Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021
News Every Day |

The latest viral COVID-19 conspiracy theory boosted by QAnon falsely claims vaccines turn children gay or trans

Vaccine

Summary List Placement

False allegations that COVID-19 vaccines turn children gay or trans are spreading rapidly on Telegram, the messaging-based social-media app. 

Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, an Iranian cleric who is known for spreading false medical claims, appeared to be the first to popularize the bogus claim in a post on Tuesday for his more than 210,000 Telegram followers, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Following Tabrizian's Telegram post, popular figures within the world of QAnon, the baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging Donald Trump is fighting to destroy a cabal of pedophiles, began to discuss the baseless claim. Influential QAnon channels, including one with more than 182,000 subscribers, began circulating the idea, using convoluted and inaccurate logic to question whether vaccinations could impact the gender and sexuality of children. These posts have tens of thousands of views. 

MelQ, a QAnon influencer with 57,000 Telegram subscribers, shared a news article that referenced Tabrizian's comments. The post, in which the influencer shared a conspiracy theory claiming that vaccines in general cause "Gender confusion," has 71,000 views as of Friday morning. A Telegram representative did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

There is no link between vaccinations and queerness, medical experts told Insider. Still, these claims continue to spread on Telegram among QAnon conspiracy theorists who cited comments from Tabrizian, whose field of medical advice is considered a threat by Iranian health officials

"There is certainly evidence that shows unvaccinated children are more likely to catch things like measles, but there is no relationship between vaccines or not being vaccinated and being queer or transgender," Dr. David Verhoeven, an expert in virology and professor of Vet Microbiology & Preventive Medicine at Iowa State University, told Insider. 

Medical experts say there is no link between vaccinations and queerness

Some of the claims say that the COVID-19 vaccines turn children queer or trans by somehow activating a recessive "queer" or "trans" gene passed down by the parents. 

According to Verhoeven, this theory is false for multiple reasons, the first being the vaccines don't integrate into human DNA at all and only activate the body's immune system against the coronavirus. 

"The only thing within the body that the vaccine 'turns on' is the immune system," Verhoeven said. "Since there is no 'gay gene' anyways, there is no connection between getting vaccinated for COVID or any other pathogen and 'turning' queer or transgender."

While researchers have tried for decades to find a specific gene that makes a person queer or transgender, no such gene has ever been found. 

The other portion of the theory asserts the combination of the vaccine coupled with soy products in our food supply would lead to more children being queer or trans. 

Again, Verhoeven said there is no evidence to back these claims, as certain East Asian communities have historically eaten many soy products with no disproportionate rates of queer or trans people.

"If we can stop looking at being queer or gay as some defect or disease that needs to be cured or prevented and just be accepting of diversity, society would certainly benefit," Verhoeven told Insider. 

The QAnon community has played a major role in spreading COVID-19 misinformation 

germany anti-lockdown protest qanon

QAnon influencers, like other far-right activists, have used their platforms to promote baseless conspiracy theories about COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. 

Marc-André Argentino, a PhD candidate at Concordia University researching extremism, wrote in an August report in The Conversation that the online QAnon ecosystem applied its "conspiracy mentality to the coronavirus crisis," beginning with the movement's belief that the virus was a hoax created to damage Trump's reelection chances. Even "Q," the anonymous figure whose cryptic messages originated the conspiracy-theory movement, has made false claims about the virus in posts on 8kun, a message board known for misinformation that's popular on the far-right. 

Throughout the spring of 2020, the QAnon community merged with other COVID-19 deniers, most of whom come from wellness and pseudoscience spheres, a September 2020 BBC News investigation found. Together, these groups have protested government-mandated lockdown orders in the US and Europe throughout the pandemic. 

MelQ, one of the QAnon influencers who spread Tabrizian's claims on Telegram, was one of the major proponents of coronavirus disinformation. 

Since the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were announced in December, conspiracy theories alleging these shots cause various health problems continue to go viral on social media. 

Facebook has since cracked down on vaccine misinformation, after false claims that the COVID-19 shots caused infertility circulated widely on the company's flagship app and on Instagram.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The best products for a full-glitter holiday look





Read also

Inside Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Kensington Palace living room – including some VERY sweet family photos

Canada's defense chief steps down amid military police probe just two months into his new role

CT Boston/Norton MA Zone Forecast




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

Marketing Automation & WordPress: Plugins & Tips to Get Started