Bias Watch

Conservative pundit claims demons are “always trans”

Michael Knowles

Demons are “always” transgender, according to conservative commentator Michael Knowles.

Knowles — who works for The Daily Wire, the conservative website that hosts right-wing transphobes Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro — made his comment about demons during the February 7 edition of The Michael Knowles Show in response to nonbinary crooner Sam Smith and transgender pop singer Kim Petras’s performance of their award-winning song “Unholy” at the Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

During the performance, Smith wore a top hat with devil horns and both performers wore heels and tight red clothes. Numerous right-wing commentators called the performance “demonic” and worried it would influence people to participate in “Satanic worship.”

“So, Sam Smith gives an overtly satanic performance with all sorts of transsexuals and fire coming up,” Knowles said on his show.

“Isn’t it odd how depictions of demons, how depictions of weird ghoulish devilish demonic figures are always androgynous?” he continued. “They’re never super duper hyper-masculine chads. They’re never beautiful, truly gorgeous women with classical proportions and representations of beauty. They’re always androgynous. They’re always trans.”

Knowles is incorrect. Throughout art history, many artistic depictions of demons have portrayed the creatures as distinctly male or female.

Nevertheless, Knowles doubled down on his baseless statement by adding, “The reason for that is that… the difference between man and woman, the complementarity of man and women, is right there at the heart of human nature. And the Devil hates humanity and so he tries to cut away at the very core of humanity.”

The “complementarity of man and woman” is often used as a homophobic argument. Conservatives discuss it to argue that same-sex relationships are unnatural since two men or two women lack the “complementarity” that opposite-sex couples have. So it’s likely Knowles was not making the same distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation that many LGBTQ+ people would make.

Knowles’s comment is just his latest attack on the LGBTQ+ community. He opposes the legal recognition of same-sex marriages and delivered a transphobic speech on April 2019 at the University of Missouri–Kansas City entitled “Men Are Not Women.”

Knowles’s transphobia rivals that of his Daily Wire cohorts Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro. Walsh blamed victims of the November 2022 Club Q shooting for their own deaths and also created a misleading anti-trans film What is a Woman? Shapiro believes that children shouldn’t be told that same-sex marriage exists, believes that “transgender is a mental disease,” and attacked the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down laws criminalizing homosexuality.

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