Caiden Cowger, 14-Year-Old Radio Host, Hates Gay People and Grammar

Caiden Cowger is a 14-year-old West Virginia boy with a radio talk show named after himself. If this doesn’t already sound strange, wait until we get to the next part! The Caiden Cowger Program episode broadcasted on May 26 included virulent anti-gay commentary centered around the idea that President Obama, the man who didn’t even believe in gay marriage for the majority of his political career, is making kids gay:

“President Obama, Vice President Biden is [sic] making kids gay,” Cowger declares. “If you’re encouraging you’re making kids gay. You are saying that it is all right to follow this belief, it is completely natural, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s not immoral.” In a follow up to his May 26th broadcast, Cowger backs up his argument by quoting scripture. He maintains that those who claim that he “speaking bigotry” are blaspheming against the bible by saying that the bible “is full of bigotry.”

On his radio show’s Facebook page, Cowger also specifically mentions Obama, stating  that “normal politicans kiss babys [sic] but this guy believed in aborting them.” The rant Cowger broadcasted on the 26th also described homosexuality as “sickening,” and included a segment in which he blamed the “It Gets Better” campaign – the extremely popular and famous social media effort to end gay bullying and suicides – for creating a tolerant and welcoming environment for the gays. I’m so glad we live in a tolerant and welcoming environment, y’all!

In the episode’s video footage, Cowger speaks (with rife grammatical errors) in front of a CCRadio logo and behind a PC. He recalls memories of his former friends who “became gay” through encouragement from the President and Dan Savage. He refers to homosexuality as a “perverted belief” and describes it as both immoral and a choice- “no matter what Lady Gaga says.” He laughs to himself prior to justifying gay bullying as attempting to “teach them to word of God.” Cowger, who knows a lot about being gay as a heterosexual homophobic man, goes on to declare that being gay is something people do for fun, and that is not a legitimate identity.

For reference, Cowger has interacted with Herman Cain and even once introduced him at a campaign event.

Cowger is undeniably one of the most articulate, intelligent, and influential voices of this generation.

His radio information can be found on Facebook, where he tells the story of his rise to Internet fame and names Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. “I make up my own mind. People don’t do that for me. I can make deside my own beliefs,” Cowger states. He continues, “Just because your young doesn’t mean you’re a brainless zombie! Some kids care too. I focus my life on real things like politics, not a stupid VIRTUAL video game. That is not going to get you any where in life. And before you liberals ask, I wrote this my self.”

The conservative tween’s show is broadcast on CCRadio, RSTR, and Spreaker Web Radio. His mere existence prompts multiple questions.

First of all, what movement is being led by a 14-year-old who failed middle school English class? Is it the conservative movement? For the record, Cowger has over 4,000 fans on Facebook. If this is the face of the conservative movement’s future, I am pretty sure gay world domination is in our very near future. Everyone please send flowers to the Caiden Cowger Program.

And secondly, who the hell are the 4,000 people listening to this? Even more concerning than the idea that a pre-pubescent boy feels the need to pass judgement on queer individuals publicly in a way that condones violence and hate is the fact that he has an audience of adults and other young adults. How is it that despite the amazing contributions queer people have made to the fields of academia, politics, and art, a kid who wears long-sleeved A&F shirts in his mom’s office to record YouTube videos has the right to disparage the entire community?

Cowger’s original footage is hard to find on YouTube: his follow-up tirade about how the Bible, a book that gives permission for slavery and the selling of women as property, is not bigoted has been deleted by the manager of his account. But on YouTube lives some of the most rewarding footage of all: video responses to his words by people within his age range. Hopefully, these kids with good background music are the future and Cowger is merely a relic of the past.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I love it when people play the “not natural” card. Makes me sure he’s never seen the “list of animals displaying homosexual behaviour” page on Wikipedia.

    • I hate that. It’s just such a stupid argument. I mean, what even counts as natural?

    • That argument is further made illogical by the fact that he runs a radio program and is on the INTERNET.

      What do people even mean by “not natural”? Maybe it’s not natural for them, but it surely is for other people. It’s obviously as natural as heterosexuality, just less common; it’s even displayed by humans AND other animals. The nature argument, is just a big pile of fallacies.

