Fox News host Tucker Carlson invited a transgender woman onto his show Friday night ― and proceeded to insinuate that trans people are “faking” their identities to access federal funds.
Lawyer Jillian Weiss, a transgender woman, appeared on the Friday edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the Trump administration’s rescission of an Obama-era directive that ensured trans students could use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity in public schools.
What she was met with instead were claims by Carlson that people could masquerade as transgender to get access to gender-specific restrooms, as well as insinuations that trans people are “faking” their gender identities to get access to the federal government’s “$11 billion [spent] every year on sex specific programs.”
“I believe, for whatever it’s worth, for and politeness and decency and I’m not making people uncomfortable, especially children, I have four,” Carlson said. “But I also believe in honesty. So I want to get exactly what this means, I’m a 47-year-old man, I think that’s pretty obvious. If I were to decide tomorrow if I were a 47-year-old woman, should I be allowed to go shower and women’s locker room?”
The Fox News host then spent the rest of the segment lampooning Weiss into a corner about legal “standards” of what constitutes a man and what constitutes a woman, reinforcing a binary notion of gender already invalidated through the existence of people who are born intersex.
Carlson’s concerns seem to be more monetary than humanistic, trying to nail down legal standards that don’t yet exist because protections for trans people are not yet enshrined into American law in the midst of this ongoing civil rights battle.
On March 28, the Supreme Court is due to hear a case surrounding the rights of transgender Americans. The fight of 17-year-old Gavin Grimm to use the bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity is at the heart of this case, and the results will likely have profound, long-standing implications for the transgender community on a federal level.