Roughly an hour before Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt called upon the state legislature to “send me a bill that bans all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors in the state,” around 150 people gathered outside of the House chamber to protest such legislation.
Chants of “trans lives matter” echoed through the statehouse as signs bearing the same message were held high. Despite the lack of violence and property destruction, right-wing media looked at the circulating footage and began to cry “insurrection,” attempting to draw parallels to the failed pro-Trump coup that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, an “alt-right” troll who has collaborated with neo-Nazis and January 6 insurrectionists, tweeted that trans people “stormed and occupied” the Oklahoma statehouse while posting innocuous footage of the event, and later retweeted it to proclaim “TRANSSURRECTION.”
(It is worth noting that not only is the Oklahoma State Capitol open to the public, as evidenced by a dedicated public entrance and guided and self-guided tours, but also a local outlet reported that demonstrators were let in by law enforcement.)
Right-wing YouTuber Ian Miles Cheong, who has defended insurrectionists and compared the riot to Black Lives Matter protests, chimed in on Posobiec’s tweet, calling the protest “Tranuary 6th.”
“Transphobe of the Year” Matt Walsh, who once said the Black Lives Matter protests were “a million times worse than January 6th,” proclaimed the Oklahoma protest “the worst insurrection in American history” and then later added that it was “bizarre and disgusting.”
Blaze columnist Auron MacIntyre claimed that trans people were “already in power” while “protesters that actually challenge power get crushed like Jan 6.”
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who has previously denied that January 6 rioters were insurrectionists and whose organization funded buses to the Capitol, perpetuated the same narrative on his show.
After playing nearly 30 seconds of peaceful chanting, Kirk said trans people were able to do the same thing as the January 6 rioters without “recourse,” but then had to clarify that he was “not talking about the violent stuff,” stumbling over the false equivalency much like Shapiro did.
Kirk’s former colleague Candace Owens, who once compared January 6 to the Reichstag fire that helped Adolf Hitler come to power, also suggested that trans people got away with an insurrection.
She started by saying, “January 6 has happened again, except nobody cares because it's trans individuals that are doing it,” and ended by calling trans people demonic, hopping on a recent bandwagon with other Daily Wire pundits.
Owens also falsely claimed that Oklahoma was attempting to ban gender-affirming care under the age of 21, when in fact a bill put forth this session would ban such care up to age 26. Titled the Millstone Act, it is named after a biblical prescription of execution for harming children.
The state of Oklahoma has put out 32 of the 287 anti-LGBTQ bills the American Civil Liberties Union is tracking nationwide, with local organizations saying there may be as many as 45. Moreover, just last year Gov. Stitt signed a bill to withhold federal COVID-19 relief funding from a university hospital in order to halt its gender-affirming care services; the hospital ultimately gave in to maintain those funds.
This obtuse “insurrection” narrative even crawled its way up to prime-time news. Fox's Tucker Carlson, who called Capitol rioters “passionately patriotic Americans,” described the Oklahoma protest as a subject Biden should cover in his State of the Union speech. After airing footage of the peaceful protest, Carlson said the event was “an insurrection that was not an insurrection because those were Democratic voters and by definition they cannot insurrect, they can only demonstrate. They're not going to jail.”
He was joined by Ned Ryun of American Majority, who called the trans rights demonstrators “mentally unwell,” “paid activists” who are “probably being paid by those who are making a lot of money off of this industry.”
But local journalists such as Wendy Suares corrected the record. The evening anchor for the Oklahoma City-based Fox 25 news station called attention to the fallacies being spread online.