    • You know what’s not natural? Laptops, desks and microphones. But somehow it’s ok for him to use them. #Logic

  2. aw what a waste of a last name that looks like cowgirl.
    I can’t be mad at this kid, I feel bad for him and the other kids who are taught these things.
    Horrified and angry at parents, churches and communities who steal a child’s life in such an extreme way. Filling a childs life and thoughts with hate and lies, teaching them that violence and hate speech is acceptable, allowing them to be used as candy to trick kids into the van of a corrupt movement=gross.

    • I agree, when a person is young they are mostly repeating what they’ve been taught- but eventually (during adolescence) those beliefs become their own- this person is not a child, he should be old enough to know better. 14 is plenty old enough to know the difference between love and hate.

      • You don’t get many life experiences by fourteen. He’s probably never been taken out of the conservative bubble which is loving and supportive to him, though hateful of difference. Maybe he’s old enough to know the difference between love and hate, but I doubt he’s ever been forced to seriously examine the bile on which he’d been fed as a kid.

      • Seriously though having been around more than my fair share of kids this age they do not know shit about shit. They almost are developmentally incapable of it. There are some core personality traits in place but that’s about all.

    • Even though he’s 14, I think it’s still really important to try to understand why and how children like him end up this way, without blaming them. He seems to have been sheltered and well supported within the homophobic world he grew up in. He was taught to fear, oil to the water of logic. All that fear is tied up into his religious beliefs, his fate in heaven or hell. He’s a face of a part of this movement, a young sad and stupid face, but the conditions of that position probably ensure he’s even less likely to critically question the beliefs he once parroted and has now absorbed. Politicians, pundits, adults, and a movement have sanctioned his thoughts with their support of him. Why should he doubt himself when he’s being told he’s right by the people who treat him well? The people he is against, us liberals and gays I guess, are calling him a monster, hacking his online accounts, sending him hate mail, etc.

      Imagine you are fourteen, angry and mean. Someone disagrees with you, in an angry and mean way. Do you think you’d listen at that age? He’s in middle school, right? In my experience, when someone made me feel bad or threatened or wrong back then, even if it was totes my fault and I was wrong, I hated their guts for making me feel bad. He has shitty views, but he probably still has feelings.

      And if the bleeding heart approach isn’t convincing, SCIENCE.
      He’s 14! His brain is 14! His prefrontal cortex won’t be fully developed for another ten or so years. The prefrontal cortex controls executive function: “abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes).” I got that from wikipedia because I’m lazy but the book “Executive Functions and the Frontal Lobe: A Lifespan Perspective” is good (some relevant parts are on google books!), also “The Boy who was Raised as a Dog,” which is about young children/infants and more psych-based but FASCINATING and has a good appendix on early brain development.

  3. I fucking hate this. And I hate hating, but I hate this. I was born and raised in WV, and I know so many intelligent, articulate people who were as well…..but that’s not sensational. What works in media is showing all the loudmouthed, bigoted idiots who hail from WV including this little brat. No wonder people think so highly of us! I love that he calls out liberals as if we’re dying to know if those grammar mistakes are his own, or if his parents are just as stupid. I’m going to act like this never happened and hope he just goes away!

    • Totally no excuse for that shit. Ten years ago, I was fourteen too and my graphic work was miles better than that, and I have little to no visual artistic talent otherwise. >:| I’d say find a friend to help you, but I imagine this kid probably doesn’t have enough of them to give him hugs or something. :/

      • he needs someone with excellent attention to detail and colour co-ordination… talk about shooting yourself in the foot ;)

    • Oh my god that picture in the red shirt and the shell necklace.

      Could he look any more like a kid trying to sneak into a gay bar. I mean, really.

  4. But you guys… from his website:

    “Also, I have a A+ average, in English.”

    An A+ average. IN ENGLISH.

  5. I just feel sorry for this kid. Can you imagine being 14 and staring into a whole life of being that angry, bitter and hateful? It must be exhausting to maintain the level of spite it takes to put that kind of stuff out to the world.

