This is Episode 2 of The Anti-Trans Hate Machine Animated Series, a companion to Season 2 of TransLash Media’s limited podcast series The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality.
Right now there’s a movement in far-right and Christian Nationalist circles to convince the wider society that trans people aren’t real.
This ideological detransition movement argues that the trans community is essentially a group of confused cis people and that over time they will revert to their gender assigned at birth.
For proof, these extremists cite cases of people who they claim have detransitioned.
Now, for many reasons, trans people do decide to pause, restart or rework the process of becoming themselves.
But we’re not talking about that.
These harmful arguments about detransitioners enter popular culture through voices like comedian Bill Maher.
They also find amplification in statehouses across the country to justify anti-trans bills like the hundreds introduced so far this year.
But since trans people claim the opposite that we are real, how do we arrive here?
In 2015, after same-sex marriage was federally legalized, Christian Nationalist leaders shifted their focus to anti-trans attacks, knowing religious arguments wouldn’t hold.
Strategists reused the anti-gay playbook of previous decades, focusing on spreading fear, misinformation and stoking concerns about social contagion and how it causes harm to children.
First, organizations like the Heritage Foundation platform, secular, pseudoscientific and anti-trans groups like the American College of Pediatricians to establish an air of credibility.
However, the ACPDS is 100 times smaller than the American Academy of Pediatrics, a more mainstream medical organization that affirms trans kids.
Secondly, anti-trans powerhouse organizations like Heritage and the American College of Pediatricians formed an unholy alliance with anti-trans activists, often called trans exclusionary, radical feminists who have their own obscure organizations like WoLF.
Through teaming up with activists who consider themselves feminists and progressives, right-wing groups were able to spread anti-trans propaganda into even moderate and liberal communities.
Together, Christian nationalists and TERFS grow their ideology through discovering and elevating the stories of people that they can label detransitioners.
They search Internet chat rooms and social media to uncover their identity.
Then they befriend them and elevate such vulnerable people into various stages.
These so-called detransitioners are then recruited to become spokespeople and are told that speaking out affirms their cis identity and erases any gender-based confusion.
But this campaign to spread disinformation is dangerous.
They created a culture of fear and moral panic, putting trans lives at further risk, both in state legislatures and communities across the country.
By shedding light on this problem, we can stop the damage being done.
Share this story and find out more about this by listening to our podcast.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
The Anti-Trans Hate Machine Animated Series, part of our #AntiTransHateMachine campaign, explains in easy to access videos how anti-trans pseudoscience and disinformation has become widely accepted as fact. From conversion therapy, to rapid onset gender dysphoria, to “watchful waiting,” a vast network of Christian Nationalist organizations and bad-actors have used both rightwing and mainstream media to change the way an entire nation thinks about the validity of trans people.
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