Jon Stewart comes out swinging for trans youth and their rights.
During a time where even “liberal” public-facing news outlets are reporting trans issues with negatively weighed bias, allies in the public eye and on global platforms are in desperately short supply.
So, needless to say, the emergence of a new trans rights champion – and one with the capacity and reach to engage real decision makers – is being quickly embraced by LGBTs online.
Political commentator Jon Stewart returns for the second season of Apple TV+’s The Problem with Jon Stewart – and episode one tackles trans rights in the US.
With transphobic misinformation in the news on a daily basis, Stewart clearly decided to research thoroughly (unusual for journalists these days, right?) and take a politician to task over the topic of gender-affirming care for young people.
He even acknowledges his own “shitty and reductive jokes” about trans people during less understanding times on The Daily Show in the 90s and early 2000s.
In March 2021, Arkansas banned gender-affirming care for minors.
Currently, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals, for the 8th Circuit, has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the 2021 law, with a trial scheduled for this month to decide what happens moving forward.
“The world has gone into a bit of a tailspin” Stewart opens with, before addressing “the gender wars” we’re seeing played out on social media and in conservative-led legislature.
“Anti-trans legislature increased by 800%”, he then adds, before jovially asking, “What, did trans people storm the Capitol?”.
Trailer below, but read on after for the good stuff.
The teaser, as you can see, looks delicious.
What really has folk talking, though, is a longer preview – shared to Twitter – which shows Stewart interviewing Arkansas Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, about why her state banned gender-affirming care for minors.
Stewart grilled the AG on why she’s ignoring the guidelines of several major medical organizations and taking the decision out of parents’ hands.
The clip is six-minutes long, but absolutely worth every second to witness someone caught off-guard, utterly dumbfounded and clearly overpowered by some perfectly executed simple logic.
It is *French chef’s kiss*
Jon interviewed Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General, about why her state banned gender-affirming care for minors – ignoring the guidelines of major medical organizations and taking the decision out of parents’ hands. Watch the full interview on @AppleTVPluspic.twitter.com/4SoH3orWa6
“Why would the state of Arkansas step in to override parents, physicians, psychiatrists, endocrinologists who have developed guidelines. Why would you override those guidelines?” he asks Rutledge.
She argued that for every professional who underlines the importance of gender-affirming care, “there’s another expert to say we don’t need to allow children to take those medications.”
“But you know that’s not true,” Stewart claps back. “You know it’s not ‘for every one, there’s one.’”
Rutledge then claims that “98% of the young people who have gender dysphoria … are able to move past that. And once they have the help that they need, they no longer suffer from gender dysphoria. 98%.”
“Wow,” Stewart replies. “That’s an incredibly made-up figure. That doesn’t comport with any of the studies or documentation that exists from these medical organizations. What medical association are you talking about?”
Rutledge, at this point, knew she was fu*ked.
“We have all of that in our legislative history, and we’ll be glad to provide that to you. I don’t have the name of that off the top of my head,” she says.
She then fails to mention either experts or medical associations that would back her ban, claiming she didn’t expect “a Supreme Court debate.”
Needless to say, seeing someone punch for trans rights has been well received by the community across social media.
Trans actor and activist Jen Richards shared the trailer in a tweet, saying:
“I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to finally see someone with this kind of influence and credibility interrogate and stand up to the lies & ideology that have been actively harming trans youth. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Begging for. I am overwhelmed.”
The Season 2 premiere of The Problem with Jon Stewart available to stream now for free on Apple TV+. Some tweets worth reading below:
He DESTROYS the Arkansas Attorney General and the SAFE Act. This goes so hard.
Its so powerful and I really hope so many people get to see this.
I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to finally see someone with this kind of influence and credibility interrogate and stand up to the lies & ideology that have been actively harming trans youth. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Begging for. I am overwhelmed. https://t.co/dRE67L9duT
I think it says a lot that basically the entire trans community has been floored by seeing a journalist just do their job. We are so used to discussions about us just being between a cis person who hates us and a cis person who is just there to enable them https://t.co/Un2HbAwQvi
I cannot begin to describe how incredibly cathartic it is to watch one of these right wing politicians obsessed with making trans kids lives harder just get utterly demolished with facts over feelings.
This is it, right? It shouldn’t take Jon Stewart—cis, white, middle-aged, problematic—to draw attention to, to “legitimise”, what trans people have been saying all along. But if he’s going to occupy the privilege he has, it should be used for some good, and here it is. https://t.co/IY09RSt422
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