Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual honoring of the transgender people we have lost to anti-trans violence. In 2022 alone, there have been 32 such deaths. We stand in solidarity with the trans community and mourn the siblings we have lost.
Also today, we woke up to news that there was a shooting at a gay night club in Colorado Springs. Currently, five deaths and 18 injuries have been reported. I’m planning to speak to this atrocity in my next newsletter, as the details are still unfolding. So much of this life feels like mourning, or the anticipation of it. To be LGBTQ+ is to know loss. But it is also to know incredible love and unfathomable community. I’m sending that love to the victims, their families, everyone who cared for them, and our community at large, who know grief all too well. Take care of each other. I know we know how to.
—Liana DeMasi, OptOut LGBTQ+ Editor
Liana DeMasi here! With Thanksgiving/National Day of Mourning next week, my LGBTQ+ newsletter doesn’t resume until Dec. 1, so in lieu of that, I’m taking the general newsletter for this week. And what a week it was!
Yet Another Transphobic New York Times Article
In a previous newsletter of ours, I referenced this transphobic NYT piece, which was published in July. In sum, the article, written by Pamela Paul, is a lengthy, nonsubstantive argument that gender-inclusive language in abortion and birthing discourse erases the experience of cis women. (You can read an article I wrote for The Objective in response to numerous transphobic and noninclusive stories throughout our industry.)
Since then, the Times has taken aim at puberty blockers and trans children, amplifying the right’s arguments that categorize gender-affirming care for adolescents as child abuse. The article—"They Paused Puberty, but Is There a Cost?"—speaks to the fact that some children who start puberty blockers experience loss in bone density.
The piece does many things wrong. Primarily, it introduces this bone density evidence as if it’s new. It is not. In fact, it’s widely known in the medical and trans communities. Further, doctors communicate this potential side effect thoroughly to parents and children, along with advice on how to mitigate the effects.
A few fast-moving doctors should not be presented as the norm in trans healthcare, especially when the public is intensifying its scrutiny of their necessary, crucial, and life-saving jobs.
Journalism is about finding and analyzing the facts. Good journalism is critical but fair, and it should challenge existing biases, not perpetuate them. At a time when transphobia is spreading like wildfire through our city councils and state legislatures, pandering to the right and misleading one’s readers is anything but good journalism.
I could continue this rant for another five pages, but instead, I’m going to share a DEFECTOR article written by Lauren Theisen, who speaks at length about the harm that pieces like this one can elicit.
Crypto Exchange Collapses, Finally Doing Something That Makes Sense
I have a close friend who tried to push Bitcoin on me in 2017 until she noticed my eyes start to glaze over. Cryptocurrency and NFTs sound like what would happen if Monopoly gained consciousness. I frankly don’t even know how iCloud works. I also recognize that there’s a chance none of these tech innovations are even related. What I do know is that this latest financial scandal is not dissimilar to the one we experienced in 2008, in that finance managers misled investors and suddenly, in the panic, everyone started wanting their money back, but there was nothing left to give. This hellish scenario means that a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money, which, during the lead-up to a potential recession, is unsettling.
David Dayen of THE AMERICAN PROSPECT takes a look at how the lack of regulation of crypto trading makes this crash unsurprising.
And the folks over at THE LEVER have a podcast explainer of the situation and what can be done to prevent the same scenario from happening in the future. Guests include Jacob Silverman and Matt Stoller.
Recently, there have been a slew of union strikes and contract negotiations. Adjunct and part-time faculty members at The New School and across University of California campuses are striking for better pay and contracts. Adjuncts at New York University have just authorized a strike due to unsatisfactory negotiations. There have also been ongoing strikes at publisher HarperCollins and Starbucks, and Delta airline pilots have threatened to strike.
The common denominator? Being overworked, underpaid, and undervalued in a cutthroat capitalist system.
Taking a broader look at these pay inequities and what workers are owed, Peter Hong at CAPITAL & MAIN interviews author Rich Wartzman about his new book, Still Broke: Walmart’s Remarkable Transformation and the Limits of Socially Conscious Capitalism, which looks at how Walmart rose to extreme wealth and success on the backs of its employees.
Nick Pinto at HELL GATE talks to some of the picketers at The New School about the disposable nature of part-time teaching.
In its latest podcast episode, THE REAL NEWS NETWORK examines the nearly 50,000 people engaging in the University of California staff strike, making it the “largest higher education strike in U.S. history.”
Jonah Furman of LABOR NOTES talks about the overworked, understaffed, and underappreciated U.S. airline pilots. I personally can think of few things more unsettling than an exhausted pilot.
Extra From Home Alone 2 Announces Presidential Bid
We all saw this coming. Donald Trump, the subject of multiple investigations who incited an insurrection and lost the last election, has announced his plans to run for president once again.
OptOut is dedicated to bringing you hard-hitting, independent news. Luckily, sometimes it’s hilarious! That’s the case with the latest video from THE HUMANIST REPORT, which dives into Trump’s announcement and the QAnon cultists who were angered that he wants to take back the White House on the campaign trail rather than by nuclear warfare.
Gilded Age Is Back!
In their first episode in over a year, OptOut’s very own Walker Bragman, Alex Kotch, and Mark Colangelo talk with U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) about the midterms, Ukraine, COVID, and our collective failing internal organ, Twitter.
Gilded Age is a podcast about inequality. Past guests include Marianne Williamson, David Daley, Malaika Jabali, and Jared Holt. Future full episodes will be available to recurring donors to the OptOut Media Foundation, along with many other perks that we’ll be announcing soon!
That’s all from me! I hope everyone is meditating and in therapy in preparation for dealing with our respective Uncle Johns’ political discussions this Thanksgiving/National Day of Mourning.
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