The New York Times

America's War of Stories

DESPITE EVERYTHING, I CLING TO THE DUMB, IDEALISTIC CONVICTION THAT EVERY CONTRADICTORY TRUTH ADDS UP TO CREATE A LARGER, TRUER PICTURE OF THE WORLD.

I’ve lately been having a conversation with friends and fellow writers about the strategic use of stories — stories as propaganda, as weapons. It’s not a question of truth but utility: whether particular stories appropriately conform to or inconveniently contradict certain fashionable, or even ideologically mandatory, narratives.

One friend, who is trans, was peeved by a couple of recent articles about trans people who clearly don’t represent the majority of that population — some who reject any gender identification, and others who’ve second-guessed their transitions. Of course these stories deserve to be told, but, in a time when the larger population of trans people are in danger of being

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