If you haven’t seen (or don’t remember) Far From Heaven, the 2002 Todd Haynes homage to Douglas Sirk’s 50’s films, with the twist that the main character is an extremely closeted homosexual man*, then perhaps my references in this post won’t make sense. The ongoing, absolutely righteous rage over the Times’ coverage of trans issues, which was expressed in an open letter yesterday, puts me in the mind of the way the main character in this film (or of Haynes’ later film, Carol) was tortured by the status quo.
The Times has found, and mostly gleefully inhabits, a niche where they’re the supposedly liberal paper, yet they insist on defending a fifties-era status quo when it comes to trans issues. Outside, it’s a unseasonably warm February day in 2023. In their minds, it’s a grey winter evening in Hartford in 1957, and anyone who is non-gender-conforming is scurrying around in the shadows, where they belong.
One of the key scenes in Far From Heaven involves the Dennis Quaid character’s visit to a psychiatrist to cure his gayness with some of what passed as “science” in the 50’s. Fitting, then, that one of the main complaints against the Times is their use of pseudo-scientific horseshit from poorly-attributed sources:
Emily Bazelon’s article “The Battle Over Gender Therapy” uncritically used the term “patient zero” to refer to a trans child seeking gender-affirming care, a phrase that vilifies transness as a disease to be feared. Bazelon quoted multiple expert sources who have since expressed regret over their work’s misrepresentation. Another source, Grace Lidinksy-Smith, was identified as an individual person speaking about a personal choice to detransition, rather than the President of GCCAN, an activist organization that pushes junk science and partners with explicitly anti-trans hate groups.
Even heroes can’t be trans in the Times’ world (this is from GLAAD via Parker Malloy):
Also in November, our community was attacked in Colorado Springs at an LGBTQ safe space, Club Q. When reporting on the heroes who saved lives that night, the Times misgendered a transgender woman who helped stop the shooter. Advocates pushed the Times to update its story to reflect that the woman was transgender and not “a drag dancer.” After pushing the Times to correct the story for an entire day, the story was only updated after advocates on the ground threatened to withhold further Club Q survivors for Times interviews until the change was made. The change should have been made immediately because the story was inaccurate and disrespectful. The fact that this change was only made because the Times wanted access to sources is shameful.
We live in an unfortunate time where a couple of media outlets have consolidated, and they basically own the market providing “news that people who care about the truth want to read”. The Times is the primary player in this market. Above, I wrote that they “gleefully” inhabit their space as an anti-trans outlet, and I meant it. Over the years, it has been clear that the mostly white, mostly male management of that newspaper are happiest when they’ve pissed off a good segment of their readers. Never mind that those readers are mad because people are dying.
This is the goddam dilemma when dealing with that paper: I wish that it would just be ignored, but it is far too influential to ignore. I wish that the people complaining would stop reading it and recommend other outlets, but I’ll bet that almost every signer of that open letter has a Times subscription.
* I know, Rock Hudson, All That Heaven Allows…
I’ve been doing my best to educate.
Thank you for front-paging this important open letter. It was mentioned in the comments yesterday.
Since I don’t read the NYT, I am wondering if there has been a public response yet from the Times to this letter.
With slight modification (i.e., 1990s rather than 1950s, though I understand that doesn’t work with the movie theme), this insight applies to Times coverage of trans issues and many other topics that could broadly be described as “cultural,” very much including politics.
@Scout211: Answered my own question. From Niemanlab.org
The beatings will continue until liberals create their own media.
As a trans person, thank you for this post
There is no better competition and there can’t be when newspapers are dying because of lack of profits. A lot of our problems revolve around THAT problem. How to make news profitable enough that good sources can stay in business even when terrible ones offer junk. We can’t censor because that has the problem of who can be trusted to censor. How do we solve the revenue stream problem in a digital age? Start up costs plus continuous funding, and more than one attempt because some will fail (normal new business results) plus we don’t want a new monopoly we want a healthy industry.
I have not got any ideas because I don’t know journalism, but I think this is related to the same laws that were weakened for antitrust, anti monopoly, lower taxes on the wealthy, favoring capital over wages and dividends over good business balance sheets. The NYT is owned by the wealthy class and that affects it more than the readers.
I’ve more than occasionally wondered if ownership of failing local newspapers could be turned over to their employees. I have no idea whether there’s a workable model for this or not, though.
