Ricky Gervais and Bill Maher versus the transgender movement

By Jonathon Van Maren

Ricky Gervais is foul-mouthed, blasphemous, and aggressively crude. Those, however, are not the reasons that trans activists want him censored—or preferably cancelled entirely. Gervais has made a habit of making jokes about the transgender community due to their sacred cow status and spent a decent chunk of his previous special specifically “deadnaming” Bruce Jenner in response to LGBT attacks over his previous “deadnaming” of Bruce Jenner. However, if a clip circulating on Twitter is any indication, his new jokes are fundamentally different.

“The old-fashioned women,” Gervais says with faux contempt. “You know, the ones with wombs. Those f____ dinosaurs. I love the new women—they’re great, aren’t they. The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and c___ks. They’re as good as gold, I love them. The old-fashioned women are all ‘Oh! They want to use our toilets!’

‘Why shouldn’t they use your toilets?’

‘They’re for ladies!’

‘They are ladies! Look at their pronouns! What about this person isn’t a lady?’

‘Well…his penis.’

Her penis you f____ bigot!’

‘What if he rapes me?’

‘What if she rapes you, you f____ TERF whore!’”

What makes this bit different is that Gervais didn’t actually have to write any jokes. That is, word for word, how conversations about the trans agenda unfold on Twitter and elsewhere, right down to the swearing and pejoratives like “TERF whore” (see: Rowling, J.K.) Gervais didn’t have to make any of that up. He simply took a real-life situation that is happening nearly every day and repeated to his audience. The audience roared with laughter, because this situation is obviously as stupid as it is sinister.

The transgender movement is demanding that the public accept premises so fundamentally ridiculous that a comedian merely has to recite them to get an audience howling. It just took a comedian who doesn’t care about the censors to prove it.

Gervais isn’t the only one—Dave Chappelle is also in the crosshairs of the crossdressers for jokes about trans activists. But there are very, very few comedians who dare to make jokes about the LGBT community because of the cultural power that they wield (while simultaneously claiming that any jokes at their expense constitute “punching down”). Gervais’s jokes prove not just that comedians can joke about gender ideology, but that people find those jokes hilarious. That, for the LGBT movement, is the unforgivable sin. Worse, comedians like Gervais and Chappelle haven’t lost any of their celebrity friends over their jokes, making the trans community suspicious that many of their backers may be fair-weather friends.

The same is true for Bill Maher, the HBO comedian who, like Gervais, is aggressively atheist (and even created a blasphemous documentary titled Religulous) and very liberal. Maher is one of those liberals who supported same-sex marriage before it was cool. But Maher, like an increasingly large number of other liberals, decided not to stay on the LGBT train once he got a glimpse of where it was going. In a monologue this month that went viral and had LGBT activists calling for his show to be cancelled, Maher dared to ask what is going on with the trend of transgender kids—even promoting Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Children. He pulled no punches, asking why “over time, the LGBT population of America seems to be roughly doubling every generation.”

“According to a recent Gallup poll, less than 1% of Americans born before 1946, that’s Joe Biden’s generation, identify that way, 2.6% of Boomers do, 4.2% of Gen X, 10.5% of Millennials and 20.8% of Gen Z, which means if we follow this trajectory, we will all be gay in 2054,” he said to laughter. “I’m just saying that when things change this much this fast, people are allowed to ask, ‘What’s up with that?’”

And so he did. Why, Maher asked, are so many children coming out as transgender? When we asked children what they wanted to be back in the day, he observed, we used to mean “what profession,” not what gender. “What’s up with that? All the babies are in the wrong bodies? Was there a mix-up at the plant?” He then observed that countries like Sweden and Finland are already backing away from giving puberty blockers to children—and that Americans need to take a good hard look in the mirror as well:

We just don’t know much about the long-term effects although common sense should tell you that when you reverse the course of raging hormones there’s going to be problems. We do know it hinders the development of bone density, which is kind of important if you like having a skeleton. Fertility and the ability to have an orgasm seem also to be affected. This isn’t just a lifestyle decision. It’s medical. Weighing tradeoffs is not bigotry. Yet when a book questioning the sudden uptick in transitioning children was released, a trans lawyer with the ACLU tweeted, ‘Stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100 percent the hill I will die on.’ How very civil liberties of him.

In short, Maher noted: “Never forget children are impressionable and very, very stupid . . . Maybe the boy who thinks he’s a girl is just gay. Maybe the girl who hates girly stuff just needs to learn that being a girl doesn’t mean you have to act like a Kardashian. Maybe childhood makes you sad sometimes and there are other solutions besides ‘hand me the d*** saw…They’re kids, it’s all phases. The dinosaur phase, the Hello Kitty phase . . . genderfluid? Kids are fluid about everything. If kids knew what they wanted to be at age eight, the world would be filled with cowboys and princesses. I wanted to be a pirate. Thank God nobody took me seriously and scheduled me for eye removal and peg-leg surgery.”

Again, this monologue is different from other jokes about gender ideology in that it doesn’t just contain throwaway lines about dudes in dresses or whatever—Maher is making a direct attack on fundamental tenets of transgender ideology. He is saying, in short: People cannot just be whatever they say they are, and it is dangerous to teach that to kids. That pirate line isn’t a joke. It’s a competing truth claim. Trans activists recognize that, and that is why they want Bill Maher off the air. He has an enormous audience—the Twitter video of the monologue has already racked up 5.1 million views, and the YouTube version has 2.5 million views. Many of those folks are nodding along with Maher.

Ricky Gervais is getting laughs simply by reciting real-life scenarios in which trans activists viciously attack women who disagree with them—and mocking the idea that men with penises are women in the first place. Bill Maher is getting millions of views attacking, with savage humor, the idea that huge numbers of children are born in the wrong body. Neither Gervais nor Maher are even remotely conservative in any way, and both supported (and still support) much of the LGBT agenda. But for them—and, apparently, for their enormous followings—the trans movement is a bridge too far. That is precisely why the LGBT movement hates them so much, and why they are so dangerous.

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