The headline of the recent cover of celebrity entertainment magazine Life & Style asks “Why Is Angelina Turning Shiloh into a Boy?” The article claims that actress Angelina Jolie is refusing to let her 3-year-old daughter Shiloh wear dresses.
Among the “experts” they quote to ask whether this decision is harmful to the child is Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family, an organization known for its opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.
“Little girls have never been women before. They need help, they need guidance of what that looks like,” said Stanton. “It’s important to teach our children that gender distinction is very healthy.”
The Advocate reports on the aftermath. A statement from Life & Style said: ““Life & Style‘s cover story ‘Why Is Angelina Turning Shiloh Into a Boy?’ presents experts speaking from all viewpoints in the debate.”
A statement from the National Center for Transgender Equality said: “Shiloh—and all other children—deserve the right to be themselves in ways that feel right to them as they learn and grow.”
A statement from GLAAD said: “Media has a responsibility to differentiate between credible authorities and politically motivated (and usually self-proclaimed) ‘experts’ like Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton, who is not an expert on developmental issues or gender identity.”
And there’s the money quote. As fellow NLGJA blogger extraordinaire Michael Triplett points out in his “Balancing Things Out” post: “Fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues often requires an attention to balance, but also being aware when ‘balance’ means unfair journalism.”