Mario Lopez, an actor and television personality, has drawn criticism for claiming that it is “hazardous” for parents to support their transgender children.
The statements were made by the father of three and co-host of the entertainment news show “Extra” in a June interview on “The Candace Owens Show,” a PragerU YouTube series, but they weren’t widely publicised until lately.
Conservative commentator Owens brought up Mario Lopez’s son’s “boyish” preferences during the 40-minute discussion, calling it “a bizarre trend” that some celebrities, like Charlize Theron, are letting their kids pick their gender identification.
Owens compared children claiming transgender identification to those pretending to be superheroes or mermaids, a common childhood fantasy, and added that as a former nanny, she feels youngsters lack the “mental authority” to express a gender identity other than the one that was assigned to them at birth.
Mario Lopez replied, “I’m kind of blown away, too. My God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a guy or a girl or whatever the case may be, you really can’t go wrong if you come from a place of love, but I’m never one to teach someone how to parent their kids, clearly.Simply said, I believe it is risky for a parent to decide that.
It’s kind of worrisome, he continued, and “my gosh, I just think about the implications later on.”
After that, Mario Lopez and Owens confused sexual orientation with gender identity, with Mario Lopez claiming that children have no concept of sexuality. You are only a child.
Mario Lopez later apologised for his contentious remarks on Wednesday. He called his comments “ignorant and insensitive” in a statement provided to NBC News, and he said that he now has “a deeper understanding of how damaging they were.”
I am and always will be a fervent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I’m going to take advantage of this chance to further my education, said Mario Lopez. “Going forward, I’ll be more knowledgeable and considerate.”
Although they have a long-standing connection with Mario Lopez, “Extra” producers stressed in a statement on Wednesday’s programme that the opinions he expressed are not typical of the programme.
The statement read, “We totally embrace our friends in the LGBTQ community and believe they deserve support and compassion.”
Mario Lopez did not appear on the “Extra” segment on Wednesday night.
Misperceptions about gender identity
The views Mario Lopez expressed on “The Candace Owens Show” are “common,” according to Christia Spears Brown, a social psychology professor at the University of Kentucky and the author of “Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue,” who also told NBC News that the views are “full of misconceptions surrounding gender identity.”
People frequently assert that it is harmful for kids to explore options other than the conventional boy-or-girl paradigm, according to Brown. They claim that deviating from stereotypes causes children to become confused and that without these structures, there will be widespread hysteria.
She remembered the criticism Target experienced when it stopped identifying their toys with “boys” and “girls” signage.
However, Brown noted that bringing up this old issue misses the realities of many kids who don’t neatly fall into the binary box. “Some children are transgender, but some simply express their gender differently than what is expected based on stereotypes.”