As North Carolina and Mississippi become the latest states to enact sweeping anti-trans laws, it seems like lawmakers around the country are waging battles in a concerted war against transgender people. This week, comedian Jessica Williams fired back.
On Wednesday (April 6), the “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” correspondent tackled trans panic. In an eight-minute segment, she interviewed transgender activists and Megan Taylor, a Black trans woman who was jailed for more than a week after a hotel clerk called the police on her at check in. She also shed light on the fact that Black people are especially susceptible to discrimination and profiling, with 47 percent of Black trans people reporting that they have been incarcerated at some point in their lives.
Williams then spoke to Colorado state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt, whose website says he is “rated #1 most conservative State Rep in El Paso County.” Klingenschmitt opened the interview by saying: “They not only want to be confused about their own identity, but they want the rest of us to be confused with them. Now they want the government to join them in this pretense. They’re making us into liars.”
Williams proceeded to drill him on his beliefs. After asking him if he had some traumatic experience with a trans person that makes him label them all “perverts” and say they are “possessed by demons” (spoiler alert: the answer was no), she then asked Klingenschmitt, who is a chaplain. “Is it fair to say that because you’re a priest that you’re a pedophile?”
Watch the video above to see what happened next.