Anti-LGBTQ+ trolls mock Baltimore bridge disaster and claim replacement will be ‘woke’ and ‘trans’

Following the unexpected and tragic collapse of the Baltimore bridge, extreme right-wing trolls are flooding Elon Musk’s X platform to claim that the replacement will be “woke”, “trans” or named after George Floyd.

The 1.6-mile Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore fell into the water early on Tuesday (26 March) morning after a large container ship crashed into one of the bridge’s support beams. 

Six people are still missing in the wake of the tragedy, and one person is in hospital with serious injuries, but that hasn’t stopped online trolls taking to X (formerly Twitter) to politicise and mock the disaster.

The main focus of the disrespectful posts about the bridge is that some are speculating that the replacement bridge won’t be re-named after Key, who was a slave owner, and have suggested alternative names. 

“The George Floyd Fentanyl lives matter stop white privilege bridge for trans persons of color,” said one mocking post, making fun of George Floyd, the Black man who was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020. Following his death worldwide protests demanded police reform and the end of racial injustice.

This vile attempt to make fun of “trans” people and Floyd in the wake of a shocking and tragic incident is rooted in alt-right, racist rhetoric. 

“I hope the new George Floyd memorial bridge they are going to build in Baltimore has a racially diverse construction crew and is painted in the trans flag colors. Francis Scott Key was a slave owning colonizer after all,” tweeted right-wing podcaster Royce Lopez, also trolling and trivialising the presumed deadly disaster.

Royce Lopez is a co-host of “Revenge of the Cis,” a far-right show described as “political comedy.” He’s been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hardcore white supremacist”.

Escalating the irreverent and offensive response, some online posters have also, shockingly, accused Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg of actually causing the bridge’s collapse.

The 42-year-old Democrat has become the target surrounding the disaster seemingly because he is a gay man, with children, who is outspoken about racism and the need to fight bigotry.

“Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to address Baltimore Bridge collapse as soon as he’s done chestfeeding,” one conservative X account posted.

“Chestfeeding” is a reference to the fact Buttigieg and his husband have children, and trolls are suggesting he feeds them from his chest as he doesn’t have breasts. These anti-gay and anti-trans jokes are yet more unnecessary and hateful talking points that obscure the actual issue at hand.

Buttigieg, is, in fact, publicly and visibly putting in round-the clock work to repair Baltimore’s bridge infrastructure and has also visited the Maryland city to assess the situation and damage. 

Furthermore, President Joe Biden has already established the cost of rebuilding the bridge will be covered by the federal government. 

Of course, disgraced former Congress member George Santos couldn’t let the historic disaster unfold without his input. 

Quote-tweeting an insulting post about Buttigieg, Santos declared: “I’m revoking Pete’s gay card! Enough is enough!”

2011 fake anti-LGBTQ+ George Floyd tweet

With Floyd’s name circulating in relation to the Baltimore bridge, a now-debunked fake tweet about Floyd – which aimed to suggest he was homophobic and transphobic – has also resurfaced.

The fabricated tweet, which includes offensive comments about transgender people, was made to look like it was from Floyd in 2011.

However, the account that the tweet came from was created in 2022, more than two years after Floyd was murdered. Additionally, in 2011 Floyd was in prison on a charge of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He was paroled in 2013.

The image of this fake tweet is typically posted alongside a real photo of Floyd and has now been in circulation for over a year. Since Elon Musk took over X/Twitter, misinformation on the site has been on the rise, with experts describing the concurrent increase in hate speech as a “disastrous” situation.

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