    I mean, I hope he’ll mature and learn etc, but all that is inside him right now. I’m thinking he’s not having the worlds happiest childhood.

  6. thanks to the misogynistic homophobic patriarchy for creating the next generation of people we must unite against.

    oof. its just a bummer that this kid exists…so young.

  7. Hi. I’m Christian. And I’m also really effing gay. The Bible and us queerfolk correspond just fine. What DOESN’T correspond are those ‘christians’ who aren’t intelligent enough to look into the root of scripture, challenge traditional interpretation, and realize hey, God creates/loves/advocates gay people (true story). People like this have nothing better to do with their lives besides think they’re some radical who will ‘earn their way to heaven’ by hating ‘sinners’ that the rest of the world ‘loves.’ Um I’m sensing some hypocrisy here.

    Carmen, a lot of your posts can be rather angrily anti-Christian. I know a lot of pro-gay Christians (myself obviously being one of them) and I wish you wouldn’t generalize. We of all groups should know that stereotypes and poor behavior are the ones portrayed in the media, and aren’t necessarily true of the whole. I respect your beliefs, but I’d appreciate if you would respect mine.

    • Unless you as a Christian actively call out other Christians on being unChristlike, I reserve the right to think anyone with a religion they use to hurt others is guilty of harm and stupidity. Both practically and theologically, because I’m one of those snarky condescending atheists who doesn’t think any of your religion’s metaphysical claims hold water (or wine), boohoo.

      You can’t just cry “we’re not all like that!” without calling other Christians on their bullshit and actively demarcating and dissociating yourself from them, especially when another (far more minority) group you identify with is being systematically excluded/discriminated against. It is my hope you intend to send a strongly worded email or two, at leaaaast./s

      Being part of a minority means that you’re a representative of that minority to everyone you meet. As an atheist, I really fucking hate it when other atheists say “KILL ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE!” (this is not said often but some people are militant). It irritates me because now people have a distorted perception of what I believe. Likewise, though, I don’t have a right to complain unless I engage that atheist and rein them in.

      • Based on Emily’s comment, I’m going to guess that she does actively call out the unChristianlike behavior of other Christians. I think it also our job as humans to actively try not to generalize, and to give people the opportunity to tell us their own story, instead of making assumptions about them.

        Yes, the bible, if taken without any interpretation or analysis, has some pretty ugly parts to it. But it also has some really beautiful parts about the importance of love, service, equality, and community. While I’m not Christian, I respect the value that this book can have meaning for others and can be interpreted in ways that are free from bigotry.

      • Most of what tct said but also, I don’t get where this fatuous notion of ‘respect for belief’ comes from. I do not have to respect your beliefs. At all. I do have to respect you right to express them but in no way, shape or form am I obligated to respect your views, opinions or beliefs.

    • Also, on behalf of Carmen and the editorial staff, if I may, I request proof/supporting evidence of your claim that “a lot of [her] posts can be rather angrily anti-Christian.” I’ve seen no evidence of this.

      • Seriously, mild criticism of the actions of some Christians is hardly angrily anti-Christian. If she thinks this is bad, she would be scandalized if she heard the conversations I have with my brother

    • i don’t really know how to respond to this so i would like to do it in points.

      + i am a catholic who remains distant from the organized culture of catholicism but undeniably believes in god and the power of faith-based communities. i am pro-choice, pro-gay (duh), and other extremely ‘radical’ things for someone who believes that way.

      + i do not actively believe that people associated with religious communities are stupid, ignorant, or bigoted. i have never said i did. i do, however, separate myself actively from the organized catholic church because i do not wish to associate with an institution of hate and oppression. individuals who participate in an institution that harms others, and perhaps even themselves, must be willing to admit and own that while participating in change-making and revolution. this means accepting the faults of the bible and our organized religions, despite our love for our faith. i am allowed to criticize anyone who actively upholds an institution that oppresses me. as a queer woman of color, this is something i am not willing to concede.

