John Oliver Calls Out Ignorance in the Media in His Poignant Segment on Transgender Rights

John Oliver

Coming off the heels of Pride month, we can agree that individuals like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox have brought a huge spike in visibility to transgender activism, but that’s a very small slice of a population comprised of approximately 700,000 Americans. “That’s more than the population of Boston. And you probably know somebody from Boston.” John Oliver said in a recent segment on Last Week Tonight delineating the constant struggles the “Ts” in LGBT still face daily, despite the bump in exposure. He continued,

“We’re 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 genitals.”

In the 16-minute segment, Oliver discusses the cases of Kristen Skinner and Trudy Kitzmiller, two transgender women who were harassed at a DMV in West Virginia, Captain Jacob Eleazer, who was awarded an army commendation medal before they tried to kick him out, and several interviews with the likes of Carmen Carrera, Laverne Cox and others who are constantly asked about their genitalia. He calls out the ignorance of the media and the government when it comes to transgender rights, and urges viewers not to be caught on the wrong side of history. “There’s not a stamp featuring George Wallace at the schoolhouse door.”

Watch the full segment from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver below:

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