Non-binary comedian slams anti-trans legislation on SNL: ‘You don’t frickin’ care about kids’ lives’

Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member Molly Kearney wears a purple jumpsuit as they appear on the "Weekend Update" segment to talk about trans rights amid legislative efforts to ban access to gender-affirming healthcare for trans kids

Saturday Night Live (SNL) came out swinging for trans rights after non-binary cast member Molly Kearney tore apart efforts to restrict gender-affirming healthcare in a passionate speech. 

Since the beginning of the year, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in the US, and SNL‘s “Weekend Update” co-host Michael Che mentioned that most of these bills directly impact trans youth on Saturday (15 April).

Then, a disembodied voice announced the introduction of “SNL’s first non-binary cast member” Molly Kearney, who was lowered from the ceiling via ropes and a harness.

Kearney joked they wanted to talk about trans rights on the segment for a while but had wanted to fly down from a ceiling for much longer. 

“This harness is pretty tight, and my groin area is beefed,” Kearney quipped, referencing the strappy contraption. “I have been hung up on my genitals for far too long, and I’m starting to feel like a freaking Republican lawmaker.”

They slammed states that have passed sweeping legislation that targets gender-affirming healthcare for trans kids, with many bills outright banning or severely restricting the life-saving treatments. 

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“Listen to them Michael, restricting health care for kids,” Kearney said. “For some reason, there’s something about the word ‘trans’ that makes people forget the word ‘kids’.”

They added: “If you don’t care about trans kids’ lives, that means you don’t frickin’ care about kids’ lives.”

Molly Kearney said people “need to wake up” because trans kids are being forced to “grow up too fast” when they should be “kept safe” and “lifted up”.

One cue, Kearney was promptly lifted back up into the ‘SNL sky’. As they flew across the frame, they directed part of their passionate speech towards trans kids, who are scared in the wake of such hateful legislation. 

“What’s happening kids is wrong and you don’t need to be scared,” Kearney said. “Our job is to protect you and your job is to focus on being a kid.”

They continued: “It’s kind of like me flying in the SNL sky, there’s a bunch of dudes asking you about your crotch and controlling when and where you’re allowed to pee. 

“But if you just hang on, you’ll look up and realise – you’re flying, kid.”

Molly Kearney ended their appearance on the SNL segment by screaming “trans rights” as confetti in the colours of the trans Pride flag rained down around them.

Molly Kearney wears a purple jump suit as they're hosted above fellow SNL castmates during the "Weekend Update" segment where they talked about gender-affirming healthcare and trans rights
Molly Kearney screamed “trans rights” as they flew across the “SNL sky” during the “Weekend Update” segment. (Saturday Night Live)

In the first four months of 2023, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) tracked and opposed more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in state legislatures across the US. 

More than 210 of those measures specifically attack trans rights, and it’s the highest number of bills targeting trans people in a single year to date that the HRC’s seen. 

A large percentage of these bills would prevent trans youth from being able to access gender-affirming healthcare. Such treatments have been endorsed by leading medical bodies like the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association as medically necessary and best-practice healthcare. 

Thus far, 14 states – including UtahArkansasAlabamaIndianaTennessee and Georgia – have severely restricted or outright banned gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

Countless studies show it’s harmful to not allow a person to affirm their gender, and having access to gender-affirming healthcare has been linked to better mental health outcomes for trans people.