Elon Musk Stirs Pot On Transgender Issues Again By Engaging With Controversial Elliot Page Meme

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk's engagement with a controversial meme sparks negative reactions on Twitter.
  • Meme suggests a link between autism and mistaken transgender identity in children.
  • Steve Silberman criticizes Musk's comments, calling him a 'standard-issue eugenicist.'

Elon Musk‘s engagement with a controversial meme, which provokes transgenders, has sparked a wave of reactions on Twitter.

What Happened: On Wednesday, a Twitter user engaged in “Drakeposting” by sharing an opinion about transgender individuals, featuring the transgender actor Elliot Page

The meme juxtaposed two images: one showing Page wearing a sweatshirt that reads “Protect Trans Kids” and the other with a photoshopped shirt reading “Sterilize Autistic Kids,” implying a connection between autism and transgender identity.

On the same day, Musk responded to another post by the same Twitter user, which shared an article that discussed the "horrifying proportion of children pursuing gender transitions who are actually autistic,” according to experts.

Musk’s response was, “And/or simply attracted to the same sex.”

Why It Matters: Steve Silberman, the author of “The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity,” expressed his dismay at Musk’s comments on the meme, considering it one of the most “vicious” online attacks on autistic people he has encountered. 

Silberman further criticized Musk, stating, “Not only is he not any kind of ‘savant,’ he’s a standard-issue eugenicist.”

He also highlighted that insisting autistic people and the medical community misinterpret autism as being trans is harmful to both autistic and transgender individuals.

Why It Matters: This Twitter interaction occurred against the backdrop of a rising number of anti-transgender bills in Republican states. Oklahoma has recently outlawed the provision of gender-affirmative healthcare to minors, while Reuters reported that Indiana and North Dakota have enacted laws targeting preferred names or pronouns in schools.

Musk’s Prior Swipes: This is not the first time the billionaire entrepreneur has been at the center of a similar storm. Last year, Musk defended Dave Chappelle after the comedian’s Netflix stand-up special, “The Closer,” was accused of being transphobic. Musk argued that comedy should not be restricted, and decried attempts to cancel the comedian.

Adding another layer to the issue is Musk’s own family dynamics. Last year, his child, Xavier Musk, sought a name change to Vivian Jenna Wilson. Alongside the name change request, Xavier also declared their gender identity.

Although Musk has not publicly addressed any potential conflicts with his children, his past tweets have demonstrated a mixture of skepticism and support regarding pronouns and gender identity.

In July 2020, Musk tweeted that pronouns suck. Another tweet in December 2020 saw Musk declaring support for those who are transgender, but speaking out about pronouns.

Read Next: Ron DeSantis Draws Disney CEO’s Ire Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Retaliation

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