Far-right pundit Candace Owens smiled as she said that she would beat her hypothetical transgender grandchild with a cane if they came out to her. In her rant, she unintentionally showed why it’s dangerous for LGBTQ+ youth to be outed to their family members by schools as several states are considering passing laws forcing teachers to out trans youth to their families.
On the February 16 episode of her Daily Wire podcast, Owens discussed a story of a trans teen named Mike being rejected by their grandmother, calling the story “funny.” Owens used she/her pronouns to refer to the teen, probably because she assumed the teen’s gender assigned at birth is female.
“She cries because she’s told her grandma that she’s transitioning and that she wants her grandmother to start calling her ‘Michael,’” Owens said mockingly, getting Mike’s name wrong. “And her sweet little grandma said that she’s not gonna do that.”
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Owens then played the video of Mike crying and explaining the situation and how they got a letter from their grandmother deadnaming them and complaining about the “anguish” that Mike’s transition is causing her.
“My anguish in your chosen name and what that means has to do with your eternal soul,” the grandmother wrote. She also said that she is “spending time with Jesus in adoration” because of her “concern” for the teen’s soul and said that she asked the teen’s five minor cousins to pray for them, effectively outing the teen to their family.
Owens then called Mike “mentally ill” and said that the grandmother was right to reject their identity. Owens said that “there’s no rejection here” because of the grandmother’s “love the sinner, hate the sin” schtick.
“You’re the best grandma ever, by the way. Because when I’m grandma, I get any foolishness like that, I don’t know,” Owens said, smiling. “I wanna be a sweet grandma, I really do, I wanna be a sweet old lady, but I feel like I may be the kind to hit somebody with a cane, I don’t know, I’d be like ‘Hey you want me to call you Michael?’ P-shew. That would probably be me.”
Owens has a history of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-transgender statements. In 2021, she attacked former NBA player Dwyane Wade for being supportive of his transgender daughter Zaya.
“His son now says that he is a woman and Dwyane Wade is… ‘This is who he’s always been.’ No, it’s not!” Owens said. “You’re not going to tell me that your child is wearing long nine-inch nails and a belly shirt because that’s just how they came out.”
“Did he learn it from Instagram? Did he learn it in school? Did he learn it in a music video? Your child learned this behavior because there was an absence of masculinity in that child’s life and that makes sense for a basketball player.”
After the Club Q shooting, she said that anti-transgender rhetoric from conservatives like her had nothing to do with the shooting that killed five people and then said that gender-affirming care is “experimenting on children’s genitals with puberty blockers.”
While she didn’t think that an anti-LGBTQ+ shooter who uses slurs and whose family was involved in rightwing politics could have anything to do with public discourse, she said that another shooter in Memphis last year was the result of the fight for transgender equality.
“This is, by the way, the product of what we are seeing when we celebrate— in our culture — mental illness. That is what is happening. We have somehow gotten to a point in America where we are celebrating mental illness — in many different forms, by the way,” Owens said. “It’s also the perverse element that is encouraging mental illness, like telling men they can be women, telling women they can be men if they just mutilate their bodies.”