Demonizing transgender people has real and damaging consequences
Do you have a hobby? Most people do. Personally, I like to read books. I also like to listen to true crime podcasts and heavy metal music. Maybe you like to knit scarves, make art, play video games or go for bike rides.
Fox Nation’s Laura Ingraham probably has a number of hobbies, though I don’t know what they are since most of them she enjoys privately. But there’s one hobby she is very passionate and public about, and that’s demonizing transgender people.
On the Feb. 3 edition of Fox Nation’s Laura and Raymond, the show she co-hosts with Raymond Arroyo, Ingraham was up in arms about a teacher in New York using a curriculum that encouraged kids to be “transgender-affirming,” the very idea of which Ingraham called “child abuse.”
According to Arroyo, the curriculum stated, “Everybody has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose if they are a boy or a girl or both or neither or something else.”
To which Ingraham replied, “I have a question. If that’s the case, then do pre-kindergartners actually get to choose when they can have sexual activity?”
I was at first confused by her question. Because, OF COURSE, pre-kindergartners get to choose when they can have what Ingraham calls “sexual activity.” But then I realized that Ingraham isn’t talking about how children explore their bodies, how that’s normal, how good parents encourage children in an age-appropriate way to be curious while still cautioning them that some things are private and teaching them about boundaries.
What Ingraham is talking about is apparently pre-schoolers having sex. And she’s saying that affirming a child’s gender sexualizes them, which is bonkers.
Sex and gender are not the same things. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same things. This is, I understand, very confusing for some people. And the idea that there are more than just two boxes to check, male or female, makes some people really uncomfortable. I get it. The unfamiliar can be scary.
But respecting a child’s gender identity is not the same thing as giving them a juice box and a bag of Goldfish and dropping them off at a brothel for a playdate.
Demonizing transgender people has real and damaging consequences. Affirming gender identity has real and life-saving consequences. According to Media Matters, “Research shows that transgender youth are best able to succeed when their teachers and families accept and affirm their gender identity, which has been proven to reduce their risk of experiencing depression, homelessness, and suicidal ideation.”
Gosh, that sounds like a good thing, and not like child abuse at all. In fact, it’s more like the opposite of child abuse.
But that’s not the way Ingraham sees it. She sees any affirmation of gender identity to be a societal scourge.
“The public school system in California has led the way on this, and this is absolute indoctrination of children, and it’s an assault on religious liberty. The parents who don’t want to be part of this are ostracized and meant to feel like they are haters when they’re just like, ‘We’re just doing what our conscience and biology informs us.'”
Pretty rich to hear someone from Fox Nation talk about “indoctrination.”
As for making people feel like haters, it’s important to point out that you don’t have to hate someone to harm them. But advocating against another person’s humanity is a pretty hateful endeavor.
This isn’t the first time Ingraham has equated gender affirmation to child abuse. During her June 12, 2019, podcast she claimed that “the left has been on the cultural warpath to gender-bend our kids into submission” and that LGBTQ activists were “indoctrinating children” via drag queen story hours at public libraries.
In 2014 she advised parents of transgender kids who identify as girls to tell them, “Take the dress off. We’re going to go out and play some football.”
Speaking of sports, in 2019, she called letting trans athletes play in gender-segregated sports “insanity,” putting the blame on feminism.
“If this is where feminism takes us, and gender politics takes us,” she said on Fox News, “all feminists across the country should, you know, think about it again because this will destroy girls’ sports eventually.”
Yes, just wait until cis boys learn that they can win more at sports simply by changing their gender identity and competition against girls. I definitely see that happening in 3, 2, 1, never.
Fun fact: Laura Ingraham has a gay brother.
“I think she’s a monster,” Curtis Ingraham said in a 2018 Daily Beast interview. “She’s very smart, she’s well-spoken, but her emotional heart is just kind of dead.”
And it’s definitely not resting in peace.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer, and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.