Cancelled the NYT years ago. When choosing whether they get my money their stunningly bad editorial positions are not made up for by the many fine writers. The fact that the paper straddles the line between good and evil concerns me more than conservative positions. One famous example was their reluctance to use the word ‘TORTURE’. Morally bankrupt.
@Scout211: The response was, as MazeDancer noted in the previous thread, a defense of JK Rowling by Pamela Paul.
Yes, but your goddamn journalistic mission should be to seek the truth, not to make sure all voices are heard, not matter how hateful, bad faith or misinformed their arguments.
And just like that, today the times published an op-ed defending JK Rowlings trans views.
This is garbage. But what else is new at the Times?
[ETA: covered by Sure Lurkalot and Maze Dancer before me. It took me some time to find a link that wasn’t the Times].
Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times combined with local public radio station WBEZ to form the nonprofit Chicago Public Media. Instead of a subscriber, I’m now a member, and my subscription is now a donation that is tax deductible. They also took down their paywall. I’m not sure how long they’ll be able to manage, but I’m hoping this works.
When the NYT says something correct, our response could be “…even the bigoted NYT says…”
Do I need any more reasons to never give the GD NY Times another dime of my money? Absolutely not.
They’ve been parading on the whole ‘Paper of Record’ thing that they maybe once were. They aren’t any more as their coverage, certainly including their OpEd is skewed right wing. They did everything they could to villify the Clintons and they murdered Hillary’s chance to beat Trump with ‘but her e-mails’, while feating Trump with Maggie Haberman. All while knowing what a crook and a racist Trump was.
I used to read the Times when I lived back there. No mas.
@lowtechcyclist: The Reader, in Chicago, is taking a stab at a version of it.
@lowtechcyclist: as someone who’s been in newspapers for forty years i can safely tell you that the biggest obstacle to newspaper success is newpaper management. it’s a toxic blend of nepotism at the top, complacency, and greed.
“Mad Magazine Liberals”. Out of date phrase that really catches the NYT.
Yesterday I wondered aloud if pushback from multiple Times contributors might make them reconsider the way they cover this issue. That was unforgivably naïve! There must be organizations more allergic to introspection than NYT, but none immediately come to mind…
I hear that kind of argument a lot around here and around the progress-o-sphere, and it never seems convincing to me. First, it’s not something that has changed – it’s always been owned by the wealthy class. Second, they’ve spent the past several years successfully working on increasing their subscriber base, so clearly what works for readers does matter. (If it didn’t, then the wider changes in business like the focus on short-term profit wouldn’t matter.)
I work for a newspaper company these days, in technology, not journalism, but I have some contact with it. Unlike TV news where there are rich stars, newspaper journalists and editors aren’t highly-paid professions. Nobody who cares enough to go into it is going to spend their time just writing what they’re told to.
There were always liberal and conservative papers editorially, and that affected what stories get covered and what gets focus, but the idea that we can just attribute the way they cover things to the owner’s politics seems misguided. (Leaving aside the opinion pages; who knows there.)
@Scout211: responding to this by elevating Rowling is as transphobic as you can get.
I’ve just read what there is of the released report. There’s…. not much to it.
The GJ does conclude that there was no widespread fraud sufficient to overturn the election results in 2020. Duh.
The GJ also concludes that one or more witnesses committed perjury.
The GJ leaves it up to the District Attorney to decide whether, and who, to charge under the statutes referenced (but not included in this released document).
So it doesn’t seem like the release tells us anything we didn’t already know.
“People are being murdered but – for God’s SAKE! – don’t hurt the feelings of a multi-millionaire.”
Yup. That’s the New York Times.
I think some (not all) of what the NYT does, especially on the editorial pages, is click-bait, pure and simple. For one example, Douthat. He’s not going to convince anyone who reads the Times but readers love replying to him.
A big cause of newspapers’ decline has been vulture capitalism. That, and Craigslist (and CL’s descendents, such as job boards). I don’t know how you counter those trends, and even if you could dismantle the vultures, how to build papers back up?
