WASHINGTON -- A week after popping the marriage question to his girlfriend at a White House LGBT reception, a transgender man has released a video response to conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham and others who condemned the proposal, which was caught on tape and posted on YouTube.
"Somehow our proposal unleashed a wave of anti-trans and LGBT backlash," reads the description of the video response posted by Scout, whose name is legally one word. Scout goes on to say in the video that there are "a few people who seem to have a problem with a trans guy proposing to his girlfriend at the White House. We just wanted to respond to a few of those folks."
The video shows Scout reading aloud some of the criticisms he has gotten since news of his proposal gained traction on the Internet.
"For the people who titled the post, 'She-Man Proposes To Girlfriend,' we just want to note that I am actually not a superhero. I, of course, play one on TV," he says. "To the blog that was titled, 'Freak Show,' we just want to remind you that it's actually Dr. Freak Show show to you."
News of the proposal even caught the attention of leading conservative voices like Ingraham and the American Family Association (AFA). Earlier this week, Ingraham tweeted "oh no" with a link to The Huffington Post story on the proposal. Similarly, AFA's Bryan Fischer tweeted a link to the HuffPost story with the comment, "Woman who thinks she's a man proposes to a woman who thinks she's a woman at a White House reception."
Scout had a response for them, too.
"To Laura Ingraham, a Fox News anchor who expressed dismay at seeing the news, we just want to say, do not worry. We will absolutely invite you to the wedding," Scout says. As for Fischer, who Scout accidentally referred to as Miss Brianna Fischer, "We will offer you free LGBT cultural competency training."
Scout's fiancé, Liz Margolies, also made a video response, though hers is more personal and about her relationship with Scout.
There are some "people who think we're mutants and horrible people," said Margolies, who is executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network in New York City. "But we're just regular people struggling to do good in the world."
Scout, who is director of the Fenway Institute's Network for LGBT Health Equity, said that despite the harsh comments, most of the feedback he and Margolies have gotten has been positive.
"The real truth here is that there were so many more congratulations," he said. "We're feeling the love."
Still, Scout recalls being a suicidal 16-year-old who was terrified about coming out. Now that he has been an out transgender person for decades and feels more at peace with himself, he said his biggest concern is that LGBT youth are hearing the same kind of hateful speech and struggling to get past it.
"Last I heard, there's a few more youth dealing with that issue right now," Scout says. "So for all the people showing us the love right now, we just really want to encourage you to please remember what the government tells you: If you see something like this, say something. Because there is way too many LGB and especially T youth out there ... [who] deserve to feel like they are cherished and loved."
The video ends with a phone number to an LGBT helpline splashed on the screen.
"Thank you for the love," Scout says at the end. "We hope you keep passing it on, especially in the face of this other stuff that goes on."
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