Following Fox News’ airing of a segment celebrating a family whose daughter ‘identifies’ as a boy, calling the California teenager an “inspiration,” conservatives slammed Fox News for their betrayal of their viewers’ values and their promotion of mental illness and abuse of children.
The Controversial Segment
“Pride month continues as we highlight the story of Ryland Whittington, whose journey of transitioning at age five has been seen by seven million people in a family YouTube video,” anchor Dana Perino said as she introduced the controversial segment on “America’s Newsroom” Friday.
Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas then reported on the 14-year-old child, Ryland Whittington, an obviously mentally ill girl who claims to identify as a boy. Thanks to the encouragement of her mental illness from her parents, Ryland also presents as a boy.
“If you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn’t think anything different,” the teen says at the beginning of the segment.
“14-year-old Ryland Whittington is a typical southern California teenager. And the Whittingtons, along with mom Hillary, dad Jeff, and sister Brynley are a typical family. The only difference, though, in Ryland’s eyes, is what this family can mean to the tens of thousands of kids under 18 who identify as transgender,” Llenas reported.
One of the most disturbing parts of this story is that the parents claim they knew their daughter was transgender before she could even speak.
“I could see it. It wasn’t him trying to be a brat. It was, like, painful. It was truly painful for him to have to wear feminine clothing and for us constantly telling him that you’re a girl,” said Ryland’s mother, Hillary.
When Ryland vocalized her confusion surrounding her gender at the age of 5, her parents “fully embraced” her new identity as a boy, Llenas reported.
“We were confused like most people are. We thought gender and sexuality were the same thing. It took us a while to figure out those two things are different and that children actually do recognize their gender identity very young. Some of them, not all,” Hillary asserted.
Another disturbing claim made by these clearly deranged parents left many viewers shocked — Ryland’s mother claims that her “conservative faith” prompted her to believe that God made her daughter transgender.
“For me, it is just a deep spiritual belief that you believe in God, and he created us the way He wanted us and he created Ryland just the way he is,” Hillary said.
During the segment, the Whittington family also noted that they want Ryland’s story to help raise awareness about how ‘transgender’ youths are at a higher risk of self-harm when their so-called “gender identities” are not accepted.
Helping them push that narrative, Llenas reported statistics from the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth, which show more than 50% of transgender youths consider suicide. Of course, he conveniently left out the fact that these statistics are virtually unchanged even after gender-confused people receive medical treatments to ‘transition’ to the gender they believe that they are.
“That was the turning point. I didn’t want to see Ryland go through that,” said Ryland’s father, Jeff.
“I would rather have a living son than a dead daughter,” Hillary noted.
“I guarantee that if we had pushed back and done what a lot of parents do, I don’t think we would have either one of the kids that you see before you here today,” she added.
The family has gotten a lot of attention and even financial rewards from their daughter’s transition — having written a book, “Raising Ryland,” that chronicles their experience, and having posted a YouTube video telling Ryland’s story in 2014 that has since been viewed more than 8 million times.
“What extraordinary courage displayed by Ryland, his sister Brynley, father Jeff, and mom Hillary. I want to thank the family for speaking to us,” Llenas said at the end of the segment. “It is not easy, particularly at a time when transgender issues have been politicized. People are afraid of what they don’t understand, Dana. This family hopes their story will lead to more understanding, more acceptance, and ultimately more love.”
Fox News received a significant amount of backlash on social media over the segment, which was aired as part of the news network’s diversity programming for Pride Month.
“I’m stunned that Fox News ran a segment celebrating a girl whose parents ‘transitioned’ her into a boy when she was 5 because she apparently told them she was a boy ‘before [she] could talk,’” tweeted BlazeTV host Allie Beth Stuckey.
“For those saying, ‘why are you stunned?’ Look – of course, we all knew most at Fox are socially liberal. But THIS? This is a whole other level. It’s as extreme and depraved as it gets,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.
I’m stunned that Fox News ran a segment celebrating a girl whose parents “transitioned” her into a boy when she was 5 because she apparently told them she was a boy “before [she] could talk.” Absolutely maddening & heartbreaking. https://t.co/T8k1QQS6uH pic.twitter.com/kCvacbtY3X
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) June 10, 2022
Conservative radio host Erick Erickson noted in his response that the segment was likely to hurt Fox News’ reputation as the cable news channel for conservatives.
“Fox News promoting trans propaganda is something to behold. That’s gonna hurt the network more than calling Arizona for Biden,” he tweeted.
Fox News promoting trans propaganda is something to behold. That’s gonna hurt the network more than calling Arizona for Biden.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 10, 2022
“The mother literally admitted she groomed her baby into being trans just because she [the baby] didn’t like feminine baby clothes apparently… ‘before Ryland could even speak…’ um???” one Twitter user pointed out.
…the mother literally admitted she groomed her baby into being trans just because she [the baby] didn't like feminine baby clothes apparently…
— t (@wildhyssop) June 11, 2022
“Fox News celebrates Munchausen syndrome by proxy,” another Twitter user said.
Fox News celebrates Munchausen syndrome by proxy https://t.co/RUU4l50rOc
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) June 10, 2022
“99.9% of babies fuss when they’re being changed into clothing. How could any parent take that as a sign of transgenderism?! Madness,” replied Daniel Buck, editor-in-chief of the Chalkboard Review.
99.9% of babies fuss when they’re being changed into clothing. How could any parent take that as a sign of transgenderism?!
— Daniel Buck (@MrDanielBuck) June 10, 2022
Many other conservatives responded that Fox News was promoting child abuse and grooming, and noted that they would no longer be supporting or watching the network in protest over the segment.