The New York Times has been really toxic for liberal democrats (small or large D) for a good 30 years. They basically invented Whitewater, and devoted endless columns to the non-scandal. Their “even the liberal” columnists were just disgraceful in their coverage of the Bush-Gore election, with Gale Collins, I believe, admitting that Gore got worse coverage because they found him boring. In 2004, the Times scotched reporting that would have revealed the Bush Administration’s illegal so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program prior to the 2004 election. That’s when I left. Their 2016 election coverage was their greatest disservice to their profession and coverage. They gave emails the same coverage in the paper as the Trump criminality in the aggregate. They treated the Trump Foundation, which was a scam, similarly to the Clinton Foundation, which gave away millions to all kinds of worthy endeavors. To their shame, they never went back to their coverage to give some thought to the paper’s pushing Russian disinformation into the national conversation.
Because of who they are and who their readership is, they have a huge role in setting the terms of what is debatable and what isn’t for the non MAGA part of the country. If they were even slightly more enlightened and slightly less arrogant, this would be a better country.
@Redshift: I discuss this issue a lot with a friend who’s spent her entire career as a journalist and is now managing editor at a major daily, and I think you’re right for the most part. There is top-down pressure about what to cover, and sometimes management knuckles under. I agree this isn’t really anything new, but now that many fairly large cities only have one major paper, there’s no one left to pick up the slack.
@Ohio Mom: I agree a lot of this is clickbait, and it works. As for how to recover revenue streams, that’s a great question, and no one has really figured it out. Personally, I’d rather see the feds propping up local papers than extraction industries. The former is a pillar of democracy, whereas the latter is choking the planet.
Sic temper, ceterum NYT dēlenda sunt.
@pajaro: I became aware of the NYT’s toxicitity to the discourse when they flogged Judith Miller’s junk reporting, then had to begrudgingly sack her. I’m still waiting for THAT apology tour.
@CaseyL: It confirms what we suspected.
They brag about it. They think it’s proof they’re performing good journalism.
They keep saying ‘journalism’ as if it was anything more than a piss-stained rag of their making — one they keep flapping about expecting salutes. Its closest relative is the bloodied “Protect and Serve” dragged out by police.
And, as others regularly point out, much of their factual reporting is top notch. It makes people want to keep subscribing to get that great reporting on other issues, even if their editorial page and political reporting are dumpster fires.
That’s they devil’s bargain they offer the liberals that keep it afloat. Which is fine, if people are making that decision with their eyes wide open. Nothing is perfect and people always have to make compromises.
This removes the subscription blocker and disables ads. It obviously doesn’t work for their interactive stories. This trick works for many sites, but specifically not for Bloomberg.
I cannot think of the Times any more without a despairing sadness. They have always had the elements of greatness, for my whole life. They’ve always put out amazing journalism, every year.
And they’ve also always been an pro-establishmentarian rag, more than willing to support forces and people that are genuinely harmful.
My only relationship with the Times is that I try to get people to stop reading it.
The Republican Party?
@Scout211: THEY ALWAYS CONGRATULATE THEMSELVES it’s the first rule of new york times
My take is that the FTFNYFT is successful because of the volume of people in NYC, a relatively large population in a relatively small area and which generates a high GDP because one of their major business areas is financial movement. IOW the stock exchange and all the associated business of moving money. It may be more than just moving money but a lot of business is about making money off of having money. We all like money, and in a modern society money is the blood in the process of living. But money and having a lot of it has it’s own life. I’ve owned 2 businesses and in neither was money the object of the business. But without money neither could work. We all have a need for some amount of money because we use that to purchase housing, transportation, nutrition, clothing. We extremely rarely exchange stuff for stuff, we exchange labor not for food or shelter, we exchange it for money that allows us to purchase food, shelter, medicine, clothing and stuff that often makes our lives more rewarding, like books. And in a capitalistic society, most of our business is about making more money than it costs to operate that business – a profit of – money. A profit is how we measure success. On an individual basis that is, do we take in more than the minimum it costs to live? We complain here about businesses that have a high profit margin and use that not to pay the people that created that profit but to reward the people that put up money to allow the creation of that profit. Money is a business, in some ways more of a business than making food or shelter, an ends as well as the means. The Forbes 400 are all billionaires. Money is considered a better business than food or shelter, we tax money as if it were labor, rather than a way to exchange for food, shelter, transportation, medical care, skills, life. We have people who provide nothing except far more money than they ever actually earned by doing anything positive.
Because we value having money more than we value producing it.
