Conservative commentators and viewers are speaking out after Fox News aired a controversial story about two California parents who helped their 5-year-old biological daughter transition to become a boy named Ryland.
The report was part of a Fox News series titled "America Together: LGBTQ+ Pride Month."
Fox News Correspondent Bryan Llenas explained in his report that Ryland's parents Jeff and Hillary Whittington determined that, "Before Ryland could even speak, 'he' managed to tell his parents that he is a boy."
"It wasn't him trying to be a brat," Ryland's mother Hillary said as the video showed Ryland wearing girl's clothes. "It was really painful for him to have to wear feminine clothing and for us constantly telling him you're a girl."
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"And unlike some trans kids, when Ryland came out at the age of 5 a few years later, he had the full support of his parents," Llenas stated in his report.
Ryland's mother also spoke about why she and her husband decided not to push back against Ryland's gender identity.
"And I guarantee that if we had pushed back and done what a lot of parents do, I don't think that we would have either one of the kids before you here today," Hillary said motioning to Ryland and his sister.
The family is not new to the spotlight. Ryland's story went viral in 2014. Hillary wrote a book titled Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting A Transgender Child WIth No Strings Attached.
After Llenas's report aired, the network received almost immediate backlash on social media.
Commentator Matt Walsh from The Daily Wire wasted no time calling for everyone at Fox News who had anything to do with Llenas's report to be fired.
"I know for a fact that many people at Fox do not approve of this and never would have agreed to air radical far left trans propaganda," Walsh tweeted on Friday. "But Fox reporter Bryan Llenas chose to do this story and someone at Fox chose to put it on the air. Everyone involved should be fired immediately."
"The poor kid is 14 now with a permanently altered body, condemned to live forever with an identity imposed as a small child. It is horrifying, evil, and sick. And it is what Fox chose to promote," he added.
In several follow-up tweets, Walsh wrote, "The reporter says that the child announced a new gender as a toddler. Does Fox want us to believe that BABIES can choose their gender? This is the most extreme, radical, dangerous form of gender ideology. And it's being promoted on Fox News."
Walsh also accused the network of promoting the practice of child transitioning.
"Today Fox ran a long segment for Pride Month celebrating a 'trans kid' who 'came out as a boy' at the age of five. The piece did not simply report on the controversy surrounding child transitioning. It outright promotes the practice."
Today Fox ran a long segment for Pride Month celebrating a "trans kid" who "came out as a boy" at the age of five. The piece did not simply report on the controversy surrounding child transitioning. It outright promotes the practice.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 10, 2022
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro mirrored Walsh's statements, tweeting: "Every element of this video is propagandistic, dangerous garbage. The report states that this biologically female child was choosing her gender BEFORE SHE COULD SPEAK. This is madness."
Shapiro also called the Fox News story "child abuse" and "absolute, horrifying propaganda."
Conservative podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey also responded to the report, writing: "I'm stunned that Fox News ran a segment celebrating a girl whose parents 'transitioned' her into a boy when she was 5 because she apparently told them she was a boy 'before she could talk.' Absolutely maddening & heartbreaking."
For those saying, “why are you stunned?” Look - of course we all knew most at Fox are socially liberal. But THIS? Is a whole other level. It’s as extreme and depraved as it gets.
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) June 10, 2022
"I hated dresses and bows as a child and insisted on only wearing jeans and a white t-shirt," Stuckey added. "Thank God my parents didn't see my 'discomfort' as a sign that I'm actually supposed to be a boy. 'Transitioning' a child is abusive. Let them grow up."
I hated dresses and bows as a child and insisted on only wearing jeans and a white t-shirt. Thank God my parents didn’t see my “discomfort” as a sign that I’m actually supposed to be a boy. “Transitioning” a child is abusive. Let them grow up. Teach them to love their bodies.
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) June 10, 2022
Fox News viewers also let their voices be heard.
"If I was 5 and declared I identify as a pirate, should my parents cut-off my hand & leg so I can get a hook for a hand, and a peg for a leg?" one viewer responded sarcastically. "I mean whatever a child identifies as is reality now, right? The only way to save me from suicide is pirate transition, right?"
Another viewer directly addressed Llenas, writing, "Hopefully you will be working at @MSNBC soon because that is where you belong."
One user also replied to Llenas by quoting Jesus Christ from the Bible: "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6."
Another viewer commented, "This is a documentary of a crime."
One user wrote, "Are you kidding me right now...? Why would you promote 5 year olds changing their gender on Fox News...?"
CBN News has reached out to Fox News for comment. We'll post it here if we hear back.
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