LI Lawmaker Slams 'Transphobic' Podcaster For Demonizing Students

Alessia Grunberger

Originally published in Patch

MANHASSET, NY — A Long Island lawmaker slammed a conservative podcaster Tuesday for "demonizing transgender youth in Manhasset schools."

In a statement released Tuesday, State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) called out Long Island Loud Majority founder Shawn Farash, who spoke out against the transgender-inclusive signs and messages he saw last week at Manhasset Middle School. The messages in question: an all-gender bathroom sign and a flyer for the school's upcoming gender equity forum.

"I don't have an issue — really — with LGB," Farash said during his podcast, referring to the LGBT+ community. "But when we start talking about the Ts, there's an issue. And I'm not afraid to say it.

"To me, you want to feel a certain way, you're entitled to do it," he continued. "You want to have an opinion, you're entitled to have one. But if you're going to be born a man and tell me that's not what you are, then you're probably insane."

In addition to those comments, Farash said talk of transgender rights has been "weaponized to soften children and put them in harm's way" and that signs like those posted around Manhasset Middle School will leave kids feeling "vulnerable" and "confused."

"There are only two genders ... but not according to Manhasset," he said.

Kaplan, who did not call out Farash by name, described him as a "transphobic podcaster" and his opinions a form of hate speech.

"By now, you may have heard that an incendiary, transphobic podcaster from Suffolk County is attempting to use our schools and our kids as pawns to wage culture wars and advance a hateful agenda that doesn't reflect the values of our community," she said in a statement. "And while I'd rather not give any oxygen to the vile message of hate being amplified about and within our community, it's important that we call hate speech out for what it is, and send a message that hate has no place in our community — ever."