Mario Lopez is the center of controversy after he made comments that parents supporting trans kids is “dangerous.” But is there more to the story?
Lopez, a father of three, made this comment back in June during an interview on The Candace Owens Show. While the interview was from a month and a half ago, clips have resurfaced on the internet and caught Twitter’s unwanted attention.
In the 40-minute interview, Owens brings up the topic of a “weird trend” in Hollywood. Specifically, the conservative figure stated discomfort with celebrities like Charlize Theron announcing support of their children in however they choose to identify. While that seemed nice, Theron was preemptively defining her child’s gender in an effort to be progressive.
“Yes, I thought she was a boy, too,” Theron told the Daily Mail. “Until she looked at me when she was 3 years old and said, ‘I am not a boy!’”
Owen then shared her thoughts on the moment with Lopez by saying:
“A lot of weird trends come out of Hollywood and one of the weirder ones, for me, is this new trend where celebrities are coming out — and I know Charlize Theron did this a few weeks ago — is saying that their child is picking their gender. And this is strange to me, and they say, ‘Oh, I looked at my child and my child was swimming in a bathtub and looked up and said, ‘Mommy, I’m a boy’ and that’s weird …”
Lopez joined the conversation by stating it’s the parents’ job to guide the child through these issues.
“I am trying to understand it myself, and please don’t lump me into that whole [group],” Lopez continued. “I’m kind of blown away too. Look, I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids obviously and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong but at the same time, my God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make this determination then, well, OK, then you’re going to a boy or a girl, whatever the case may be … It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on.”
He added, “When you’re a kid … you don’t know anything about sexuality yet. You’re just a kid.”
He then concluded that parents need to “let kids be kids.”
“I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids but at the same time, you gotta be the adult in the situation. Pause with that and — I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these declarations,” he said.
Of course, there were plenty of people online, and especially on Twitter, who didn’t agree.
Mario Lopez should mind his business and worry about his own children. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even wrong ones. But criticizing someone’s parenting publicly crosses a line. If a child isn’t being abused, observe quietly.
— nunya business (@100ptruthteller) July 30, 2019
@TransEquality Candace Owens and Mario Lopez are spreading idiocy on the Prager U social channel about trans kids. I posted three replies, but wanted to make sure this is on your radar, too. https://t.co/5FaM57sPWe
— The Mandawhorian (@FTWTMPS) July 9, 2019
Mario Lopez or A.C Slater from ‘Saved By The Bell’ is cancelled.
— Adam. (@AdamMccc) July 30, 2019
While I won’t support this idea of mob mentality on Twitter and “canceling someone” for not agreeing with you, I don’t wholly agree with Owens. But I don’t disagree with Lopez.
Yes, it’s the parents’ job to guide their children, but not to limit them. A child’s gender expression is not connected to their sexuality, as Lopez incorrectly assumes. But on the flip side, Lopez is right that parents have to leave room for children’s exploration and not immediately label them as transgender at such a young age.
As Dr. Christina Brown, a social psychology professor at the University of Kentucky told Yahoo News:
“Some children who explore non-stereotypical forms of gender expression are transgender, however others just want a flexible gender expression,” Brown tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Kids are drawn to what they find aesthetically pleasing and there’s often not deeper meaning.”
“’Dangerous’ for these children, says Brown, is expecting them to look and act in a way that doesn’t feel natural to them.”
So in the end, Owens is the dangerous one for trying to govern what other parents are doing (and coming off a bit hostile). And maybe Theron is a little to blame as well, for ironically limiting the child by trying to define them as transgender without room to grow.
And again, people on news sites and social media are too quick to blame based on news headlines alone. But Lopez doesn’t deserve to be canceled (at least on this one statement). Ultimately, Mario Lopez is saying that parents should “let kids be kids,” and develop their gender expression and identity as they like over time. Whether they are trans or not, it’s not for the parents to decide. And isn’t that the right call in the end?
Perhaps instead of saying it is “dangerous as a parent to make this determination,” Lopez should have specified that it’s dangerous to overeagerly/preemptively define kids (as young as 3) as transgender. Then maybe the internet wouldn’t have rushed for its pitchforks.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.
Update: The last few paragraphs of this article have been updated to further elaborate partial support of Lopez.