Photo of Pride parade participant edited to make shirt read ‘trans kids are sexy’

By: Ishita Goel
June 8 2023

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Photo of Pride parade participant edited to make shirt read ‘trans kids are sexy’


The Verdict False

The original image showed no such text on the t-shirt of the individual attending the Pride rally. The photo has been digitally altered.

Claim ID 393f6cf7


June is typically celebrated as Pride Month, where events are dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the LGBTQ+ community around the globe. 

Social media has seen an uptick in misinformation targeting the community, with several posts circulating. One such image shows a participant at what appears to be a Pride rally with the words "trans kids are sexy" printed on his T-shirt. Users have shared the image with captions expressing outrage: "The mindset required to think showing off a t-shirt that says 'trans kids are sexy.' One social media user posted the image alongside an image of the same merchandise on a website with a lengthy caption saying, "This is the disgusting world we live in...The words kids and sexy should never be in the same sentence."

However, the photo has been digitally manipulated and the text on the participant's t-shirt has been added.

In Fact

On conducting a reverse image search, we found that the original picture is from 2021. On November 8, 2021, a local newspaper of Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley in Southern California, Desert Sun, published photos from the November 2021 Palm Springs Pride Parade. In the collection of photos, we spotted the viral image of the person with the description, "The Desert Flaggers perform along Palm Canyon Drive during the Palm Springs Pride Parade in downtown Palm Springs, Calif., on November 7, 2021." The photo, which was credited to Taya Gray, shows the participant wearing a plain white t-shirt with a Pride flag in either hand. 

In another report dated November 7, 2021, which also carried the same pictures, Desert Sun reported that after missing out in 2022 owing to the pandemic, the 2021 Pride parade, part of the 35th annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival, was held with elaborate floats and big crowds. Palm Springs Pride is a nonprofit community enhancement organization that holds an event every year in November called the "Annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival."

Similarly, on November 17, 2021, a YouTuber posted a video with footage of the Pride rally, captioned: "Palm Springs Pride Parade November 7, 2021." The description of the over one-hour-long video stated that it showed the 35th annual Greater Palm Springs held in California on November 7, 2021. At the 28:54 timestamp, we spotted the same participant wearing a plain white t-shirt. 

As mentioned, several social media users shared alleged screenshots of companies and printing agencies selling the t-shirts bearing the offending text. In one such image we spotted on Facebook, we noticed that the screenshot purported to be from a website called "etsytees." On searching on their website, we couldn't find any such merchandise available. However, we did come across at least one other site selling similar t-shirts.

The Verdict

It is clear that the individual in question did not wear a t-shirt with the legend "trans kids are sexy" to a 2021 Pride parade, and the viral photo has been altered to add the text on their clothing. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before