AceShowbiz - John Oliver tackled transgender rights on a recent episode of "Last Week Tonight". The presenter bashed media for their tone-deaf transgender reporting. He showed cringeworthy footage of Katie Couric, Larry King, Wendy Williams, and Barbara Walters asking personal questions to their transgender guests.
"What are you doing?" Oliver said after a clip of Walters asking her guest, "So if I saw you undressed, you would look like a woman to me totally? Yes?" Oliver added, "It is no more OK to ask transgender people about their sex organs than it would be to ask Jimmy Carter whether or not he's circumcised - which, by the way, he is!"
"Transgender people have a gender identity that differs from the one they were assigned at birth. And that gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation. Gender identity is who you are, sexual orientation is who you love. Some transgender people do undergo hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery as part of their transition, some do not. And interestingly, their decision on this matter is, medically speaking, none of your f*cking business!" He continued.
"If you're still wondering, 'What do I call a transgender person? It's so confusing,' " the host went on. "Actually, it's pretty simple: Call them whatever they want to be called. You can do it. We do it all the time." A picture of P. Diddy was then shown. "Over the past 20 years, we've agreed to call this man Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, just Diddy, and now Puff Daddy again - and most people don't even like him," he quipped.
"While a handful of transgender people have been winning awards or appearing on magazine covers, the community at large has been facing staggering challenges," Oliver said. "We are weirdly comfortable celebrating transgender people while simultaneously dehumanizing them at the DMV, pinning awards to them as we drum them out of the military, and constantly quizzing them about their genitalia."
He added, "Look, this is a civil rights issue, and if you're not willing to support transgender people for their sake, at least do it for your own. Because we've been through this before, we know how this thing ends. If you take an anti-civil rights side and deny people access to something they're entitled to, history is not going to be kind to you."