CNN hosted a town hall dedicated specifically to LGBTQ issues last night. It featured all of the candidates of note running for the Democratic presidential nomination (except, of course, Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard because the folks at CNN are corporatist shills). By now, the alphabet soup of identities should be well-known to anyone that’s paying attention. While L, G, B, and T are pretty clear, though also different, Q is perhaps the least understood of the identities. But it was entirely the Q that was on display last night.
Q stands for queer, and while queer could encompass all of the other letters, what differentiates it is that it is entirely a political identity, and not a sexual orientation or gender identity. Speaking to Toby Young on the Quillette podcast, author Douglas Murray defines queer. “People who say they’re queer … think that being attracted to members of their own sex is just the first stage in a wider political campaign, such as bringing down … cis heteronormative patriarchy.” Queer is the political arm of LGBT, and it often fights its battles with pitchforks and torches.
A black transwoman named Blossom jumped out of the audience, and said, “I don’t want to take this away from you” before grabbing the mic away from Lizette Trujillo, mother of a transgender son, and yelling false facts about the high murder rate of black trans women.
Writing for The Stranger, Katie Herzog dug into these numbers and found that they were derived from murder rates in Central and South America, not the US at all. That didn’t stop Blossom, or Don Lemon, from taking these figures as facts. “Look at me, please look at me,” Blossom said. Lemon replied, “the reason that we’re here is to validate people like you.” Facts don’t matter when feelings are sashaying down the aisle.
Kamala Harris noted that she was performing gay marriages way back in 2004. Joe Biden talked about how he wasn’t super thrown off the first time he saw two men kissing. Pete Buttigieg was asked a question in the style of David Sedaris, by Andrew Beaudoin. “As a Christian, can you point to any teachings in faith which say things like thou shalt not serve the gays meatloaf in a diner?” Buttigieg basically said love is love.
CNN host Nia Mikayla Henderson introduced a black transgender audience member to Julian Castro and accidentally mispronounced her name. The woman, Shea Diamond took offence (Henderson pronounced it like the butter, but instead it was meant to be pronounced like a Chia Pet) and stated: “It’s violence to misgender or alter the name of a transgender person, so always get that right first.”
Castro just nodded and smiled as if that wasn’t the most preposterous thing anyone has said ever. Nevermind that “Shea” is normally pronounced like the butter, the notion that we are expected to read people’s minds or always ensure to lock down the pronunciation of people’s names is next-level batshittery. The point is that we must always be on the lookout for how to be as inoffensive as possible. We must ensure that we do not make a single mark out of line, unless, of course, we have some intersectional selection of identities that make it okay. The sad thing is, if Castro had simply told Diamond that she was crazy, he just may have won some votes.
Elizabeth Warren was asked how she’d reply to a guy on the campaign trail who said his religion taught him to believe that marriage was between one man and one woman. “Then just marry one woman, I’m cool with that,” she replied to the hypothetical guy, “assuming you can find one.” Of course, this question was about a hypothetical guy, because they didn’t actually have someone who would ask this question present in the audience. The night wasn’t that kind of inclusive.
Warren was also posed a question by a nine-year-old transgender boy. When the boy announced that he was a transgender American, Warren and the audience burst into applause.
Giving a child this kind of platform, upholding this false narrative, allowing them to have the idea that there is a right and wrong way to express themselves in appearance and activity, is abusive and traumatizing. It is not brave for a nine-year-old to express a gender preference, it is a reiteration of what the authority figures in their lives have told them to believe and accept. Warren has it right on gay marriage, but wrong on trans youth. If a little girl likes to play dress up in a suit and tie, that doesn’t make her a boy. Girls need to be affirmed in the reality of their own bodies, no matter what they’re fashion choices. (We used to know this.)
Detransitioners, those who believed themselves to be trans in youth, and were affirmed as such, complete with unnecessary cosmetic surgeries and long term use of untested drugs, are showing us just how dangerous the practice of affirmation can be. This kid is likely to find herself in pain and unhappiness after decades of encouragement by parents and authority figures.
But perhaps the most telling moment of the night happened over what is the most insignificant of linguistic matters: pronouns. In a vibrant display of virtue signalling, Kamala Harris announced her pronouns, even though everyone is pretty clear on how she identifies, and Chris Cuomo said, “me too.” It was a lame moment, sure, but there was no malice involved. It was just an off-hand comment. You know, the type of comment we used to not police and destroy people’s lives over?
For this, Cuomo got blasted. His remark was considered glib, tone-deaf, ignorant. And of course, not wanting to lose his job, he apologized.
Often, when engaging in online debate, progressives will claim that these extreme cases are imaginary—some sort of made-up boogeymen that conservatives cook up to scare the greater population into questioning woke LGBTQ orthodoxy. Yet here it all was–on full display for the world to see.
The entire three-and-a half-hour debacle played out like a parade of intersectional cliches, each more preposterous than the last. From Blossom and her “Imma let you finish” Kanye moment to a nine-year-old trans boy being held up as some sort of hero to Chris Cuomo’s pronoun problems to the violence of mispronunciation, the CNN LGBTQ town hall had it all.
This is all about how political identity trumps individual rights on the left these days. It’s reflected in the fear in the eyes of the hosts, candidates, and even the questioners when faced with a potential challenge to their status as woke citizens.
Biden’s old-timey capitulation was motivated by fear. Cuomo’s grovelling apology on Twitter was motivated by fear. Trujillo giving up the mic, lowering her eyes, hanging her head, cowed by and deferring to Blossom was motivated by fear. Don Lemon’s attempt to normalize Blossom’s raving lunacy was motivated by fear. The mothers who think it’s appropriate to let their children get indoctrinated into gender fashion cult are motivated by fear.
In the world of intersectionality, you must comply or you will be excommunicated. Never has the incoherence and unsustainability of it all been clearer. For that, we should be thankful that CNN took the time to show us all.