WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation today released a strong rebuke to YouTube for censoring a video that featured comments from Walt Heyer, a well-known speaker who formerly identified as transgender.
YouTube removed Heritage’s video of a panel discussion that featured Heyer, who said, “This is a childhood development disorder,” in reference to gender dysphoria in children.
The panel was part of Heritage’s event, “Summit on Protecting Children from Sexualization,” which was held in October 2019. During the event, experts including Heyer described the irreversible consequences of experimental hormones and surgeries for treating gender dysphoria in children.
“While we presented YouTube with plenty of evidence that there was no reason to remove this video, our appeal was denied,” said Rob Bluey, vice president of communications at The Heritage Foundation and executive editor of The Daily Signal. “Suppressing valid medical information is not only anti-science, this is part of an alarming trend of YouTube removing or blocking content that it doesn’t like.”
This is the second time YouTube has removed a Heritage Foundation video from its platform. In November, The Daily Signal revealed that YouTube was censoring the words of Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician who warned about giving puberty blockers to young children.
What is striking is that Heyer’s comments about gender dysphoria aren’t unique. This objective characterization of gender dysphoria has been used by National Institute of Health, the British Psychological Society, and many scientific and medical journals. YouTube even has an uncensored video on its platform with a transgender activist doctor who gives a TED Talk about gender dysphoria using similar language. And YouTube hosts a video of someone who identifies as transgender saying the same thing.
“For an issue as complex as gender dysphoria, patients deserve to have viewpoints from all sides,” said Emilie Kao, director of the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. “YouTube continues to host videos that use the same terms that Walt Heyer did for gender dysphoria but happen to support hormonal and surgical treatments. They have weaponized their ‘hate speech’ policy to shut out viewpoints they don’t agree with, and the biggest loser in all of this are patients suffering from gender dysphoria.”
Heritage has reposted Heyer’s full remarks without the six words that YouTube deemed as “hate speech.” Click here to watch the video.