Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson has once again gone after transgender people — this time, trans children and their parents, with him saying supportive parents are engaging in child abuse and that the concept of a trans child is “grotesque.”
Last Thursday on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host blasted the HBO documentary Transhood, which chronicles the experiences of four trans kids, ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 when filming began. “What we’re about to show you is so disturbing it would have qualified as a crime not so long ago,” he said when introducing a clip from the film.
The clip showed a 4-year-old child, Phoenix, going to the front of her Unitarian Universalist church to declare that she is a girl. She ended up being too shy to speak to the whole congregation, so her mother made the declaration for her.
“What you’re seeing is ventriloquism,” Carlson said. “Four-year-olds don’t make decisions like that. They can’t. And yet across the country, small children are being given puberty blockers and irreversibly damaging their bodies. … It’s grotesque.”
In reality, puberty blockers are not administered until a child enters puberty, and their effects are reversible if one stops taking them. As for his assertion that 4-year-olds can’t know they’re trans, “even if you don’t support transgender rights, everyone knows that is false,” Dawn Ennis, a former Advocate staffer, wrote in the Daily Beast.
“I am living proof,” Ennis continued. “I was four when I asked my mother why she thought I was a boy. Even though she told me she knew that I’d be a girl for all the months she carried me, even though I was telling her who I was, she didn’t believe me then, or when I came out to her when I was 49.”
There was much more to Carlson’s diatribe. “This isn’t just one parent abusing a child on TV,” he said. “This is a nationwide — we’re going to use the word — epidemic.” He denounced Democratic politicians, including President-elect Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, for supporting trans equality, and he asserted that people are afraid to voice skepticism about trans identity because they’ll have trouble getting a job or see their books banned by Target. Target did briefly withdraw an anti-trans book but quickly reversed the move.
He also hosted conservative commentator Matt Walsh, who said children who identify as trans are engaging in fantasy. “Children literally cannot differentiate between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy,” Walsh said. “I have a 4-year-old who thinks he’s a stegosaurus — I’m not going to take him to Jurassic Park.” Jurassic Park is, of course, a fictional place.
Carlson showed another clip from Transhood featuring trans teen Avery Jackson, whose mother was shocked to see her daughter included on Carlson’s program. Debi Jackson told the Beast she realized the clip was publicly available, but she had no idea Carlson was going to use it.
“Honestly, it is shocking that people can go on TV and essentially slander you and call you a child abuser with no repercussions,” she said. “In fact, the more inflammatory they are, the higher their ratings and bigger the salary. Meanwhile, it can wreak havoc in your life and you are powerless to stop it.”
Carlson has a long history of attacking transgender people, along with the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, immigrants, people of color, feminists, and more. In 2018, in one episode he belittled gender-neutral pronouns and said there’s no such thing as a trans community, and in another he hosted a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Last year he said trans equality is a “boutique issue … for rich people” and doesn’t concern “any normal person.”