In this handout image provided by UFC, Bryce Mitchell poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on October 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada Source: eff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Watch: UFC Featherweight Bryce Mitchell Claims Public Schools 'Turn' Kids Gay, Plans on Homeschooling His Son

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

No one is looking to UFC champions to provide erudite social commentary, but UFC featherweight Bryce Mitchell – a.k.a. Thug Nasty – has made the eyebrow-raising claim that public schools somehow "turn" children gay.

The 29-year-old Arkansas native took to X (formerly Twitter) via the MMA Mania account with a video in which he held his newborn son, boasted about his weight and health, and urged parents "not to vaccinate your children because I think it's bad for their health, potentially kill 'em... make 'em autistic."

That claim, which has long been debunked, wasn't the only bit of misinformation Mitchell had to offer.

"Tucker's also gonna be homeschooled," Mitchell told the camera, saying "we're gonna have to homeschool our kids, or they're all gonna end up turning gay!"

Mitchell went on to add, "I don't want him to be a communist, I don't want him to worship Satan, I don't want him to be gay."

There is no medical or scientific evidence that children who are born heterosexual can be "turned" gay. Rather, sexuality is thought to be a complex issue but essentially innate and determined primarily by biological factors. A number of studies have also linked homosexuality to birth order, with male older siblings more prevalent in the families of both gay men and lesbians, suggesting hormonal factors affecting embryonic development play a role. In short, LGBTQ+ people are, in the words of Lady Gaga, "born this way."

Nor are claims that LGBTQ+ people can be "turned" straight credible; if anything, responsible health care professionals warn that so-called "conversion therapy" can be harmful to LGBTQ+ people while doing nothing to "convert" them.

If you're not already laughing at Mitchell's fact-free assertion that public schools somehow "turn" kids gay (or communist, or into devil worshippers), just wait for what comes next: Mitchell decried what he described as the Bible being taken out of schools and replaced with the writings of American author Edgar Allan Poe, a poet and short story writer known for his contributions to early detective fiction and speculative fiction, though he is more widely remembered for his work in the horror genre.

As to why the writings of Poe are any more likely to "turn" kids gay, or transform them into devil-worshipping communists, than any other author of horror fiction (Stephen King, for example), Mitchell offered the observation that Poe had "shacked up with his cousin."

As a matter of historical fact, Poe married his first cousin, Virginia Clemm, when he was 27 and she was 13.

"My son ain't gonna be reading no Edgar Allan Poe, okay? He's gonna be reading the Bible. That's just how it is."

Mitchell's claims hardly amount to a KO – unlike his recent losses in the ring.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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