John Oliver expertly debunks ‘dangerous’ anti-trans conspiracy theories in viral clip

John Oliver on his flagship show Last Week Tonight

Pro-LGBTQ+ activist and satirical TV host John Oliver has knocked his pro-trans activism out of the park once again with a speech supporting trans youth.

The Last Week Tonight host discussed the latest wave of anti-trans youth talking points in a Sunday (16 October) episode of his weekly talk show.

Over the past year, US state lawmakers have proposed several bills designed to mitigate gender-affirming care for under-18s, with the belief that the healthcare is “irreversible” and damaging.

This is not true – Under 18s are prohibited from having gender-affirming surgery and are only prescribed hormone blockers, which are physically reversible.

In the clip, which has been shard widely on social media, Oliver explains, during the new episode, he would be taking the arguments made to justify these bills “seriously, but not sincerely.”

“To be very clear, there is ample evidence of gender variance throughout human history,” Oliver said.

“As far back as historians have found trans people, they found trans children.”

He then compares the rise in open gender dysphoria in the population to a commonly used statistic which shows that left-handedness rose sharply over the course of the early 1900s.

The statistic is used to represent how alleviating discrimination against an invisible minority will, naturally, lead to more visibility when that minority is allowed to freely exist.

“That doesn’t mean everyone became left-handed or there was a rapid onset of South Paw Dysphoria,” Oliver joked.

“It means people were free to be who they were.

“So much of the fear of and arguments against transgender people seem to flow from misinformation and misunderstanding.

According to the bipartisan advocacy group Freedom for all Americans, there have been at least 25 anti-trans youth healthcare bills proposed at a state level in 2022 alone.

Oliver notes that at least four of those have been enacted at a state level this year, adding that they have been “fueled by a lack of basic knowledge about what gender-affirming care actually consists of.”

“To be very clear, prepubescent children are not eligible for medical interventions,” he added.

“An adolescent and their family might consider puberty blocker hormones that delay [puberty], and importantly, is that treatment is suspended then puberty will resume.”

Pro-trans activists commend John Oliver for the segment

The speech by Oliver was supported widely by pro-trans activists, who commended his thorough, expertly educated explanation of the struggles trans youth face.

“Thank you [John Oliver] for standing up against bigots attacking LGBTQ+ people and basic human rights,” one Twitter user said. “Evil will fall so long as people of good will speak out.”

Another said: “Thanks [John Oliver]. That is what allyship looks like.”

Many pointed out the consistent advocacy John Oliver has shown for LGBTQ+ people over his career, with one saying: “It is SO refreshing to see the old Daily Show crew come together again to stand up against attacks on the trans community.”

“John Oliver and Jon Stewart are doing what the media should have done years ago,” another said. “Checking the GOP on the lies they are spreading about trans kids.”

Jon Stewart completely dismantled an anti-trans Arkansas attorney general on 7 October in a clip from The Problem with Jon Stewart.

He was similarly applauded for his succinct and well-educated rebuttal to lawmaker Leslie Rutledge’s claim that the state’s ban on gender-affirming care was justified.

After Rutledge claimed that 98 per cent of gender-diverse youth stop experiencing gender dysphoria without any treatment, Stewart replied saying: “Wow, that’s an incredibly made-up figure.

“That doesn’t comport with any of the studies or documentation that exist from these medical organisations.”