HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher was buried under an avalanche of criticism on Saturday after using his Friday night closing comments to ridicule trans kids and their need for gender-affirming care, saying they are only doing it because it's more "trendy" than being gay.
After suggesting the "LGBT population of America seems to be roughly doubling every generation," Maher added, " According to a recent Gallup poll, less than 1% of Americans born before 1946, that's Joe Biden's generation, identify that way, 2.6% of Boomers do, 4.2% of Gen X, 10.5% of Millennials and 20.8% of Gen Z, which means if we follow this trajectory, we will all be gay in 2054."
He then glibly joked, "If this spike in trans children is all biological, why is it regional? Either Ohio is shaming them or California is creating them," before making a few more crude comments.
Response to the HBO hosts' comments were quick -- including controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) applauding his comments -- but the bulk of comments slammed the comedian for making trans kids the butt of a joke.
As former U.S. House candidate Briana Wu put it, "Reasonable people can have concerns on trans issues. Had conversation with friend yesterday who found phrase 'birthing people' dehumanizing. Reasonable. But for Bill Maher to frame trans children as 'trendy' while states are banning trans healthcare? It’s just transphobia."
Former Buzzfeed LGBT news editor Patrick Strudwick responded, "Bill Maher always set my inner warning bells off. His feeble, unfunny attacks on queer and trans people this week are exactly what happens when your 'liberal' sensibilities never venture beyond your own smug privilege. When you either don’t do the work or don’t have the heart."
You can see additional comments below:
Pretty good sign you\u2019re doing it wrong Bill Maherpic.twitter.com/ft9WFPfQG2— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1653149988
Not sure what is worse:\n\nThat @billmaher actually made this laughable analogy about trans people. \n\nOr that so many people uncritically accepted and amplified it.https://twitter.com/mdaware/status/1528021829809491969\u00a0\u2026— (((Howard Forman))) (@(((Howard Forman)))) 1653151446
Yes, and contrary to Maher's rant, trans kids aren't getting genital surgery because it's not medically sanctioned for children.— Bob Cesca (@Bob Cesca) 1653146848
2/ Anyone that knows parents of trans kids knows how seriously they take medical intervention. No parent is doing this on a whim. \n\nMaher is conflating non-binary kids with children who medically transition.\n\nI\u2019ve been watching Maher since the 90s. He\u2019s always been a transphobe.— Brianna Wu (@Brianna Wu) 1653141487
Bill Maher said kids are coming out as trans because it's \u201ctrendy.\u201d Yes, what child doesn\u2019t want to feel trapped in their body, told they\u2019re mentally ill, have their parents arrested for supporting them, and possibly be killed by a bigot who Republicans then start a GoFundMe for?— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1653133977
how many trans kids has bill maher spoken to? parents? pediatricians? child psychologists? did he see where medical orgs stand on affirming care? \n\ngetting pretty tired of old white dudes using their massive platforms to spout hot takes w/out doing the bare fucking minimum.— Robbie Couch (@Robbie Couch) 1653147563
As the parent of a trans kid, I have the perspective to tell you that you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about.— Bill Wendel \ud83c\udf0a (@Bill Wendel \ud83c\udf0a) 1653147963
Bill Maher is a cynical, old, white man who has no idea what it means to be trans. He is obsolete and speaks for no true progressive. He needs to stfu already. \nSigned, a proud auntie of two great trans kids.— \ud83c\udf3b Julie James Dio \ud83d\udda4\u2728 (@\ud83c\udf3b Julie James Dio \ud83d\udda4\u2728) 1653148866