I offer the FTFNYFT as proof of this.
@Scout211: PAMELA PAUL MAKES MAUREEN DOWD LOOK LIKE A SAINT
Having lived in NYC, and its orbit, for decades, plus having lived many elsewheres, and often returned, I can authoritatively report that NYC is a very parochial town.
While, in the past, NYC has been a cultural refugee town. People, in the past, have not cared who you are, just that you are good at it.
Once instant money not connected to prowess – like in LA in the movie biz -through Wall St, etc – the whole talent will earn its reward thing fell apart.
Law firms like that they have a hierarchy of money makers. So do publishing houses and trading firms.
The town is full of rich people who don’t think they are rich. Most of them wonderful liberals.
And trying to convince them of the NYTimes right wing leanings is a lost cause.
Probably not, but it really doesn’t matter. They hire people who they know they won’t have to tell what to write. I doubt they told Haberman to write fawning stories about Trump and to ignore his worst foibles, but they knew they didn’t have to. That’s who she is. If for some reason she writes something management doesn’t like it gets printed on page 9, if at all.
They won’t hire a muckraking firebrand and tell them what to write, because they just won’t hire them period.
That’s a very good point. Identifying what’s different is key, that’s why I posted what I did. Figuring that out makes it at least possible to try to do something about it, whereas “they’re just writing what their Republican bosses want” amounts to “give up.”
I will disagree somewhat about clickbait, though. Clickbait gets transient readers who only contribute ad revenue, but the reason the entire newspaper business is now focusing on subscriptions is that digital ads don’t pay the bills. The one thing I do know from an insider perspective is that “one and done” readers are the least valuable in terms of ad revenue, so no one other than cheap trash work like Newsweek makes clickbait a business focus.
The biggest one to me was holding off on their well-researched series on the Bush era warrantless wiretapping until after the 2004 election. They said outright that they had it before the election but held off publishing it until after because they didn’t want to affect the outcome of the election. It’s such a BS argument. If a story is big enough to affect the outcome of the election, that’s a sign it’s newsworthy and deserves to be published in time for people to learn about it. They just didn’t like how it was going to affect the election, so they chose to hold back to avoid hurting Bush’s chances.
Sister Golden Bear
Thank you for highlighting this.
@Scout211: @Scout211: FTFNYT to trans people: Drop dead. Oh, and fuck you.
lol. Because of course it is.
Bravely fighting The Woke! It’s all these people do.
Never seen any Todd Haynes’ films and never much cared for the Sirk films I saw in film class, but I understand and note the connection to the Times.
I have not been a regular reader of the Times for a while, but am appalled that they have apparently become a fountain of bigotry towards trans people.
And I find this kind of thing galling.
Of course they would judge themselves and find themselves worthy.
And in a declining newspaper market, the Times is desperate to define themselves as the official newspaper of America. So their editorial stance is, by definition, well, definitive.
They have a full time anti woke columnist now, Pamela Paul.
These idiot afraid-of-their own-shadow ninnies must have actually believed the Oberlin Student Council was an existential threat. Imagine being that fucking coddled where THAT is what you’re afraid of
@Roger Moore: How about, no evidence that Russia interfered in 2016 election?
@Redshift: I’ve never seen subscriber engagement stats, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the opinion page draws the most eyeballs, which would be a non-transient reader clickbait draw. Or maybe we’re defining clickbait differently.
@Kay: I suspect for the people who are making the most noise about cancel culture, so-called “wokeness” really is an existential threat to their careers. They make the unfounded assumption that everyone else feels the same way.
Sister Golden Bear
A good fisking of various FTFNYT articles:
Just some of the FTFNYT fuckery:
Sister Golden Bear
@Roger Moore: It’s almost like they were rooting for a particular candidate. (c.f. 2016 election as well).
NYT is pretty representative of white upper middle class and leans Republican.
Speaking of The Times, Charles Blow’s current column addresses how DeSantis (and other Repubs) uses divisive tactics to splinter coalitions that might otherwise unite to oppose him, e.g., pitting one group of immigrants against another, Latinos against black people, etc., while also exploiting cultural fault lines that occur across groups:
I haven’t looked at the survey data, and my anecdotal experience may be a reflection of where I live, but my sense is the Democratic Party stance on trans rights is probably ahead of a significant portion of its white voters and Dem-leaning independents too. So it’s not surprising Repubs are all-in on fomenting a moral panic around trans issues. (Gift link to Blow’s column here.)
