QAnon supporters are adding to their baseless conspiracy theories the idea that people receiving COVID-19 vaccines “increases the probability of them identifying as homosexual or transgender at a later stage.”
In a series of tweets, reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh posted screenshots from the right-wing social media platform Telegram, where many QAnon conspiracists have been communicating since being kicked off of mainstream platforms like Twitter and YouTube. The images show the circulation of the disturbing myth that LGBTQ+ people are not "born this way," but rather created through vaccination.
“Let’s assume [being LGBTQ+ is] genetic for a minute. Since homosexuals by and large don't procreate their own children, their own genetics typically are not passed forward,” one post reads. “Since that is against the continuation of life, then homosexuality can’t be a dominant gene, it must be recessive.”
“I have many homosexual friends that have said they have known they were different SINCE THEY WERE LITTLE KIDS,” the rant continues. “When is your earliest memory? 4 years old? You’ve already received 50 vaccines by then in 2020. Truly if it were genetic then the rate should be decreasing, but it’s increasing, indicating something in their environment is pushing it that direction.”
QAnon believers are basing their rants on a recent rant from Iranian cleric Abbas Tabrizian, who claimed that vaccines turn people into “controlled robots” and “homosexuals.”
“IMO he’s not far off,” another QAnon account said on a reblog of Tabrizian’s statement. “This is why we have gender confusion among our youth. Research how they put in hormones and alter DNA with their vaccines. Then pump our kids full of 50+ vaccines from birth!”
According to Sardarizadeh, these two accounts have over 180,000 followers, and 56,000 followers respectively, making them some of the most popular QAnon influencers on Telegram.
In reality, vaccines prevent deadly and harmful diseases in humans and are essential to the reopening of the United States after nearly a year in quarantine due to the pandemic. They do not turn people autistic, gay, or transgender.