On Saturday, the Chicago Sun-Times featured a virulently anti-trans "op-ed" from Kevin D. Williamson, in which he referred to Laverne Cox and other trans women as "an effigy of a woman," repeatedly used incorrect pronouns to describe Laverne, and inaccurately stated that she is not a woman.
In addition to these offenses, his essay is filled with falsehoods and inaccuracies about gender identity that ignore the expertise of credible medical and psychological health authorities. His essay is more than an ugly opinion, it's factually inaccurate.
The op-ed originally ran in the National Review, a conservative website brimming with anti-LGBT claims and devoid of empirical evidence. The National Review is known for spreading lies about LGBT people, but why would the Chicago Sun-Times reprint such an inaccurate and mean-spirited piece by someone who clearly has no knowledge or understanding of transgender people?
Since Williamson doesn't know what he's talking about, credible media outlets have the responsibility to check the facts. Here they are:
- He claims that the "phenomenon" of being transgender is a "modern one," but this statement is far from the truth. Transgender and gender non-conforming people have existed throughout history, in various parts of the world, by many names.
- Both the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have stated that trying to change a person's gender identity is no more successful than trying to change a person's sexual orientation. Not only does it fail, it can cause serious damage to the person attempting to make such an adjustment.
- There are ways of addressing gender dysphoria supported by the APA, which says it "recognizes the efficacy, benefit, and medical necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals and calls upon public and private insurers to cover these medically necessary treatments."
"These harmful messages about the validity of transgender identity have no place in a credible mainstream publication," said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. "This ugly and insulting propaganda is dangerous to readers' understanding of who transgender people are."
GLAAD is in communication with the editors of the Chicago Sun-Times. Stay tuned for further updates.