.
What does gay liberation do once it finds itself on top?
The letter’s authors skirt the question with a bit of history. They complain, for instance, that then-blossoming pro-gay coverage in the paper of record was put on pause in 1975. By their own admission, the freeze came after the publisher’s mother was shocked by the coverage of a “sadomasochistic fashion show” on a gay cruise. (Stabbing at humor, they clarify that this means “the kind on a boat.”)
The lesson we are meant to take away is that, though the rainbow agenda has been capturing American institutions for more than half a century, those institutions have never been 100 percent on board. This, we know, is what oppression means.
Hence the hysterical response to recent coverage by the Times.
The LGBT creed is no mere variation on the ideas about human nature and conduct that have held for centuries in Western civilization; it is an out-and-out, directly contradictory alternative. The two cannot coexist, and the would-be replacement sees, at last, an opportunity to snuff out the old order altogether.
This explains the vitriol directed at the mildest offenses. Journalists’ names are dragged through the mud for reporting on parents’ concerns over their children being transitioned at school without the family’s knowledge—or for quoting as a relevant authority a woman who was transitioned as a child, and now works to prevent that harm coming to other children while still recovering from what was done to her.
These are not stories worth telling, we are supposed to understand. There are no questions worth asking. Anything but wholehearted, full-throated support can only be propaganda in service of GOP authoritarianism.
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The claims about journalistic standards are irrelevant. At the end of the day, the substance of the matter is simple: They want children dragged into their lifestyle-cum-ideology before they have a chance to learn any better. They want this done physically, chemically, surgically—in such a way that there is no coming back. And they want absolute, unquestioning silence from anyone inclined to disagree.
“As thinkers,” the complainants write, “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 rest of us, meanwhile, can hold out a little hope.