LGBTQ Transgender

President Joe Biden expressed his belief that trans Americans deserve to live their lives in safety and dignity in a Friday proclamation and Sunday statement marking the Transgender Day of Visibility. But the right-wing demagogues at Fox News and Newsmax apparently disagree with that sentiment — they have spent the last few days furiously denouncing Biden’s statements, which they describe as an affront to Christians because Transgender Visibility Day, celebrated annually on March 31, happened to fall on Easter Sunday this year.

Fox News devoted 2 hours and 19 minutes, including 37 full segments, to freaking out over Transgender Visibility Day’s overlap with Easter Sunday as its propagandists slammed Biden for recognizing the former, according to a Media Matters review of the network’s programming from March 30 through April 1. Newsmax chimed in with another 1 hour and 45 minutes on the subject, including 40 segments, over the same period.

Stars at both networks used the time to warn Christians that they were under attack from Biden’s statements recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility. Fox’s Jesse Watters argued that Biden is “waging spiritual warfare against Christianity,” and complained that “the trans thing is over” because “we have accommodated the trans for quite some time.” His colleague Laura Ingraham said Biden had put “egg on his faith” by “commemorat[ing] godlessness” through his “demonic” actions. “Easter has now been replaced or at the very least, is now forced to share a day with a new holiday that the administration clearly prefers,” Sean Hannity declared. Over at Newsmax, Eric Bolling cited the situation as evidence of a “spiritual war” and an “all-out attack on Christian faith.”

It’s worth comparing the hateful bile spewed by the right-wing media to Biden’s actual message.

“On Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of transgender Americans and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to forming a more perfect Union — where all people are created equal and treated equally throughout their lives,” Biden’s Friday proclamation began. “Today, we send a message to all transgender Americans: You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You belong. You are America, and my entire Administration and I have your back.”

The president added on Sunday that “transgender Americans deserve to be safe and supported in every community,” and denounced “MAGA extremists” for trying to pass “hateful and extreme state laws that target transgender kids and their families.” He termed such legislation “un-American,” highlighted mental health resources available to transgender youths, and promised that his administration will “never stop working to create a world where everyone can live without fear.”

“I want every member of the trans community to know that we see you,” he concluded. “You’re each made in the image of God, and deserve love, dignity, and respect. You make America stronger, and we’re with you.”

Biden’s message is in keeping with the traditional American creed, first set forth in the Declaration of Independence’s resolution “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” America’s greatness comes in part because its leaders have sought to expand that circle over time so that it brings in previously excluded groups like women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. Trans Americans, to Biden, deserve the same rights and privileges and should be treated with the same respect as any other citizen of this country.

This need not be a controversial sentiment or one which attracts a vitriolic response. Indeed, Fox News is going to great lengths to avoid acknowledging that its corporate cousins at Fox TV celebrated Transgender Visibility Day in 2021, tweeting, “Trans Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people, their contributions to society and raising awareness of discrimination they face. To all the transgender men, women and non-binary folx, we see you and stand with you.”

But Fox and Newsmax hosts, like their Trumpist media brethren, are the “MAGA extremists” Biden called out in his statement. They’ve spent years spreading hateful, bigoted attacks against transgender people and any person or entity associated with them. As propagandists for a movement that merges a cult of personality around Trump, blood-and-soil nationalism that mocks our civic tradition, and a theocratic brand of Christianity focused on perceived slights, they met Biden’s remarks with days of outrage.

That Biden also issued a Sunday statement celebrating Easter as a time to “remember Jesus’ sacrifice” and appeared Monday morning at the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn was apparently insufficient.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, recently seen hawking his own line of Bibles and preparing for his upcoming trial over paying hush money to a porn star so she wouldn’t say they had an affair during his third and current marriage, marked the day of Christ’s resurrection by posting unhinged rants on Truth Social, including this gem nominally celebrating Easter:

That behavior, apparently, is just fine to his supporters at Fox and Newsmax.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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