What makes a person anti-LGBT in 2021? Well, according to GLAAD, one of the oldest, most influential, and most prominent LGBT advocacy organizations in America, anything from simply commenting on McDonald’s introducing LGBT pride French fries to testifying before Congress on behalf of women and girls in sports is sufficient.
In the GLAAD Accountability Project, GLAAD maintains a list of more than 200 organizations, politicians, and individuals it believes demonstrate anti-LGBT bias. When I released my book, “Without Context: Evaluating the Anti-LGBT Claims Against the Trump Administration,” in 2020, I reviewed the GLAAD Accountability Project’s claims.
Unfortunately, the standards for inclusion on this list can range widely from supporting unquestionably anti-LGBT positions to remarkably petty and ridiculous accusations weighed down by significant political and ideological biases. For example, when they list President Trump endorsing Roy Moore in 2017, Moore’s history of legitimately anti-LGBT arguments form the basis for a reasonable evaluation. Yet when they cite President Trump’s 2017 Executive Order restricting Syrian refugees as an anti-LGBT policy because it could in theory affect LGBT refugees, clear bias and unreliable standards are afoot.
The real concern, however, is in GLAAD’s practice of targeting individuals in the public eye for these types of accusations, again refusing to distinguish between openly anti-LGBT advocates and political voices they simply disagree with. This was most recently illustrated by GLAAD adding center-left writer Jesse Singal to their list. Singal was marked for simply reporting the stories of transgender people who later regretted their transition and reporting on the research of physicians and other experts in the field.
Similarly, Abigail Shrier — author of the bestselling book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” — was included on the list for referring to transgender girls as “biological boys” and referencing biological sex as a fact. GLAAD argues that in her testimony before U.S. Congress on the Equality Act, Shrier was “Falsely claiming women and girls are at risk if the LGBTQ civil rights legislation is passed.”
She also stands accused by the organization of “Falsely comparing being transgender to eating disorders, and falsely and baselessly claiming transition is akin to demonic possession and self-harm.”
As is common in these listings, GLAAD links to ideologically compatible activist sources like Media Matters as evidence. Yet in Shrier’s case, for example, she never compared being transgender to demonic possession.
In discussing the genuinely real concern of social contagion, she talked with Joe Rogan about issues for teenage girls, saying the majority of those going transgender currently are “the same population that gets involved in cutting, demonic possession, witchcraft, anorexia, bulimia.” This kind of important context and nuance is an ongoing problem with GLAAD’s reporting standards and evidence. They contort disagreement with leftist gender ideology into opposition to LGBT people, simply refusing to consider any opposing interpretations.
Unfortunately, the above two examples are not isolated. Describing the “worst anti-LGBT statements” from individuals who spoke at the 2017 Values Voter Summit, GLAAD includes Laura Ingraham for arguing medical transition in minors is “child abuse,” Dana Loesch for pointing out concerns regarding legally requiring schools to allow boys into girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms, and Kevin Sorbo for musing that Chick-fil-A has better fries after McDonald’s introduced rainbow-themed fries during LGBT Pride month.
Others included on their Accountability Project website are Ben Shapiro, Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James, and Ryan T. Anderson, among many other conservative public figures. Mary Emily O’Hara, who works for GLAAD’s rapid response team, defended the list:
GLAAD has published similar lists for years as part of its media and policy monitoring mission. See: Trump Accountability Project, Commentator Accountability Project, and the Biden Equality Accountability Tracker that launched earlier this month.
Of course, GLAAD is perfectly within its rights to publish information illustrating its worldview and beliefs. The problem is that it positions itself as a universal LGBT advocacy group providing accurate information regarding public figures and their stated views on LGBT issues.
Yet, as Singal pointed out in a lengthy rebuttal correcting GLAAD’s easily disproven claims about him, the issue at hand is this: “Even more disturbing is GLAAD’s insistence that mere belief in gender dysphoria desistance constitutes a bigoted belief in 2021 — bigoted enough to get you put on a list.”
As I’ve demonstrated, failure to accurately report the actual words being referenced with a reliable citation is a major problem. They prefer to paraphrase to promote their ideological spin. Even left-wing LGBT activist Dan Savage has recognized the danger in this new Puritanism within powerful LGBT organizations. Unfortunately, this reckless approach to political shaming under the guise of activism is at the core of the problem.
After complaints that they published false information, GLAAD quietly took down all listings for their Accountability Project — aside from President Trump and Vice President Pence — during what they referred to as an “internal review process.” The organization insists none of the entries will be permanently removed and additional profiles will be added as they relaunch the project at a future date. This prompted Singal to ask the organization, “Can you tell us more about why your organization decided to publish this list before it had been vetted?”
The wider issue is that dozens of high-profile organizations partner with GLAAD, including Google, Facebook, Viacom, Coca-Cola, Disney, Sony, and others. Being included on a list identifying you as an “anti-LGBT activist” isn’t merely an online inconvenience, it could destroy a person’s career and reputation over what amounts to political disagreement.
This is, of course, the reason GLAAD organizes it in the first place: to shame and intimidate others from engaging in ideas and advocacy that could potentially get themselves labeled “anti-LGBT.” GLAAD has arbitrarily declared it’s the authority on what is and is not acceptable in polite society in LGBT debates, but rather than defend those positions, the organization is more than happy to simply duck the challenge, and put you on a public list as punishment for defying them.