Today, CNN hosted respected leader Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, and notorious California-based anti-LGBT activist, Randy Thomasson, to talk about AB-1266, the law that provides protections for transgender students. Thomasson's anti-LGBT career was not mentioned as he wrongfully claimed that transgender youth are sexually confused, and need counseling. He certainly is not an expert on laws impacting students, merely an activist who repeatedly speaks out against gay and trans people. You can see more of his anti-LGBT work at Media Matters for America.
Baldwin, who in the past has held anti-LGBT activists accountable, misspoke when she said that transgender youth "choose" which gender to identify with.
Thomasson was flippant enough to end the interview with Brooke Baldwin and Masen Davis with "Hey, good to talk to you ladies," as noted by Media Matters for America.
Watch the clip now (via Media Matters for America):
"Organizations like Save California and activists like Thomasson fill the media with misinformation and scare tactics to target LGBT young people for increased discrimination," said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "Trans students are not safety risks to other students and laws like this which protect them help create a school environment where every student can learn safely."
Media need to accurately report what California's transgender student bill means for everyday transgender students. Randy Thomasson needs to be identified for what he is: an anti-LGBT extremist whose history of attacks on LGBT students in California are well-documented. Instead, we need to hear from actual transgender students, who could share the stories of their own lives.
In addition to the work of the Transgender Law Center, organizations like Gender Spectrum, TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) and Trans Student Equality Resources (TSER) advocate for transgender youth to have the same protections in school as their peers.
From Media Matters for America: "On CNN, Hate Group Leader Calls Transgender Man A Lady"
CNN invited hate group leader Randy Thomasson to appear on the network to condemn a new California law ensuring the rights of transgender teens to use facilities and participate in programs corresponding to their gender identities. Thomasson appeared along with the Transgender Law Center's Masen Davis, a transgender male. At the end of the segment, Thomasson told Davis and host Brooke Baldwin, "Hey, good to talk to you ladies."
Appearing on the August 13 edition of CNN Newsroom, Thomasson, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Save California, peddled standard transphobic tropes about "sexually confused" transgender individuals, before closing with his snide remark:
Such mean-spiritedness has been a hallmark of Thomasson's work, so it is unclear why CNN saw fit to grant him a platform to spew his hatred. Thomasson routinely employs apocalyptic, hysterical rhetoric to denounce the LGBT movement. He has:
- Stated That Gay Rights Will Cause A New Civil War. In February 2013, Thomasson blasted LGBT equality supporters, who had "infiltrated" the political and legal system with an eye toward starting a new civil war.
- Called Gay Rights "The Devil's Work." Appearing on The Janet Mefferd Show in October 2012, Thomasson lambasted California Democrats for supporting a ban on "conversion therapy" for gays, saying that their efforts were part of "the Devil's work."
- Claimed Banning "Ex-Gay" Therapy Would Put Children In "Homosexual Bondage." As the California measure banning conversion therapy made its way through the legislature in July 2012, Thomasson appealed to his supporters to kill "this horrible bill locking children into homosexual bondage."
- Suggested That A Gay Teen Provoked His Own Murder. In September 2011, Thomasson appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show, where he strongly suggested that California teen Larry King was asking for it before a fellow student murdered him:
Now Larry King was saying he was homosexual but he also was a cross-dresser and he had a bad teacher who actually got him a girl's dress and taught him how to put makeup on. And it came out in court that this boy was parading around in makeup and high heels in front of a classmate outside on a bench and the fifteen year-old Larry King was walking back and forth and saying, 'you know you want me, you know you want me.' And there was a lot of anger that another teacher saw on the boy's face who was being tautened, I mean who's harassing whom?
- Asserted That California Students Would Be Forced To Cross-Dress On Harvey Milk Day. In 2009, as California's legislature was taking up a bill to create a day in honor of slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, Thomasson said that the measure would "honor a sexual predator" and "could mean ... cross-dressing exercises" at California public schools.
You might think that such views would be safely confined to the lunatic fringe, but in the interests of providing "both sides" in the debate over equality, CNN appears more than happy to provide Thomasson a soapbox.