It’s the beginning of June, which traditionally is the time when corporations dress their logos up in rainbow hues in either an earnest effort to stand with marginalized queer folks (rare and getting rarer) or a cynical ploy to part people from their money (much more common).
Elon Musk, leader of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, is not a traditionalist. For two years running now, he’s opened Pride month with a different tactic: Making very loud, very public anti-LGBT statements. But while last year’s effort at least seemed friendly on its face, this year Musk has upped the ante: Amplifying a documentary that even Twitter’s own content moderators flagged as transphobic hate speech.
Musk quote-tweeted the Daily Wire documentary What Is A Woman? this morning, which released last June. Those who’ve had the stomach to watch the film have called it “deceptive,” “science-denying,” and “full of transphobic lies.” It was directed by Matt Walsh, the New Republic’s “Transphobe of the Year,” who used a fake pro-LGBT organization to rope real trans people into interviews. All a part of his “all out assault on gender ideology,” apparently.
When Daily Wire initially tried to “premiere” the film on Twitter (again, it came out last year, this is not a premiere), the site’s Trust and Safety team marked the video as containing hate speech on grounds of misgendering. When representatives from Daily Wire complained, Musk himself took to Twitter to call the label “a mistake.” That tweet, calling misgendering “at most rude and certainly breaks no laws,” cemented a change that the site has long hinted at: Misgendering is now, explicitly, allowed on Twitter.
In response, Twitter’s head of Trust and Safety left the site today. Musk personally promoted the Daily Wire documentary, stating that “Every parent should watch this.” Musk’s tweet has over 280,000 likes, and according to Twitter metrics has been seen nearly 40 million times. He’s truly raised the bar for attacking queer people during pride month, but it’s not unexpected from someone who’s continually leaned further and further into transphobic behaviors. No wonder his daughter wants nothing to do with him.