      + i do not know exactly what you mean by “angrily anti-christian,” but i apologize if you ever felt i was attacking individuals and specific congregations and faiths within the christian umbrella when what i typically aim to convey is that organized religions use their power to actively silence and hurt LGBTQ people. i study extensively issues of gender, sexuality, and sex, and know that institutions – not individuals, but institutions with backing, funding, clout, and devoted following and believers – play a huge role in how our world functions and behaves, as well as what they believe.

      + i have written extensively in my sunday fundays and in daily fixes about the amazing work religious individuals and communities have done for LGBTQ progress. i hope you are reading those, too!

      • Thank you for writing this, Carmen. I know you were responding to another comment, but you very articulately stated where I come from, too. I grew up in a very conservatively religious household were religion was a lifestyle, not just a Sunday thing. It’s hard for me to explain sometimes to people I grew up with why I left and how I can actively speak against organized religion and call other christians out on their bull while still considering myself a christian.

        At its core, there is nothing Christ said that I disagree with. The words of some of His followers… Another story. I think the problem lies in people, and when people get together in big groups and try to interpret your heart and faith for you they’re bound to screw things up. It also gives people an excuse not to think or act for themselves. It’s pretty much the opposite of what Christ taught. The Bible never said “And Christ sat in a pew.” He bucked the system and actively tried to make the world a more caring and loving place while stressing personal responsability and the need to question societal norms. Weirdly, today’s mainstream christian religions are more like those religions in Christ’s time that He actively condemned. I’m proud and quick to say I’m a christian. I actively try to live a good life, have a personal connection with my God and try to make the world bettet. But I’m just as quick to denounce organizations that promote hate, bullying, forcing their beliefs on others, ignorance, intolerance and hypocracy. Faith or beliefs of any kind should be personal and precious, not forceful, organized and definitely not part of the legal system.

    • Wow! Someone really has no idea what they are talking about. Homosexuality corresponds with the bible? Didn’t know that, oh cause it’s not true. Yes, God does love everyone including homosexuals but he totally hates their sin. He wants you to see how much he loves you and gives you a choice to follow him. If you don’t choose him after all he’s done for you, you go to hell. Not heaven, hell. Yet another point. One we do NOT hate sinners, and two, no one can earn their way to heaven.

  8. wow, this article hit the wrong note for me. This kid is hurting. It’s awful and sad that he is expressing it through hate, and I really hope that people don’t take him seriously and that the people he bullies have strong support networks, but us hating on him doesn’t accomplish anything.

    • I agree. Also I feel like drawing attention to him is kind of just giving his words more power and that mocking him (especially because he is so young) is just taking us to a lower, uglier level. When I was his age I had some pretty anti-gay views, but as I aged and was educated those views were replaced by tolerance (and also the realization, that I, in fact, am a big ol queer). I am so so thankful now that I didn’t have a radio show when I was his age because I would be so embarrassed and ashamed now of the things I would’ve wanted to say then. And I think that’s probably what’s in store for this kid.

      Also, wouldn’t it be great if Obama really did have the power to make everyone gay? Then the world really would be like A-Camp!

    • Seriously. He is a child. He’s fourteen. I am not in any way defending what he says or believes but at the same time can you all imagine living in a world where every dumbass opinion you had as a kid was preserved on youtube forever? Also trolling/ridiculing/giving him attention are all pretty nasty responses, in my opinion. Already people are speculating about his sexuality, whether he’s a virgin, and so on. I know he put himself out there in the first place but come on. I wouldn’t have understood the consequences at fourteen. I bet very few of us would have.

  9. This kid is the embodiment of why I don’t miss junior high: terrible writing skills and fourteen-year-old boys who think that they know everything.

  10. I totally get why some people here are uncomfortable bashing this kid, seeing as most of the folks here are in their twenties. Unlike most of us, I’m 15, and I have absolutely no problem saying that I hate this kid and everything he stands for. I knew so many people like him, because they were the ones that bullied me into a depression severe enough for me to be put on medication when I was 11. I can only hope that he gets to know the pain and oppression that we all go through, but sadly since he’s a white, presumably straight, cis male, it’s incredibly unlikely.

    • I hear you. I too went through an incredible amount of bullying. (As an aside I hope you’re doing well now) Funnily enough though that is exactly why I don’t think that I, as an adult, should go out of my way to tear this kid down. I have more power than him, relatively speaking, and bullying is often founded on power differential. Still, I don’t in any way think what he’s saying is okay and he certainly shouldn’t be receiving any support for his opinions.