@lowtechcyclist: Something like this happened in Chicago though “turned over” isn’t what happened. There was a local online news source — I’ve forgotten the name. They closed and fired everyone and their reporters started an amazing web news source called Block Club Chicago. It has expanded since then and seems to be thriving. It’s the only news i subscribe to tbh.
I wonder about the accuracy of this survey. In any case, I would think that Democrats would understand that “Don’t say Trans” and “Don’t say Black” is the same bullshit.
Where’s PM when we need it?
(Not around quite that far back but old enough to remember when the New York Post was derided as “that liberal rag.”)
Paul in KY
@Brachiator: I have no idea how accurate it is either, but I think Pew is generally reliable. Anecdotally, most of the Latinos I know are more cultural conservative than I am, but Florida Latinos tend to be more culturally conservative than U.S. Latinos in general.
Paul in KY
@Kay: I do hope the Oberlin Student Council has a party about that.
I’ve submitted three comments today on what I view as their intentionally-timed screed in ‘defense’ of extremely rich, litigious and cruelly anti-trans JK Rowling in the Opinion section today.
Two that point out how the right in this country are an imminent threat to trans people have been accepted. My first comment, pointedly accusing them of this intentional timing the day after the carefully and thoroughly crafted letter to the paper… surprise, it hasn’t been accepted.
The letter is good, and the post is mostly good. But, mistermix— this closing sentence—
—is a really weird note to end on. It’s not the job of the signers of the letter to give you a list of better newspapers; this comes across very much as the kind of “anyone pointing out an injustice is obliged to propose a specific alternative, otherwise why should we take them seriously even if they’re right” line that’s commonly used to dismiss all kinds of protests (especially when you choose to refer to them as “people complaining”, which almost always has a dismissive connotation).
You’re also implying that if they have a Times subscription then they have no business “complaining”, which would be my cue to drop in that Matt Bors “Yet you participate in society” cartoon if I weren’t kind of sick of seeing that cartoon. But even weirder, you say you wish the authors of the letter would stop even reading the Times— even though you acknowledge that the letter is necessary because the Times is so influential, but if the authors hadn’t been reading the Times then they wouldn’t have been able to write the letter, since they wouldn’t have seen the influential garbage it is publishing.
I was just expressing mild skepticism. I often cite Pew research myself.
I hope people can see that these tactics are not so much divide and conquer, but variations of the same oppression applied to various peoples.
@gvg: The business model (charging near-rapacious rates for obituaries and classified ads when there was basically no other option) collapsed 20 years ago.
No one has really figured out a replacement. A few of the biggest papers can have enough subscribers to get a decent share of subscription revenue for some of the costs, but mostly they just still have just enough eyeballs to get acceptable display and online ad rates.
The rest? Going broke or getting absorbed and hollowed out. (The St. Cloud MN paper is now a Gannett property. They have one reporter now. One. Everything else in its slim daily missive is from bigger papers in the chain, or from wire services. No way to really know what the city council, or chief of police, or anyone local is doing. It’s so broken.)
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: The poor American Indians got this treatment too.
When you put it that broadly, that’s clearly true. I mean, I don’t think anyone is under any illusion that trans rights are so universally accepted in the moderate-to-liberal population that you could call that an insignificant portion.
But that’s not in any way a new or particularly significant phenomenon; it’s how these things always work. When the Democratic Party started taking a firmer stand in favor of gay/lesbian/bisexual rights, there was “a significant portion of its white voters and Dem-leaning independents” who were not yet cool with that, and the moral panic rhetoric was almost exactly the same (like, you could copy-paste whole paragraphs of the current Times bullshit and make very minor changes and end up with something indistinguishable from previous “I have nothing against gay people personally, but think of the vulnerable children!” material). And earlier when the Democratic Party started taking a clear stand on the side of racial civil rights, there was a “significant portion” who weren’t yet cool with that.
I get that you’re not saying anything like “the party is being too radical, they should cool it or they’ll alienate people”, but since people do often use this kind of argument to say exactly that, I think it’s worth pointing out that this is a constant cycle and that there is basically never a time when someone won’t be upset about the party being out of sync with the more conservative subset of its voters.
