Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are reportedly embracing the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine can make people gay.
It’s a claim previously shared by conservative religious figures, including an ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel and an Islamic cleric in Iran, who told their followers not to accept a coronavirus vaccine because those who have it “become homosexuals.”
Shayan Sardarizadeh, a reporter for the BBC, tweeted screenshots this week showing QAnon supporters on messaging app Telegram endorsing the conspiracy theory.
“Two of the biggest QAnon channels on Telegram, with 180,000 and 56,000 subscribers respectively, have endorsed the baseless conspiracy theory that vaccinating children increases the probablity of them identifying as homosexual or transgender at a later stage,” Sardarizadeh tweeted.
In one message, someone links to a news report about the Iranian cleric claiming the vaccine makes people gay, writing, “This is why we have Gender confusion among our youth.”
“Research how they put in hormones and alter DNA with their vaccines,” they continue. “Then pump our kids full of 50+ vaccines from birth!”
Another message features a series of questions, starting with, “At what rate would a child randomly receive the vaccinations to where the 50/50 split resulted in them receiving the opposite gender vaccine?”
The person asks if homosexuality is a “spectrum,” and if it’s “increasing or decreasing” in children “over time?”
They then suggest that vaccines could be the reason for people being gay.
“I have many homosexual friends that have said they have known they were different SINCE THEY WERE LITTLE KIDS,” they write. “They say they were born this way and it wasn’t their choice. When is your earliest memory? 4 years old? You’ve already received 50 vaccines by then in 2020.”
The person adds that increases in the number of gay people “[indicates] something in their environment is pushing it that direction.”
“Are unvaccinated children also homosexual or transgender? Idk. [I don’t know.] No one has done a study on it.”
They then suggest that soy and hormones in food and household products could be a cause, as well as “sexual abuse in children.”
QAnon is a disproven and discredited conspiracy theory that claims the existence of a secret cabal of Democratic politicians, government officials, and celebrities who are Satan-worshipping cannibals and operate a global child sex-trafficking ring.
It proliferated among Trump supporters who believed that the twice-impeached president would lead a day of reckoning known as the “Storm,” resulting in members of the cabal being arrested en masse.
Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene became the first person who embraces the conspiracy theory to be elected to Congress after winning an uncontested election in Georgia in 2020.
Earlier this week, an Iranian cleric warned more than 200,000 of his followers not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or go near those who’ve received it, because it turns people gay.
Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, who styles himself the Father of Islamic Medicine and rejects science-based medicine, said those who have been vaccinated “become homosexuals.”
Earlier this year, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel told his followers not to get any COVID-19 vaccine because it might “turn them” gay.
An Israeli LGBTQ group responded sarcastically to the rabbi’s claims, saying it was “gearing up to welcome our impending new members.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!