Live from New York, it’s Molly Kearney here to stand up for trans kids’ rights! During the April 15, 2023 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Ana de Armas, Kearney stopped by the Weekend Update desk with an important reminder. But they didn’t just stop by. Nope! More like Molly dropped by. Descended from the heavens, even. (The ceiling, really). They said it’s because they’ve “wanted to fly down from the ceiling” for even longer than they’ve wanted to come share this message…but we’re thinking it’s more like they realized they needed to do something memorable.
Once the comedian was seated, it was time for a short jab at Republican lawmakers who are horribly “hung up” on trans people’s genitals. And then, right down to business. Update anchor Michael Che, a strange choice to be a part of the bit given his history of transphobic so-called “jokes” and the bored-looking response he had to Molly’s rightly passionate comments — even as the audience cheered — brought up the number of states with anti-trans healthcare bills in the United States. Most of these are targeting children. And Kearney said it about as plainly as anyone possibly could:
“Listen to that, Michael. Restricting healthcare for kids. For some reason, there’s something about the word ‘trans’ that makes people forget the word ‘kids.’ If you don’t care about trans kids’ lives, it means you don’t care about frickin’ kids’ lives.”
And that’s what it all boils down to. These people writing and supporting these laws, no matter how much they lie and say they’re about protecting children, or keeping youth sports “fair,” really just do not care about kids. At all. In fact, they care about no one and nothing but themselves, their desperate power grabs, and maintaining their hatred. And we can see right through them.
Also part of the segment, Kearney got in a slick little reminder that, first of all, it’s important to get people’s pronouns right. But, secondly, merely correcting someone else when they get it wrong isn’t enough. Especially not if you stand idly by — or, worse, just walk away — in the face of a real threat.
“You know, at one point, I heard a crew guy say, ‘is she gonna die up there?’ And then another guy was like, ‘you mean are they going to die up there.’ And then they both walked away and didn’t help!”
If you’re willing to leave trans people hanging right now (literally in Molly Kearney’s case during this bit, figuratively for most of y’all out there), then you’re just as ridiculous as this whole hanging from the ceiling, dropping by Weekend Update, mess. And no, SNL, letting Molly speak this once doesn’t absolve you of your many crimes over the years. Same goes for the fun confetti in the colors of the trans flag. It’s just not enough. Especially not considering some of your hosting choices this season alone.
To get back to the point, though, here’s hoping the outlandish stunt draws some much-needed attention to Kearney’s message. Because we desperately need it right now. And it’s bullshit that we’re leaving people like Molly, and like all the trans kids they were reaching out to as they once again ascended, hanging right now. Just like Molly said on the way back up to…wherever the stunt team brought the comedian to safety: It’s our job to protect trans kids — and all trans people.
We’d say we’re sorry if we didn’t find ourselves laughing during this whole segment, but really, we’re not. Because there’s nothing funny about the seemingly-constant barrage of transphobic laws being passed in this country. Especially the ones that target literal children. We have a feeling the lack of laughs was kinda the point. Either way, if Molly got through to just one person, or if just one viewer felt some comfort from being told to hang on, it was a win. We’d like an even bigger win, though. But we’re not holding our breath…and that sucks.
Watch Molly Kearney’s full segment from SNL‘s Weekend Update here:
Saturday Night Live airs Saturday nights at 11:30/10:30c on NBC.