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Speculation persists despite officials clarifying Philadelphia shooting suspect is not transgender

Right-wing social media speculates about gender identity of Philadelphia shooter.

In the aftermath of a mass shooting in Philadelphia, right-wing factions of social media wasted no time in speculating about the suspect's gender identity. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, known for amplifying conspiracy theories and anti-LGBTQ sentiments, tweeted a link to an article that includes an image from the suspect's Facebook page, suggesting that the suspect may be transgender. Other conservative commentators and organizations, such as Rogan O'Handley and Secure America Now, also joined in, fueling the speculation.

However, the suspect, Kimbrady Carriker, has not identified themselves as transgender. Asa Khalif, a member of the LGBTQ advisory committee for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, condemned the "violent" language coming from the conservative press and emphasized that the suspect has only identified themselves as male. Khalif criticized the targeting of trans women of color and urged against labeling trans people as "killers."

This incident is part of a concerning trend where conservative lawmakers and right-wing pundits attempt to blame mass shootings on trans people or spread conspiracy theories about shooters being trans. Similar false claims have been made in the past, such as after the 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and the 2018 shooting at YouTube's headquarters in California. These claims have gained traction despite being unsubstantiated and have contributed to an increase in anti-LGBTQ hate and extremism incidents.

It is important to note that the spread of misinformation about mass shooters' gender identities coincides with a wave of state bills targeting LGBTQ people. Over 490 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country this year, with many specifically targeting the lives of trans individuals. This hostile environment has created a dangerous climate for the LGBTQ community and underscores the need for accurate information and understanding.

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