58 Comments
Feb 8Liked by Erin Reed

An excellent rebuttal and shame on The New York Times for not publishing it. If they are going to allow Paul’s bigotry under the guise of “opinion,” the least they can do is clap back on the shoddy journalism.

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Except that the NYT's shoddy journalism seems to be the point.

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Feb 8Liked by Erin Reed

The NY times really seems to have a penchant for publishing BS antitrans articles with little to no factual basis.

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Yeah, well, just remember that even if "All the news that's fit to print" was true, that doesn't mean there couldn't be heaps of bullhockey on top of it.

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Feb 8Liked by Erin Reed

Thanks so much for your careful dissection of Paul's deliberate attempts to mislead readers.

Her use of that Tricare study is so problematic. Indeed, it counts those who did not fill a prescription for hormones through the Tricare insurance plan FOR 3 MONTHS. The amount of testosterone I get filled varies from pharmacy to pharmacy. There have been multiple times when they have given me a supply which, given the amount I take, lasts me longer than 3 months and as long as 6 months. I would have been counted in this study, although I've never missed a dose for more than a week at a time (from traveling and forgetting to bring my T). This is why the study warns that it overcounts those who discontinue hormones. It also references another study that found that another study in which only 16% of hormone discontinuation was due to change in gender identity or mental health concerns, the rest were due to external factors that make it difficult to be a trans person in the world. Most irresponsibly of all, Paul uses the study to support a claim that goes AGAINST it's major finding, which is the youth in the study are MORE likely to continue hormone use (according to the stringent terms set by the study) than the adults. As the authors themselves conclude, “this finding provides support for the idea that TGD individuals below the age of legal majority, with the assistance of their parents or legal guardians and health care providers, can provide meaningful informed assent for gender-affirming hormones and do not appear to be at a higher risk of future discontinuation of gender-affirming hormones because of their young age alone." Yet Paul uses it to argue that the current cohort of adolescents are more likely than any other cohort to detransition and to regret having transitioned. Paul's journalism is malpractice.

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author

Honestly I've read this study a dozen times and didn't even make that connection.

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founding

It is a shame that journalists are never struck off for professional malpractice. Unlike medics and medical researchers.

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So the Tricare study Paul cited not only references a study that questions the conclusion she tried to draw from it, the study itself flatly contradicts her?

That's not just sloppy journalism, that's at best utterly incompetent and more likely damned dishonest.

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Exactly.

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Feb 8Liked by Erin Reed

Thank you for firing back at dishonest "journalism," y'all. Genuinely, thank you!

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What I find bizarre about people like Paul is what exactly drives them to engage in this sort of disinformation and propaganda? This is apparently a straight woman with three kids. Why the need to put her finger on the scale and misrepresent the numbers and peoples' lived experiences? What's it to her? These people really are sad and pathetic.

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founding

She does (probably) believe what she writes. Believes that she’s part of a righteous crusade to expose medical malpractice and protect children (including her own) from an abusive and dangerous ideological / commercial system. Like most anti-vaxxers do in fact.

The problem across the journalistic profession is that scientific illiteracy is deeply ingrained. Most journalists really have no idea which sources on scientific matters are trustworthy or untrustworthy, nor why, nor how to find out.

All they can see is sources who support them and sources who oppose them. And the sources who support them provide a sufficiently closed thought system that it causes their minds to simply reject the sources who oppose them (they’re all “activists” or part of the same corrupt system).

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“children (including her own” That’s what she fears. That one of her kids will turn out trans. It’s usually that or they have their own issues.

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My mom used to write for the st.louis post dispatch, she used her writing skill to warn her area about militant lesbians going after straight girls after she found out my sister was dating a girl.

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Wow. I hope she calmed down and stopped that way of thinking.

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Unfortunately no, we haven't talked to her in over 10 years. She doesn't even know I'm trans. She moved out to California and dropped off off all of our childhood tapes and pictures saying we no longer had a mother. We never had one in the first place.

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Oh Zoey, I'm so, so sorry. I wish you had been my child. I cannot imagine turning my back on my gay & trans kids. You are a beautiful jewel she will never know. Her loss. I hope one day she feels the immeasurable pain she has caused and realizes how wrong she is.

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founding

So sorry. It does seem that the karma genie caught up with her, granting her worst fears.

Perhaps she will eventually learn what she has lost by turning her backs on you and your sister. Two beautiful wonderful daughters.

