YouTube ran an advertisement for a Pride Month partnership with the Trevor Project on Fox News’ The Will Cain Podcast on a June 15 episode titled “Will & Pete: How Schools Went From Patriotism to Drag Hour.” Cain and guest, Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth, claimed traditional American cultural education is being replaced by “drag queen story hour” for elementary school students.
According to The Trevor Project, YouTube has been a longstanding partner of the organization and for Pride Month 2022, YouTube pledged to donate $1 — up to $1 million — for every short video made and posted to the platform that includes the hashtag #YouTubePrideChallenge.
Cain has repeatedly used anti-LGBTQ rhetoric on his podcast. For instance:
- On June 22, he claimed that as a society, we have “moved far beyond the support of equal treatment” and are “now in the place where the current requirement of virtue is to display one’s sexuality publicly.”
- In the same episode he praised the International Swimming Federation for not allowing trans swimmer Lia Thomas to participate in competitions and called for doctors who help children transition should be criminally charged.
- On his June 8 episode, Cain had Daily Wire host and outspoken transphobe Matt Walsh on to discuss his documentary What is a Woman? Cain claimed during the episode that “gender ideology is just a pathway into denying truth in reality” and asked Walsh what comes next after seeing “drag queens bumping and grinding and kids feeding $1 bills into their thongs.”
- On June 28, Fox News Radio’s Twitter account promoted a clip of Cain on his podcast defending the Constitution in the wake of the Dobbs ruling and stating, “We can't even define what a woman is, based upon current trends!”
On Fox News, Cain called Thomas selfish for “placing your own happiness over a generalized fairness” and asked, “What about the happiness and authenticity of those female athletes that got second?” during an interview with Fox News contributor Caitlyn Jenner.
He has also defended Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, appearing on Fox & Friends in April and stating, “It really is shocking to see how many corporate leaders and politicians within the Democratic Party say, ‘You know what? We should be talking to 7-year-olds about sex.’”
Even before this year’s uptick in anti-LGBTQ sentiment among the right-wing media that has led to a wave of violence against the community, Cain was pushing homophobic and transphobic talking points. As far back as 2013, he incorrectly claimed a school’s transgender policy had to do with a sexual assault. And while the Supreme Court was considering the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, Cain tweeted, “I can pinpoint 3 reasons offered during oral arguments yesterday on why the state should be able to discriminate against gay couples.”
The laudable goals of the Trevor Project should be heard by every audience, regardless of ideological bend. But YouTube should not be paying to spread Cain’s anti-LGBTQ bigotry. Instead, the company would be better off devoting resources to clean up the LGBTQ hate streamed and posted on its own platform.