Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk marked the start of LGBTQ Pride month by dropping all pretense about his views on transgender people in the world — he is no supporter of them.
In a series of tweets Thursday and Friday, Musk actively promoted a transphobic “documentary” produced by an extremist pundit, agreed that medical providers who provide care to transgender children should be sent to prison without parole, and declared his support for a movement to excise trans people from the LGBTQ umbrella.
Increasingly flirting with far-right punditry, Musk has spoken critically of trans issues in the recent past.
But his comments this week gave a particularly unrestrained window into his personal politics, which The New York Times labeled “complicated” not six months ago.
Despite bragging this time last year that his electric car company had scored “100/100 for 7th year in a row for LGBTQ equality” in a survey on workplace inclusivity, Musk said he does not champion the whole acronym.
“Totally agree,” the billionaire responded beneath a tweet from an account called The LGB Group stating, “We don’t even want Pride Month anymore, we just want to be separated from the TQ+ cult.” (LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.)
“Every parent should watch this,” Musk wrote earlier alongside the film “What Is A Woman?” produced by far-right conservative Matt Walsh.
The film begins with the suggestion that women are mysterious creatures who proved incomprehensible even to the likes of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and devolves from there. While it questions whether transgender people exist at all, it is especially critical of the idea that children can be transgender.
“Now our culture is telling us that the differences between girls and boys don’t matter,” Walsh says in the introduction, which is interspersed with footage of himself standing on a riverbank in sunglasses, casting a fishing line as he muses about fatherhood.
Several trans activists accused Walsh of inviting them to be interviewed in the film under false pretenses last year when “What Is A Woman?” was first released.
Twitter initially moved to label the film “hateful conduct.” When one Twitter user accused Musk of stifling free speech, he responded directly, saying he had “fixed” the issue with the movie. The film was made available in full on the platform, and Walsh called Musk’s support “a huge win.”
Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, resigned in the wake of the “What Is A Woman?” controversy, followed by A.J. Brown, head of brand safety and quality, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Musk also offered some clarification on his personal views, seemingly indicating that he has less of a problem with transgender adults. Beneath the film, he wrote: “Consenting adults should do whatever makes them happy, provided it does not harm others, but a child is not capable of consent, which is why we have laws protecting minors.”
Gender-affirming health care, however, takes place in a professional environment, and many major medical groups support providing such care to child patients, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Transitioning generally includes a social element that begins before any potential medical element.
On Thursday, Musk asserted that he would be “actively lobbying to criminalize making severe, irreversible changes to children below the age of consent.”
But gender-affirming surgeries are very rarely performed on patients under the age of 18. Trans kids are often prescribed puberty blockers so they have more time to understand their identities; the drugs have been shown to improve mental health in such patients — a group that has been shown to have an increased risk of suicidal ideation.
Among his 10 children, Musk counts one transgender daughter, who said last year that she no longer wishes to be associated with her father. Asked for his response to her decision, Musk said that he had good relationships with his other children.
He added: “Can’t win them all.”