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Pamela Paul has a deep seated hatred and disgust of trans people. There is no way you dip in to this topic in the way she has without it. There is no shortage of organizations with credible sounding names that will tell her exactly what she wants to hear.

The professional pundit class of journalist is the absolute worse kind; the Chaits and Frenches of the world have no accountability to anyone.

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It's because, I expect, as is usually true in such cases from anti-vaxxers to embracers of "the great replacement" idea, the world is changing in ways they don't understand and they are scared and so resorting to the comforting certitude of "how it used to be."

In the case of trans folks, that means telling themselves it's all overblown, not really happening, it's all ROGD and so the fault of the media and partisan "activists." Just go one step further and you're in "pedophile" and "groomer" territory.

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If you're pro-trans, you're an "activist". If you're anti-trans, you're a "journalist".

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Feb 8Liked by Erin Reed

Another good piece! The Times should have published it. Thanks very much for your work, both of you.

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Hear! Hear! it is clear here who the REAL activist here really is with an axe to grind. In the end, it's about promoting culture warriors at the Times like Paul to draw some of that traffic being lost to WSJ and Fox. Sulzberger is making a statement; "It's a business, and we'll sell what we can to whom we can."

https://medium.com/@rikiwilchins/why-all-transgender-writers-are-activists-to-the-ny-times-b8892d94daf6

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The term for what Pamela Paul is writing is “propaganda.” so she’s not an activist; she’s a propagandist.

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Yes!

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The NYT loves publishing shoddy work that would get any serious journalist blacklisted from the industry and then hiding behind the excuse of "it's an Opinion Piece [TM] so that means we can just print whatever".

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Honestly, I am sad that there isn't more outrage out of trans spaces at the NYT for consistently publishing fear mongering news articles about detransitioners filled with falsehoods and outright lies. Her assertion that the SGBM is a non partisan group is literally just a lie! The NYT needs to be labeled a right-wing publication akin to fox News at this point.

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Feb 8Liked by Erin Reed

Great piece! So sorry the NY Times didn't post this response. Maybe another media giant would accept it?

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Might I suggest a different tact to the NY Times policy against response op-eds for a submission? It seems there's room for a piece on how the editorial editors don't fact check -- don't hold their opinion writers -- to high editorial standards regarding fact checking or statements about trans people are like when the we/they distinction is involved. Let me quote what Bayard Rustin said about Gay people in 1986 in his essay From Montgomery to Stonewall (found in Time On Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin):

"Gay people must continue [to] protest. This will not be easy, in part because homosexuality remains an identity subject to a 'we/they' distinction. People who would not say 'I am like this, but black people are like that,' or 'we are like this, but women are like that,' or 'we are like this, but Jews are like that' find it extremely simple to say "homosexuals are like that, but we are like this.' That's what makes are struggle the central struggle of our time, the central struggle for democracy, and the central struggle for human rights. If gay people do not understand that, they do not understand the opportunity before them, nor do they understand the terrifying burdens they carry on their shoulders."

I'd argue in 2024, trans is the new gay. What Rustin knew was true of gay people in 1986, we trans folk should know is true of our community in 2024.

What the NY Times has been doing for the better part of a decade is making trans people the they in a we/they distinction. The NY Times Op-Ed editors wouldn't allow Blacks, women, Jews, or Gays to have bad data, information, and studies cited in articles about these populations, where these populations are subject in these pieces to the we/they distinction. But, they regularly do allow this to be done to trans people, and by policy they don't allow fact-checking or challenging of articles by trans people to be published.

Do they even have a trans person on staff who reviews any of their published stuff?

So, I'd reccommend submitting a piece citing Bayard Rustin's we/they distinction. It may go nowhere, but it's a different tact to at the least feel a bit uncomfortable about being accused of being otherers

So, I'd suggest writing a

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Thank you for this post and for the reference to Bayard Rustin. That's an important quote. Interesting how things have and have not changed since that time.

FYI, the essay you mention, From Montgomery to Stonewall, (what an inspiring title!) can be found here: https://brotheroutsider.org/press/

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The other important quote from the piece:

“[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment.”

Our job revolves around antitransgender sentiment instead of antigay sentiment.

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Let’s hope other credible news sources pick this up. Thank you for standing up with intelligence, clear intent and an honest heart.

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Outstanding work, Erin (and Evan)! I hope this criticism is able to effectively “make the rounds”; it is very unfortunate the NYT chose not to publish it

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founding

Thank you Erin. And - what a surprise - the NYT declined to publish.

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