GLAAD responded to Maher’s comments, particularly those he made about trans youth, in a statement posted to social media.
“This is not the first time Bill Maher has spouted inaccurate, anti-trans rhetoric. But this time he’s targeting youth,” the organization wrote. “Pundits who fearmonger about trans youth and surgeries need to learn the facts. It’s not a trend. It’s not a phase. Youth are not rushed into medical transition.”
GLAAD continued in another tweet, “It’s disingenuous to say you are simply “asking questions,” and then provide inaccurate answers that parrot anti-trans activists seeking to harm trans people. Parents who listen to their kids, doctors, and every major medical association, know more than comedians like Bill Maher.”
The controversial comments were delivered on recent episode of Maher’s HBO program Real Time, during his “New Rules” segment, in which Maher questioned the increasing numbers of the LGBTQ community. He then pointed to an ACLU finding that he says suggested the potential overturn of Roe V. Wade in the Supreme Court would most impact LGBTQ people—and he then jokingly asked why it wouldn’t affect “breeders” more. “Someone needs to say it – not everything’s about you. It’s okay to ask questions about something very new,” he said.
Maher then pointed to trans youth taking hormone blockers, which he called “experimenting on children,” and argued that “problems,” like bone density and fertility, will come as a result.
“Never forget children are impressionable and very, very stupid,” Maher said. “A boy who thinks he’s a girl maybe is just gay – or whatever ‘Frazier’ was.” He went on to say that being a girl “doesn’t mean you have to act like a Kardashian…”
The host then argued that children go through “phases,” and said that if kids knew “at age 8 what they wanted to be, the world would be filled with cowboys and princesses.”
Others on social media also took issue with Maher’s comments and criticized the TV host.
Maher has previously made jokes about transgender people that have been seen as controversial or even transphobic, including one about the casting in James Bond films, others about Caitlyn Jenner, and when he described a trans bathroom debate as “weirdos peeing.”