Right-wing media melt down over Easter and Trans Day of Visibility falling on the same day

Alleging “spiritual war” and “demonic” influence, right-wing pundits and Republican politicians falsely claim Biden declared Trans Day of Visibility on Easter as an insult to Christians

Content warning: This article includes repeated references to anti-trans slurs.

President Joe Biden recognized March 31 as Trans Day of Visibility, an occasion to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people that falls on the same day every year. Because March 31 this year was also the Christian holiday of Easter, right-wing media falsely claimed that it was “a deliberate and satanic mockery of God Himself on the holiest day of the year,” and launched into a frenzy of dehumanizing rhetoric against trans people. 

Conservative commentators and some Republican politicians suggested support for trans inclusion is “demonic” and “satanic,” while other right-wing figures mocked Trans Day of Visibility, using anti-trans slurs online and falsely claiming that former first lady Michelle Obama is trans.

After Biden recognized Trans Day of Visibility, right-wing media and Republicans falsely claimed it was an intentional insult to Christians
    • International Transgender Day of Visibility has taken place annually on March 31 for the last 15 years to celebrate transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, and as Reuters noted, the holiday “was not designed intentionally to fall on Easter Sunday as claimed by some.” Additionally, Vanity Fair’s Brian Stelter pointed out that “Biden has issued presidential proclamations on Trans Day of Visibility for all four years of his presidency. This year, it just happens to coincide with Easter, which is causing bad faith actors to post stuff like this instead of Googling what I just googled.” (Next year, Easter occurs on April 20.) [Reuters, 3/29/24; Advocate, 3/31/24; Twitter/X, 3/30/24]
Right-wing media personalities and some Republican politicians pushed rhetoric about “demonic” influence and “spiritual war” in response to Biden recognizing Trans Day of Visibility 
    • Daily Wire host Matt Walsh, a self-described “theocratic fascist,” wrote that Biden recognizing Trans Day of Visibility “is so outrageously evil,” adding, “This man is a demon.” [Media Matters, 8/7/19; Twitter/X, 3/30/24]
    • Former college swimmer turned anti-trans pundit Riley Gaines declared that the Biden administration “is evil, demonic, and wicked,” adding, “How can anyone deny that these battles are spiritual battles? The Bible warned us of this.” Gaines recently said that “of all the things to be called, I don’t think a Christian nationalist is a bad thing.” [Twitter/X, 3/30/243/30/24; Media Matters, 6/13/23; Victory Channel, FlashPoint2/1/24]
    • Fox host Laura Ingraham called the move to recognize Trans Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday “demonic,” claiming the left is “purposefully confusing children and affirming this confusion.” Ingraham’s guest, former NFL player Jack Brewer, agreed that it was “demonic” and lamented that “we’ve removed prayer from schools, we don’t have the Ten Commandments in the schools anymore,” so “these kids don’t have a fear of God.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 4/1/24]
Other right-wing figures lamented Trans Day of Visibility by espousing slurs and debunked conspiracy theories
    • Donald Trump Jr. posted a meme on Instagram that suggested Michelle Obama is trans, a longstanding and baseless anti-trans conspiracy theory. [Instagram, 3/31/24; USA Today, 8/25/17; Newsweek, 1/25/23]
    • Right-wing influencer account Wall Street Silver posted a picture of Michelle Obama and wrote “Happy Transgender Day of Visibility.” [Twitter/X, 3/30/24]
    • On Fox News, right-wing host Dana Loesch said the Biden White House “tried to use a mental illness to troll Christians on Easter.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime4/1/24]