Paul in KY
@Hob: You can complain about a newspaper’s coverage without having a subscription to it and also if you do have a subscription to it.
Beg to differ, Maureen Dowd is horrible with or without comparisons to Pamela Paul.
@Redshift: I think where this critique of the NYT does hit is that we can see the trend in who the is Publisher (a formal title, now held by A.G. Sulzberger).
He is who Dean Baquet reported to, and who in effect hired Joseph Kahn as Executive Editor. Before Sulzberger was Publisher, he was a leader in newsroom strategy at the Times.
The interests of the very rich and powerful Sulzberger family does, I firmly believe, play into the house style of the Times. And this whocouldaknowed insouciance and both-siderism that so permeates their politics coverage and their views on trans folks alike is a reflection of how little pain of anything bad happening to not-rich, not-powerful people in this country matters to the Sulzbergers.
Maybe A.G. doesn’t literally tell Kahn how to assign or direct the paper. But there are surely cues and rewards and quietly conveyed guardrails to the way that paper works. That it hasn’t changed in their fear of conservative attacks, and disdain for progressive subscriber anguish thru a succession of Executive Editors tells me this.
And cutting the Public Editor just reconfirmed my sense of despair.
@Hob: Agree 100%, and I think there’s a word for getting out in front of the crowd on these issues: leadership.
@Hob: Oh, yes. I remember having arguments with my own dad, who I will say was gracious and welcoming to my then boyfriend, but man did he push the whole “Do you have to be so ‘in your face’ activist about it?!”
Before I ran out of willingness to see the toxic b.s., that was definitely one of the major sub-themes of the responses to today’s JKR fluffing column. “Trans people have gone too far, they’re too loud, too rude, too mean.”
Meanwhile states are considering banning transition care to the age of 26. Twenty six! Marry at 14 in WY? Sure. Start hormones at 25 in some states, if they get their way? Nope.
But something like this doesn’t require writers or editors to change their beliefs to suit what the publisher wants. It just requires 1. a small number of writers who are already sympathetic to the agenda, and 2. an editor who either agrees, or may not 100% agree but is still willing to give those writers some extra space and freedom if that’s clearly what the publisher wants. And unless the publisher is very hands-off, which I don’t think there’s any reason to think is the case at the NYT, ultimately this isn’t happening unless they want it.
This is no different than the Times beating the drum for the Iraq war, or Whitewater, or the Wen Ho Lee story. All of those cases were clearly deliberate crusades, and most of the reporting was being done by a small number of people— but the reporters clearly weren’t in the driver’s seat because there was no way they would’ve been getting that much front-page space, or been allowed to commit as many violations of logic and ethics as they did, if there hadn’t been a clear management decision to make this happen. This isn’t the kind of thing where a lot of people at the paper just happen to have this opinion, or one reporter happens to have this opinion and the management just doesn’t notice how hard they’re pushing it.
“Being adults”. Got that, children? Thankfully, Andrew Sullivan and the rest of these ninnies with huge platforms are here to scold you.
None of these people ever do any actual liberal advocacy or action, either. I read Terfy Twitter because they insist they are feminists for a while, thinking they would occasionally mention one or another feminist issue but they do NOTHING there- it’s all whining about The Woke.
Thru Donald Trump, overturning Roe, insurrection, Ukraine, for what is now the last FOUR YEARS these people have been consumed with defeating….college students.
I had a long time delivery subscription to the NY Times to “support journalism” but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve been reading the Times without paying for it by leaving my subscription on “Vacation Hold” for the last five years. I have to restart the hold every six months so I pay for two papers a year.
That article is crap. That said: Bring back ‘tomboy’ and (alas) ‘metrosexual’. They are neither derogatory nor politically incorrect–or at least they weren’t in the 2010s. There are way too many people identifying as trans in the last few years who just don’t have a good alternative acceptable identifier. The vast majority of people in these categories don’t care. But an increasing minority of depressed or uncertain people choose ‘trans’ rather than these no longer vogue categories.
@Pete Mack: The hell? You are honestly saying that people used to seriously claim “tomboy” and “metrosexual” as an identity, but now, they’ve been deprived of those terms and they are identifying as trans instead when really they’re just confused, and you think that that is a significant trend? That’s one of the weirder statements I’ve heard in quite a while.