Parker Molloy, a writer for Advocate.com, has returned to work to report on violence against the transgender community after a one-month suspension over an incident that landed her in a database of violent offenders against trans* people.
The Trans Violence Tracking Portal is an online watchdog that seeks to protect the trans* community, and last month the group added a “violence advisory” against a member of their own community, Parker Molloy.
Molloy received a one month’s suspension from Advocate.com for telling trans* Huffington Post writer Kelsie Jones to “cut yourself…stupid cunt…drink bleach.” Jones wrote an essay for Queerty about the incident, condemning Molloy’s actions as dangerous, which you can find here.
After Jones told her, “Way to go Parker, piss off another person who likes and supports you,” Molloy responded with “HAHAHA.”
As of last week, Molloy is back at Advocate.com, and her first headline was Transgender College Student Attacked In Possible Hate Crime. She shared this message on Facebook to mark her return:
The same day she blasted Ru Paul as “transphobic” and started the word-police conversation that seemed to never end, she Tweeted this:
As for Molloy’s return to her public platform at The Advocate, Jones doesn’t hold a grudge, but does have genuine concern about whether Molly is the proper writer to cover the “crime beat.”
“It is my sincere hope that Ms. Molloy has taken this time to deal with her mental health issues, and that her return will signal a kinder, gentler approach to advocacy writing,” Jones told Queerty. “I do have some concerns however, particularly as she will apparently be writing the section on LGBT violence at The Advocate as I’m not sure given the circumstances of her departure that this is really the appropriate forum for her, but time will tell. This being said, I wish her well in her future endeavors and hope that she can contribute positively to the community going forwards.”
Scouring Facebook, it isn’t difficult to find lively debate over Parker’s behavior. This is part of one reaction to Molloy’s one-month suspension by Here Media for what is a documented pattern of destructive and hateful rhetoric:
The Advocate is the most respected LGBT news source, and is known internationally. What Molloy has done has serious consequences to The Advocate’s brand, and now parts of its readership take nothing Molloy says seriously, and with good reason. A fanatical and small (yet aggressively loud and compulsive) fan club (many just Internet trolls who do no actual work for the community) of Molloy’s have even bragged that Molloy only got a one month suspension from The Advocate, which is essentially a tiny slap on the wrist. This is problematic on many levels.
In the comments section to the post, some share their own experiences with Molloy’s bullying tactics, while editors at The Advocate go so far as to distance themselves from her entirely.
Matthew Breen, editor of The Advocate’s print edition, said:
“I’ve never hired or assigned Parker (or spoken with her or emailed her). We have tweeted, however. If she called me her editor on Twitter, she was mistaken.”
Diane Anderson-Minshall, a writer for the publication and editor-in-chief of its sibling mag HIV Plus and who is married to a transgender man, commented:
I have made my concerns known over the misogyny and trans/homophobia in all this and the attack language overall many times.
Another commenter relayed a story about Parker’s reaction to not being selected for the Trans 100 list of trans people positively affecting the community.
This, she claimed, was Parker’s response:
So, looks like I didn’t end up making that stupid list. It just occurred to me that it’s this weekend, and no one had even contacted me. I should be on that God damn list, but looks like I’m not even a fucking alternate. So fuck Jen fucking cock sucking Richards. I’m sick of fucking pieces of shit like her. I deserve a soot on that fucking list… Some dipshit who hosts a little support group for 15 people doesn’t have anything on half a million readers a month. So get the fuck out of here with that nonsense like I don’t have as much of an impact, I impact more people total. I deserve it. If I’m not on it, it’s a joke, and I’ll be sure to keep that in mind as I continue to do my work down the road. Because clearly if I don’t make their little list, I’m not influential so they won’t mind me freezing them out of anything I ever write, and I will.
If The Advocate’s own staff can’t defend the actions of its now-high-profile writer, some wondered why she is still there.
Activist/filmmaker Andrea James, who previously took issue with the way Molloy blasted RuPaul as “transphobic,” understands that the controversy created by Molloy translates into web traffic. James offered the following statement to Queerty:
“I’ve seen a hundred self-righteous hypocrites like Molloy come and go in my 20 years of activism. They’re very good at finding enablers like Advocate.com’s Lucas Grindley who will keep taking them back, because it benefits Grindley in the short term. Advocate.com has become a clickbait site re-reporting work from actual journalists, and Molloy specializes in turning the journalistic efforts of pros into clickbait. Pretty much every op-ed and every ‘report’ is a summary of whatever LGBT story generates the most outrage, so of course Grindley and team put their biggest outrage merchant on turning crime reporting into clickbait. She won’t go anywhere as long as her clickbait is paying the light bills over there. Profits over principle.”
Molloy’s assignment to “the crime beat” marks merely the latest in a string of similar decisions at The Advocate. Last December the publication courted controversy by naming Pope Francis its “person of the year,” while this past June the website published an op-ed that attempted to rebuild the reputation of former President Ronald Reagan as pro-gay despite evidence to the contrary.
Queerty reached out to Advocate.com’s editorial director Lucas Grindley for a comment twice through the company’s publicist, but at the time of this posting hadn’t received a response.