Laura Ingraham: Accepting trans youth will lead to children being able to “consent for sexual activity”

Ingraham has repeatedly suggested that trans rights will lead to the sexualization of children


Citation Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

In an interview with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Fox News host Laura Ingraham said that if young people can be openly trans, children will soon be able to give “consent for sexual activity.” Ingraham has previously fearmongered that trans rights will lead to “lowering the age of consent.”

Ingraham’s claim that affirming trans identities will sexualize children is similar to a false right-wing and evangelical narrative that exposing children to LGBTQ people will sexualize them, and she has previously repeated this on her programs.

During an episode of her podcast earlier this year, Ingraham said that teaching about gender identity “is about lowering the age of consent” and that LGBTQ advocates are trying “to get little children sexualized.” During that same episode, her guest compared Drag Queen Story Hour, a program in which drag queens read books to children at public libraries, to NAMBLA, a pro-pedophile group. Comparing LGBTQ people to pedophiles is a longstanding and destructive right-wing tactic. Additionally, during an episode of her Fox show The Ingraham Angle, her guest called drag queens “adult illicit entertainment” and compared Drag Queen Story Hour to “pole dancer story hour” and “porn actor story hour.”

Ingraham made the latest anti-trans comments during a Fox segment about a Texas custody case involving a trans child that right-wing and evangelical media have weaponized and misrepresented. The two parents in the case disagree whether their trans child should receive gender affirming care even though medical professionals agree that the child’s identity should be affirmed. During the segment, she also called trans-affirming care “child abuse.”

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Citation From the October 25, 2019 edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle

LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Now to a Texas father's desperate battle, where he's fighting to stop his 7-year-old son from undergoing gender transition being pushed by the child's mother. Today, that boy's father received a small victory in court. 


DAN PATRICK (TEXAS LT GOV): These are young children that adults are making decisions for them. At seven, you can't make that decision that will change their life forever, that you cannot come back, particularly if you go through the full treatment into their teen years. And so, the reason the governor and the attorney general today, Gov. Abbott and Ken Paxton, asked for an investigation by our child protection services. 

INGRAHAM: This is child abuse.


INGRAHAM: Parents feel helpless. You’re not helpless. You’re not helpless. This is your child. And the -- if children can choose this, then the next thing is going to be choosing consent, consent for sexual activity. If they can choose this--

PATRICK: For everything.

INGRAHAM: Then why can't they make other -- I mean, there's a lot to this story. 

Ingraham has a history of hosting anti-LGBTQ guests on her TV and radio programs, and she and her guests regularly push anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and misinformation without any pushback. Her language about “child abuse” also mirrors right-wing narratives about affirming children, including rhetoric coming out of panels from the anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation.