The conservative “war” against trans people

An attempt to decode anti-trans rhetoric, using tweets from future campus speaker Matt Walsh


Conservatives like Walsh use “war” rhetoric when talking about anti-trans movements. Photo taken from Matt Walsh’s Twitter account.

Blake Ramsey, Staff Writer

This article was on my agenda even before Matt Walsh, a Conservative media personality, was coming to speak at this university. The fact Matt Walsh is now coming to speak only elevates the necessity of this article for this community.
As many of you know, I’ve been embroiled in controversy loosely relating to this, but if protecting trans rights leads me to controversy and public exposure to Conservatives, I will do it 100 out of 100 times – and we all should not be silenced by their efforts to make transgender people alone without allies. Therefore, this opinion piece will attempt to tackle the anti-trans rhetoric being pushed by Conservatives and push forward a plan to repel these attacks.
I think the first important thing to do is define why I call this a war against transgender people. In this, I can literally use a quote from our campus speaker Matt Walsh, who said on Twitter: “We were minding our own business when suddenly the trans movement came along and demanded that we totally abandon biology, common sense, and truth itself for its sake. Our war against this scourge is a defensive struggle. They started it. They wanted this fight. Now they have it.”
I can also use a quote from his compatriot Michael Knowles, who said at CPAC: “There can be no middle way in dealing with transgenderism… Transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.” Even this quote has a response from Matt Walsh confirming what Michael Knowles said, with him responding on Twitter: “He is of course completely right about this. Transgenderism as a concept and an ideology is false, poisonous, and destructive to both the individual and society. It needs to be destroyed entirely. The fight to save children from this lunacy is but one phase in the overall war.”
There’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s begin with the first quote. First, trans people have existed for millennia. That is no exaggeration. In the Indian subcontinent, hijras are trans people and intersex people who form their own interlinked society, creating a mutual community, and they have existed for thousands of years, seeing as they were documented in the Kama Sutra. Even in the “Western” canon, which Conservatives look toward as the ultimate ideal, Roman Emperor Elagabalus preferred to be referred to as a woman and even sought a gender-affirming surgery according to Cassius Dio, a Roman writer.
Additionally, there are tons of examples of trans people in United States history. Going over all of them would take me too long – so I will only mention the Public Universal Friend who lived as a non-binary person during the colonial period and Frances Thompson who was a trans woman and former enslaved person who testified before Congress because of the Memphis Riots of 1866. Trans people have obviously been evident in society, so when Walsh claims that the “trans movement came along,” what does he mean? Does he mean in the Indian subcontinent? Does he mean in the Roman Empire? The colonial U.S. period? The antebellum U.S.? Is it possible he means the

The Twitter description of Matt Walsh @MattWalshBlog, which reads "Theocratic fascist, bestselling children's author, Transphobe Of The Year (2022)."
Walsh’s Twitter describes him as a “theocratic fascist” and “Transphobe Of The Year (2022).” Photo taken from Matt Walsh’s Twitter account.

Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for the Science of Sexuality) which provided gender-affirming surgeries for trans people during the Weimar Republic? It must be quite the coincidence that this same war against trans people was established by the Nazis, who upon taking power in 1933 destroyed the Weimar-era Institute.
Next, Walsh claims that the “trans movement demanded that we totally abandon biology, common sense, and truth itself.” First, I would like to say trans people do not need their identity legitimated by science or anything else to be treated like normal human beings. However, unfortunately for Walsh and these other hateful Conservatives, trans people are actually backed by biology. A peer-reviewed study featuring many authors titled “Similarity in Transgender and Cisgender Children’s Gender Development” from 2019 found that trans children had strong notions of their gender from early childhood, playing with toys that were predominantly coded as the other sex and wearing clothing also societally coded for the other sex. In fact, this study also found trans children had just as strong perceptions of their gender from a young age as cisgender children.
This confirms that people know who they are from a young age and it isn’t some pervasive ideology which causes them to suddenly change their gender. Truth itself seems simple here – trans people are simply people who know who they are.
In this way, the call of these conservative pundits to “eradicate transgenderism” is merely the call to eradicate trans people. No veiled language can hide their true intentions. Their hypocrisy, lies and illogical attacks do not matter and should not be our focus. Fascism is inherently an ideology of contradiction, making the enemy both weak and strong, claiming one is oppressed while being the oppressor. This is merely their playbook.
Rather, we must fight back. We cannot allow these people to dominate public spaces, attempting to push trans people out of society. We cannot allow these people to continue to indoctrinate the youth, guiding them for their purposes. I can attest that they are creating a loyal army ready to sprout up for them, judging from the over fifteen DMs I received on Instagram after my Instagram story went viral (the controversy I was referring to earlier). They’re ready to go to action to eradicate trans people – they have gone as far as labeling all trans people “groomers,” hoping they become completely societally repudiated.
Therefore, we must be ready to protect trans people. I can list out all the facts and science here, but none of that truly matters in the grand scheme of events. The fascists looking to harm trans people do not care about the facts, only eradicating these people from any public existence. They’ve created a war and eradication scheme, and we must be ready to fight for trans rights.