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On July 31, Fox & Friends invited University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson on air to share extremist opinions regarding teaching students tolerance. During his appearance, Peterson asserted that “faculties of education are full of people who are radical.”

Peterson is an anti-LGBTQ extremist, using his platform as a media pundit to spread misinformation that stokes dangerous hatred. On his Twitter account, he has made specious claims that the movement for transgender equality and same-sex parents are a sign of “cultural collapse,” and that “science has not yet proven that trans is even a thing.”

We are calling out Peterson -- and Fox & Friends for elevating his extremely dangerous rhetoric.

Last year, HRC debunked myths about transgender people being perpetrated by quacks and bigots like Peterson. Check out our video explainer, part of our McHugh Exposed campaign, here:

A widespread medical consensus and growing body of research have affirmed the reality of transgender people’s identities. Major medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, have reinforced the validity of transgender people’s gender identities, as well as the medical necessity of transition-related care. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians also publicly support inclusive practices for transgender and gender expansive youth.

And Peterson’s ill-informed comments dismissing the importance of inclusive learning environments, and the teachers who help create them, simply promote putting children in peril.

  • Inclusive schools are key to the success and well-being of LGBTQ students -- the exact concept Peterson stands against.
  • To date, only 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted anti-bullying laws to protect LGBTQ students from being bullied by students, teachers and school staff on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Meanwhile, just 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed school non-discrimination laws and state-wide regulations to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination in schools on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Without such policies in place, LGBTQ youth remain vulnerable to discrimination, harassment and bullying from peers, teachers and administrators. HRC Foundation and the University of Connecticut recently released the largest-of-its-kind survey of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing in distressing detail the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities.

It found that these teenagers are not only experiencing heartbreaking levels of stress, anxiety and rejection, but also overwhelmingly feel unsafe in their own school classrooms. Only 27 percent of LGBTQ youth can “definitely” be themselves in school as an LGBTQ person and only 26 percent of LGBTQ youth report that they always feel safe in the classroom.

HRC remains committed to protecting LGBTQ youth and training youth-serving professionals through its the Welcoming Schools program, the All Children-All Families program and the Time to THRIVE conference.

HRC's "Call It Out" calls out inaccurate, misguided or extreme anti-LGBTQ references in the public square. For more information, check out hrc.org.


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