Stephen Colbert Slams ‘Cruelty’ of Trump’s Transgender Policy: ‘Gender is Clearly a Spectrum’

MONTCLAIR, NJ - MAY 02: Stephen Colbert speaks at the 2015 Monclair Film Festival, In Conversation With Richard Gere Hosted By Stephen Colbert at the Wellmont Theatre on May 2, 2015 in Montclair, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival)
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival

CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert ripped into the Justice Department’s reported plans to recognize gender as something determined by genitalia at birth, describing the move as further “cruelty” from the Trump administration of which he is so vociferously opposed.

During Monday night’s monologue, Colbert accused Trump of spinning the “wheel of discrimination” before deciding to target transgender people, following a report that the Justice Department will seek to roll back President Barack Obama’s transgender policy and redefine gender as a “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.”

“There’s more random cruelty from the Trump administration coming down the pike,” Stephen Colbert said. “This time, they spun the wheel of discrimination and they landed on ‘transgender,’ because we just learned of a new Trump plan in which they would narrowly define gender as a biological condition determined by genitalia at birth, which means that transgender people could be defined out of existence.”

“Oh, now you care about science? How convenient!” Colbert continued. “It’s just a proposal, but if it’s enacted, discrimination against trans people would be OK’d across government agencies, including the Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Service, and Labor.”

“Look, gender is clearly a spectrum, OK? We know this,” he said. “For instance, I identify as a man, but it’s a little fluid. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and repairing boats, then again, my favorite book is about elves and jewelry.”

Colbert also took aim at Trump’s decision to hold a rally in Houston, Texas, in support Ted Cruz’s re-election campaign in the upcoming midterm elections, nicknaming him “Beautiful Ted” as opposed to the name “Lyin’ Ted” he coined during the 2016 primary campaign. Colbert mocked Trump’s claim that Cruz’s father Rafael was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“Come to think of it, his father didn’t kill JFK—his father had sex with JFK. Beautiful, beautiful sex,” Colbert quipped. “‘Beautiful Ted’? Really?! Somewhere, Ted Nugent is weeping over his assault rifle.”

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.