We have so many questions about Donald Trump Jr.’s recent CBS This Morning appearance.
First off, why was the son of the United States’ infamously anti-LGBTQ president even invited as a guest? Second, why in the name of Lesbian Jesus would he use that platform to spew problematic rhetoric about trans and gender nonconforming athletes?
While ranting on the subject of so-called “goalposts for wokeness,” Don Jr.—showing face on the morning talk show to promote his new book, Triggered—went off on an unprompted tangent about trans people in sports.
“Trans women in sports,” he began. “Identify as you want; I think it’s wonderful, I don’t care. But when you start saying, ’I’m a man, I become a woman, I’m now winning national championships, setting weightlifting world records, displacing women who’ve worked their entire lives to—'”
CBS This Morning hosts tried to move the interview along quickly as Don Jr. started pushing anti-trans talking points pic.twitter.com/LeVjPGyFEu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 5, 2019
At this point, CBS This Morning hosts attempted to cut off Don Jr. mid-rant, clearly picking up on the common talking points from transphobes he’d rehashed on national television.
But Don. Jr pushed through the interruptions: “I think that’s wrong. And that’s the point. The goalposts never stop moving.”
The POTUS’ son was co-opting the language of people who believe trans people, particularly transgender women, shouldn’t participate alongside athletes who were assigned female at birth because they possess an inherent athletic advantage.
Though researchers, LGBTQ activists, and professional sporting organizations have disputed that argument, it has endured, even being echoed by LGBTQ pro athletes like out tennis legend Martina Navratilova. (A transphobic op-ed she’d penned earlier this year for London’s Sunday Times even prompted Athlete Ally, an advocacy group for queer people in sports, to drop her from its roster of celebrity supporters.)
Worse, this rhetoric has potentially serious repercussions for transgender Americans, who already face disproportionately high rates of discrimination, harassment, and violence. As NewNowNext reported this past February, conservative lobbyists wasted no time citing Navratilova’s op-ed in court as a justification for a proposed anti-transgender law. Nationwide, transgender athletes across a range of sports continue to fight for fair treatment—and, in some cases, the ability to even compete on the same stage as their cisgender counterparts.
Sorry, who was “triggered” again?