John Oliver On Trans Rights: “It’s Genuinely Crucial We Get This Right”

Gay marriage may now be legal on a national level, thanks to those activists who brought the issue all the way to the Supreme Court, but discrimination is hardly obsolete in the US of A, especially for an estimated 700,000 transgender Americans. On last night’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver had some choice words for those who find gender identity so damn hard to understand, breaking it down thusly:

Transgender people have a gender identity that differs from the one they were assigned at birth, and that gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation. Gender identity is who you are, sexual orientation is who you love. Some transgender people do undergo hormone therapy or sexual reassignment surgery as part of their transition; some do not. And interestingly, their decision on this matter is, medically speaking, none of your fucking business. If you’re still wondering, ‘What do I call a transgender person, it’s so confusing,’ actually it’s pretty simple: call them whatever they want to be called.

It’s genuinely crucial we get this right. Because there are more transgender people in the U.S. than you might realize. One study estimates that 700,000 American adults are transgender. That’s more than the population of Boston. And you probably know somebody from Boston.

See how simple that is? Also, let me just say that I find it genuinely frustrating that it actually takes hearing it from a straight white man for some to grasp this concept, even though trans activists have been saying the same damn thing over and over and over again since forever. But hey, whatever moves the needle I guess.