Donald Trump Jr. delivered a heavy dose of transphobia to a receptive audience at the right-wing Americafest gathering in Phoenix Sunday, including the assertion that China is laughing at the U.S. because of transgender Air Force pilots.
"What do you think our enemies are doing? They're laughing," the former president's son said, according to The Independent.
He was referring to a policy issued by the U.S. Air Force in the spring aimed at assuring equal treatment of trans troops after President Joe Biden lifted the ban on trans military members put in place by Donald Trump Sr. "Service in the Air Force and Space Force should be open to all persons who can meet the high standards for military service and readiness," the policy asserted.
"You think China is thinking about We got to make sure you have plenty of trans pilots?" Trump Jr. said.
He said he was "fine" with trans pilots "if they were the best pilots," but he contended that the Air Force policy "is not about finding the best ones."
"Just like when they talk about the breakdown of the labor force between men and women," he continued. "Why don't they ever talk about that there's a grossly underrepresented portion of ... female bricklayers. I think that's a disgrace.
"And yet they would have you believe that it is. So that's why we have to band together folks. The pendulum has swung so far. It is overcorrected. "The mainstream left has lost their minds."
Trump Jr. also complained that his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, "is leading the charge in some of the wokeism today" because of trans athlete Lia Thomas's participation on the women's swimming team.
Thomas broke three records in the Zippy Invitational competition December 3, and parents and conservative groups have objected to her competing with cisgender women. She meets National Collegiate Athletic Association standards for having been on testosterone suppressants for a year before joining the women's team.
There have been efforts in many states to prevent trans females from competing alongside cis ones in middle school, high school, and college sports, with 10 states adopting such policies. Backers of these policies claim trans girls and women have an inherent and unfair advantage over their cisgender peers, something activists and scientists dispute, noting that many factors contribute to an athlete's performance, the number of trans athletes is small, and there is no widespread dominance of women's sports by trans women.
The four-day Americafest convention was sponsored by Turning Point USA, which advocates for conservative ideology in high schools and colleges. Speakers besides Trump Jr. included Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro, former White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, activist Dennis Prager, and U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz.