The ACLU is currently tracking 272 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States across over 30 states. Human Rights Watch reported last year that following Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Transgender” law, anti-LGBTQ+ libelous “grooming” narratives surged more than 400% across social media. The most recent FBI statistics reveal that hate crimes against Black, Asian, and LGBTQ+ people have hit a record 12-year-high. The Trevor Project just highlighted the tremendous strain this era is having on the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth, noting that nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth have considered suicide.
Things appear dire for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, especially when it comes to transgender and non-binary folks— who have found themselves a current primary target of a well-oiled right-wing hate machine fueled by Republican politics. After recently meeting with anti-LGBTQ+ ideologue Chaya Raichik (AKA Libs of TikTok, a major proponent of the “grooming” anti-trans narrative), Donald Trump, the de-facto leader of the MAGA far-right movement and the Republican Party— has followed the trend of genocidal rhetoric against LGBTQ+ people, laying out an apocalyptic vision if he wins in 2024.
At what point does this constant assault on LGBTQ+ rights become equatable to a preparation for a new Holocaust? How genocidal is the current right-wing rhetoric about transgender and non-binary people?
“How many trans kids did you kill today?”
Elijah Schaffer, a popular podcaster and former host for the conservative outlet Blaze TV, publicly mocked the sentiment that LGBTQ+ people are facing a potential genocide. He did so by joking about committing the genocide himself and murdering transgender children, as first reported by Mediaite.
On Thursday’s episode of his show Slightly Offensive, Schaffer discussed Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s new directive for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to treat parents who provide their kids with gender-affirming care as child abusers.
Shaffer said that he spoke to someone about the directive, who told him “there’s this mass genocide happening to trans kids by fascists” in Texas.
Schaffer, who lives in Texas, was joined by co-host of Louder with Crowder and fellow Texas resident Dave Landau, who laughed and said “Yeah, we all have to put a trans kid and drag them behind a truck.”
“How many trans kids did you kill today?” Schaffer replied.
“Uh — Six, they come with a toll tag,” Landau said.
“I did four, I was trying to beat you this week.” Schaffer responded.
“The Blaze ships us the better trans kids. You should really talk to them,” Landau said.
“I feel really really cheated because I get like My Patriot Supply ads and stuff meanwhile you get trans kids to genocide!” Schaffer joked back.
“Trans kids supply, yeah. It’s a pretty good company,” Landau said.
“They come in a tackle box, it’s like a half dozen. And you kill them any way you want, it’s pretty good. Only in Texas though,” Landau continued. “I didn’t know that cause I’ve been killing them everywhere so I better stop.”
“Me too,” Schaffer replied. “I started in California — talk about the Trail of Tears, I did version two.”
“Death penalty by firing squad”
Former Mississippi State Representative Robert Foster, a Republican hopeful for Mississippi governor, tweeted that he believes transgender people should all be executed by firing squad. Twitter removed the call for genocide, but when the Mississippi Free Press reached out to Foster for an interview after the controversy, he doubled down:
“I said what I said,” he wrote, adding to what he had tweeted. “The law should be changed so that anyone trying to sexually groom children and/or advocating to put men pretending to be women in locker rooms and bathrooms with young women should receive the death penalty by firing squad.”
“Put these people to death through the proper channels of the government”
Texas hate pastor Dillon Awes has said that he thinks gay people "should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head." As noted by Advocate, this isn’t his first time dabbling in violent anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. Awes specifically wants the government to enact an all-out genocide against LGBTQ+ people.
In his sermon entitled, Why We Won't Shut Up, Dillon Awes of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst said gay men were predatory pedophiles who have either committed sex crimes against a child or just haven't had the opportunity to do so yet, leading him to the conclusion that "We need to put these people to death through the proper channels of the government."
“Stoning” gay people to death
Republican Scott Esk, who was a congressional candidate last year, has used Christian nationalist rhetoric to advocate for executions of gay people by stoning.
KFOR, Oklahoma City's NBC affiliate, reported that Esk commented on Facebook the previous year in response to somebody's question about whether homosexuals should be executed -- "presumably by stoning" -- following Pope Francis's comments suggesting he cannot judge them.
"I think we would be totally in the right to do it," he wrote. "That goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I'm largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss."
While running for state representative, Esk defended his remarks by stating that executions of gay people were a matter of Old Testament law that "came directly from God."
Executions for parents of LGBTQ+ kids
Mark Burns, a pro-Trump evangelical minister, televangelist, and recent Republican candidate, has gone on the record calling for the executions of parents to LGBTQ+ children. He clarifies that he even has a plan for what would be a state-mandated genocide— involving the reenactment of the House Un-American Activities Committee. According to Burns, parents and teachers who support LGBTQ+ children are a “national security threat” guilty of “treason.”
"We need to hold people for treason, start having some public hearings, and start executing people who are found guilty for their treasonous acts against the Constitution of the United States of America," Burns concluded. "Just like they did back in 1776."
The state of Michigan already has an anti-transgender bill that would threaten parents who support their own LGBTQ+ children with life in prison. Far-right Republican members of Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene want to bring this bill to the national level.
Death penalty for doctors who save LGBTQ+ lives
Matt Walsh, a far-right political commentator and anti-LGBTQ+ host for The Daily Wire, recently targeted doctors who help transgender and non-binary youth, reports Media Matters for America. Walsh stated that providing lifesaving gender affirming care for LGBTQ+ youth “should be legally considered a capital crime and it should earn the prescribed penalty for such crimes. But if we can't have that, then prison will have to suffice.”
Activists previously condemned Walsh for being part of what they described as a stochastic terrorist campaign against children’s hospitals who provide gender affirming care for children— culminating in bomb threats against Boston’s Children’s Hospital after Walsh and others targeted them.
“Most of us want to kill all of you!”
Steven Monacelli, special investigative correspondent for the Texas Observer, reported that a far-right extremist wearing a Gays Against Groomers anti-LGBTQ+ shirt yelled on a megaphone “most of us want to kill all of you” outside of a drag show in Dallas, Texas that was being protested by anti-LGBTQ+ right-wing extremists.
Cheering on transgender suicides
A popular troll tactic from the far-right has been to mock the transgender and non-binary community for suffering that bigots themselves inflict. One common hallmark of their hate is to mock the horrific suicide rates among LGBTQ+ people. Sometimes, they can go even further, and mock a transgender person in death following a suicide— something Trump trolls have proudly done in the past, overwhelming grieving loved ones.
“Lol good riddance,” wrote a user with the fake name “Oi McVeigh.” The user’s profile picture was a shot of Donald Trump pointing and laughing.
“At first I thought maybe it was just a friend of a friend,” said Amanda. “I replied back telling them they’re assholes, because they’re assholes.”
But the abuse didn’t stop.
“I am glad he is gone,” wrote a user named Jaroslav Tipek, who had already changed his profile picture to a Photoshop of Lizzy’s face.
A Photoshop of the MGM logo popped up, with Donald Trump’s face replacing the lion. All of the words were replaced with the word “Haha” over and over again. Twenty-nine likes.
Then this, from the user Donny J Trump: “#TRANSLIVESDONTMATTER.”
“It was spiraling out of control really fast,” Amanda said. “We had to do something.”
“Transgender people are now increasingly targets of discriminatory legislation and hate,” writes the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Holocaust museum in New York. “Before 1933, Germany was a center of LGBTQ+ community and culture, with several renowned organizations serving and supporting trans and gender non-conforming people. Hitler’s Nazi government, however, brutally targeted the trans community, deporting many trans people to concentration camps and wiping out vibrant community structures.”
Due to the current anti-LGBTQ+ climate in the United States, the Museum of Jewish Heritage recently hosted a panel to discuss the history of transgender experiences in Weimar and Nazi Germany leading up to the Holocaust. Right-wing culture warring is honing in on hate against LGBTQ+ people, and this kind of fear-mongering is a common political tactic. It would not be the first time Republicans relied on this kind of supremacist strategy to consolidate political power. However, the contemporary mainstream Republican dogma about transgender and non-binary people is distinctly eliminationist— and appears to have deadly implications beyond “riling up the base.”
We can see it in the record-breaking wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
We can see it in the attacks on drag performances across the nation.
We can see it in the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda and lies.
We can see it in threats against gender affirming healthcare providers.
We can see it in the Club Q anti-LGBTQ+ mass shooting.
And yes, we can see it with the calls for complete genocide from Republicans.
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