John Oliver Delivers Heartfelt Message to Alabama’s Transgender Kids: ‘You Matter’

After a brief – albeit hilarious – riff on the Eurovision Song Contest, Last week tonight‘s John Oliver dedicated the highlight of his show Sunday night to Alabama, whose Gov. Kay Ivey issued a “ban on transgender youth,” making it a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison for doctors to treat transgender people under the age of administering medication from 19.

“That is absolute terrible‘ remarked Oliver. “No one should ever be criminally prosecuted for providing medical care to young people.” Governor Ivey, a 77-year-old Republican, made transphobia a cornerstone of her re-election campaign, running a series of ads proclaiming that “gender matters of biology, not of identity” and that their state will “walk” as God made us.” Additionally, the bill (SB 184) is misleadingly labeled the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act.

The ad prompted Oliver to yell “fuck you” at Ivey, before declaring: “The truth is, the major medical bodies oppose bans on gender-affirming care, and with good reason saves livesand withdrawal can be incredibly damaging.”

Oliver then threw up an interview with a 15-year-old transgender girl named Harleigh Walker, who said: “If I gave up my gender-affirming grooming, my physical exterior wouldn’t reflect who I am inside and that would be, like, destroy.” me mentally and physically complete.”

The HBO host first complimented Harleigh, saying, “You live your full, authentic self with a level of confidence that I didn’t have when I was 15 — or quite frankly, now.” He went on to rail against Governor Ivey: ” If you can look at Harleigh – or any other child – and comfortably take, say, their care that gives them peace and a sense of self, you are one Poorly Person.”

“[The bill’s] Supporters, like many transphobes, tend to fixate on the surgical part of the transition—although, for the record, the transition is far more extensive, may not involve surgery, and as we’ve said, if it does, it isn’t from your damn business,” added Oliver.

Also, gender confirmation surgery for minors in Alabama isn’t even a factor. like dr Morissa Ladinsky told the Alabama Legislature last year, “Here’s what we do and don’t do: Genital surgery is never performed on minors in Alabama. Anti-puberty drugs are 100% reversible and can be life-saving. Well, some older teens—not Seven-year-olds – deserve hormone therapy, but initiation requires lengthy informed consent, lengthy mental health oversight, and sub-specialty care provided.”

“Obviously, doctors will be considerate and rigorous in caring for their patients because, unlike the Alabama legislature, they actually care about the welfare of the children,” Oliver said.

On Friday, a federal judge issued an injunction on the ban, preventing them from enforcing part of the law — namely the ban on access to medicines — although they are working to appeal.

“You can’t help but think that this whole thing is just a right-wing virtue signal sending a hateful message to a conservative base without thinking about the pain it’s going to cause,” Oliver said.

After a montage of transgender people speaking out against the law, Oliver looked straight into the camera and addressed the transgender kids of Alabama:

“You matter to trans kids in Alabama right now. Your life matters. I can’t imagine growing up trying to build self-esteem while your own government is trying to undermine your existence, but know this: you are deeply precious and irreplaceable.” John Oliver Delivers Heartfelt Message to Alabama’s Transgender Kids: ‘You Matter’


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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