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WATCH: John Oliver Explains Why Respecting Trans People Just Isn't That Hard

WATCH: John Oliver Explains Why Respecting Trans People Just Isn't That Hard


Celebrating their 'courage' and then not working to end anti-trans discrimination is wrong, says Oliver.


John Oliver has a message for the media and public-at-large: respecting trans people's rights isn't as complicated as people seemingly want to make it.

In this week's episode of Last Week Tonight, the hilarious late-night host took aim at everyone from DMV officials to meteorologists, urging a commonsense approach to trusting what people say -- and shouldn't have to say -- about their own genders.

"What are you doing?" Oliver rhetorically asked of his video round-up of show hosts, who pried into their trans guests's pants.

"It is no more okay to ask transgender people about their sex organs than it would be to ask Jimmy Carter whether or not he's circumcized. ... Some transgender people do undergo hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery as part of their transition, some do not. And interestingly, their decision on this matter is, medically speaking, none of your fucking business."

Oliver got plenty of laughs over how far the media, governments, and even everyday people go to over-complicate the simple premise of gender identity, but he also took the time to talk seriously about the effects of systemic discrimination, including the recent spate of anti-trans bathroom bills and the military's continued ban on open military service by trans soldiers.

"It's genuinely crucial that we get this right," said Oliver, later adding that, "[the] dynamic of praising a transgender person's 'courage' but not actually supporting them speaks to the fact that we are weirdly comfortable celebrating transgender people while simultaneously dehumanizing them."

Watch the full clip below:

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Mitch Kellaway