Mario Lopez Attacked for Saying Parents Shouldn’t Let Their Children Choose Genders

BURBANK, CA - APRIL 26: TV personality Mario Lopez speaks onstage during The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 26, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NATAS)
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NATAS

Mario Lopez’s comments about it being “dangerous” for parents to allow their young children to choose their own gender have prompted a wave of blowback, with TV personalities, journalists, and other activists on the left criticizing the TV host on Twitter.

Lopez’s comments were made in a June video from PragerU in which the Extra TV host was interviewed by Candace Owens. “I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids,” said Mario Lopez. But, he added, “if you’re three years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way — you think you’re a boy or a girl…. I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination — OK, well, then you’re going to be a boy or girl.”

He added: “It’s sort of alarming. Just think of the repercussions later on.”

Owens noted that many kids and adolescents go through phases in which they explore their identities but quickly outgrow them.

Lopez responded that kids “don’t know anything about sexuality. You’re just a kid.”

The blowback crested on Tuesday after Yahoo! Lifestyle ran an article about the interview.

Netflix’s Queer Eye host Karamo Brown said: “I’m disappointed to read @MarioLopezExtra comments about parent’s who support their child’s openes about their gender identity. As a social worker I am trained to identify abuse or neglect of a child. Healthy & safe dialogue w/ kids is neither abusive, neglectful or ‘dangerous.'”

“I don’t think @MarioLopezExtra should be ‘canceled’. But I do believe he should be given the opportunity to learn why his comments are harmful to trans youth and their parents. Mario, I’m ready to talk when you are,” Brown added.
Holly Figueroa O’Reilly, a journalist who has written for The Washington Post and The Guardian, and is a founder of the Democratic activist group Blue Wave Crowdsource, lashed out angrily at Lopez, noting that 2 of her five children are queer. 
“Parents can tell the different between a 3 year old who pretends to be another gender for fun and one who feels they are living in the wrong body,” wrote Figueroa O’Reilly. “STFU Mario Lopez.”

Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, also weighed in on the Mario Lopez interview, saying that his comments are “dangerous.”

The organization said its Parents for Transgender Equality Council “would be more than happy to educate you on this very subject of supporting trans youth.”

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