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Fox News Uncritically Promotes Story of Trans Teen Who Identified as a Boy at Age Five

Reporter Brian Llenas claimed that trans issues have been “politicised” and that “people are afraid of what they do not understand.”

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In a segment on Friday, Fox News uncritically promoted the story of a transgender teenager who transitioned to a boy at age 5, as part of their LGBTQ+ Pride Month coverage.

The segment on America’s Newsroom, hosted by Dana Perino, focused on the story of Ryland Whittington, a biological girl who started her “journey of transitioning” at the young age of 5, supported by their parents.

“14-year-old Ryan Whittington is a typical southern Californian teenager,” Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas claimed, apart from being transgender. According to the Whittington family, even before she could speak, Ryland “managed to tell his parents that he is a boy,” with mother Hillary recounting that Ryland felt “painful” wearing feminine clothing.

“Unlike some trans kids, when Ryland came out at 5 a few years later, he had the full support of his parents,” Llenas reported. A YouTube video posted in May 2014, when Ryland was just 7, discussed her transition story, and reached national news, with a short film, “Raising Ryland,” featuring on CNN.

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The mother also wrote a book with the same title in 2016.

The story from Fox News, which is being broadcast as part of the network’s “America Together” programming for LGBTQ+ Pride Month continued, noting an uncritical quote from Ryland’s mother that gender and sexuality are different things, “and that children do recognise their gender identity very young.”

A second quote noted that the family had “listened” to Ryland, and that their decision was based on the mother’s “conservative” faith. “For me, it’s just a deep spiritual belief that we believe in God, and that He created us the way he wanted us, so then yes, He created Ryland just the way he is,” she said.

The Whittington family recounted that in transgender support groups, one father said that they were “lucky” to have supported Ryland so earlier, as their child had started self-harming.

“I’d rather have a living son than a dead daughter,” Hillary said. “I guarantee that if we had pushed back and done what a lot of parents do, I don’t think we would have one of the kids that you see before you here today.”

Following Ryland’s transition, the family had become active in campaigning on transgender issues. In 2021, he spoke at a press conference in favour of a travel ban by California state employees to other states that were not LGBTQ-friendly enough.

A still image from the event was included in the Fox News report, which clearly shows Californian state senator Scott Weiner standing behind Ryland. Weiner last week proposed “Drag Queen 101” should be part of the K-12 curriculum, successfully pushed a 2020 bill that that relaxed sex offender registry requirements, and stopped knowingly spreading HIV from being a felony in the state.

“The Whittingtons believe sharing their story could make a difference in another child’s life,” Llenas concluded in his report, saying that the family displayed “extraordinary courage.” He claimed that transgender issues had been “politicised,” and that “people are afraid of what they do not understand.”

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“This family hopes their story will lead to more understanding, more acceptance, and ultimately, more love,” he said.

Valiant News reported earlier this month that the Florida Health Department was looking to ban “gender affirming” treatment for transgender youth, saying that evidence for their effectiveness was severely lacking. While in Arizona, the state’s Department of Education pushed preteens to secretive, pro-transgender chat-rooms run by Planned Parenthood and others.

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Jack Hadfield
Written By

Jack Hadfield is the Associate Editor at Valiant News. An investigative reporter from the UK, and the director and presenter of "Destination Dover: Migrants in the Channel, his work has appeared in such sites as Breitbart and The Political Insider. You can follow him on Gab @JH, on Telegram @JackHadders, or see his other social media by visiting



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