‘They’re Losers’: Pelosi Reacts To GOP Focus On Trans Issues
Nancy Pelosi speaks onstage at the 2023 TIME100 Summit at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2023 in New York City.
(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) condemned Republicans who have pursued transgender-focused laws, saying “they’re losers.”

LGBT news site The Advocate published on Monday an “edited and condensed version” of a conversation showing the author telling Pelosi “so many members of our community are scared right now given all the hateful legislation in state Houses all over the country, and all the dangerous rhetoric by Republicans.”

“Here’s what I think. I think they’re losers. They’re losers,” Pelosi said, before broadening her critique to gun rights and abortion access.

“They’re losing on guns. You know, we still don’t have the legislation we want, but the public is not really with them with all these mass shootings going on. People have had enough,” Pelosi said. “Young people are taking that issue on more and more each day. They’re growing more tired about all the inaction. They’re losing on women’s right to choose, which is a losing issue for them and was during the last midterm election.”

After rhetorically asking, “So, what do they have?”, Pelosi remarked, “So now they turn to the trans and drag communities because they think that that has some salience. I don’t know, does anybody really think that the drag issue is a threat? Of course not, so they’re going to lose on that too.”

Republican-led states across the country have implemented laws or policies that crack down on sex-change-related treatment for minors, which proponents say protects children while critics argue the rules attack “gender-affirming” care. GOP-led states have also moved to block transgender athletes from participating in female sports and prevent minors from being able to attend drag performances over concerns about sexually explicit content.

On the federal level, without the support of any Democrats, the GOP-controlled House voted last month to stop male athletes who identify as females from competing on girls’ and women’s school sports teams. The proposed ban, which targets federally-funded educational institutions, is unlikely to be enacted with the Senate and White House in control of the Democrats.

Pelosi, who has made headlines in recent years for her appearances on the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” show, went on to agree with the author’s assertion that what Republicans are doing is “frightening.”

“It is frightening. Because it’s about hate. When we did the hate crimes legislation, now this was a number of years ago, and we had the majority, we couldn’t get the bills to come to the floor, and to be able to vote on it on the floor,” Pelosi said.

“And so, people came to me and said, If you take out trans, you can pass the bill in one minute,” Pelosi continued. “I said, if we take out trans, we’re not passing the bill, because I’m not taking out trans. That’s just the way it is. Now this was probably like 2008 and 2009, so it’s a while ago, but here we are again today. We just must be really forceful in speaking out.”

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