  11. Is it wrong that I want so badly to give this kid a wedgie? But I think his tighty whities are already in a bunch!

  12. If you watch the video on mute he has the looks and mannerisms of a not as intelligent/attractive version of Rachael Maddow.

  13. I’m slightly older than this kid (I’m 16) so i can say this is not entirely him being “young and stupid” this is him launching a deliberate attack – a verbal hate crime, if you will – on people who have done absolutely nothing wrong.

    He is going against research, logic, and just basic common sense. Don’t write him off as someone to be ignored, but don’t give him too much publicity or he’ll think he’s doing the right thing in hating people. He’s at the age where he starts questioning things and cementing his beliefs, so if someone doesn’t break through to him soon, he’s going to be this way for a LONG time.

    I am sickened by what some people in my generation are becoming….

  14. Cowger evokes more sadness than anger. I remember being 14, and can say with certainty that I was an incomplete person with a limited perspective of the world. I hope that Cowger goes to college one day, and spends time meeting the people he is currently so virulent in passing judgement on. I hope he learns tolerance and understands that his personal beliefs do not trump the rights of those who believe differently. It is also sad to think that his program and this bigoted image will haunt him into adulthood. It will probably destroy countless opportunities for him and taint his day-to-day interactions and relationships until people eventually forget that he was a symptom of a deeply flawed system of values. Honestly, I wish the best for Cowger. I hope that he outgrows his ignorance. I hope that he channels his energy into something truly productive and manages to shed this bigoted persona before it’s too late.

  15. This kid’s idol is Glenn Beck. He even copied his logo from Glenn Beck TV. This kid wants nothing more than to offend “liberals” (see: rational human beings) and get a bunch of attention. And we’re all giving it to him. Don’t be surprised if he actually gets to meet Glenn Beck after this. Really, everyone needed to just ignore this because it’s stupid and we have no reason to care what some 14-year-old that no one listens to says.

  16. If this is the face of the conservative movement’s future, I am pretty sure gay world domination is in our very near future <— THIS (… made me LOL)

    I laughed, as I often do when I see outrageous things like these because it's really hard for me to take them seriously. And often, I end up brushing them off as religious nut-jobs (unlike other, gay friendly and generally liberal religious people I know and love) who don't deserve my time and energy.

    But the problem with the crazies is that they're loud. And they sometimes are in postions of power —religious or political, or otherwise advantageous and privileged, right? or radio shows with 4,000 followers and then you think how Riese only has 3,263 twitter followers and you're like … really?

    That's why this kid gets our attention – because he's arealdy gotten that of a lot of other young and impresionable minds, and worse, adults' minds who have money who give the kid a space and a mic to spread his hateful and grammatically incorrect message.

    I liked that this article made me laugh, cause Autostraddle is good at that, but it's also good with connecting with other young teens who need to hear that this is ridiculous, but also enraging. I hope those kids pic up a mic too, and get like, a billion followers.

  17. “And before you liberals ask, I wrote this my self.”

    HEAVEN FORFEND we think that anyone other than you produced such shining prose as “I can make deside my own beliefs.”

  18. This kid upsets me for so many reasons, but the things that people are writing on his facebook page have upset me even more. For every single bit of support he receives there are at least 20 ridiculously offensive comments- mostly left by people much older than him. There’s no way this child will ever learn to be less hateful if this is all he is presented with. Ironically enough the majority of these comments accuse him of being gay and totally bash him for it; they bully him using language harsher than his own. Obviously the left has just as much mindless hate for the right as they do for us. If this is the face of the liberal movement’s future, then I’m pretty sure we’re all just doomed.

  19. If this is who the GOP and their supporters are listening to, everything makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW.

  20. Really though, when I was 14, the only dumb things I was doing was deciding to start watching Glee.

    Caiden, you need to check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self, son.

  21. This is sad/angry-making for. But as an instructor of low-literacy adults who were churned through the meat-grinder educational system, I do wish people would stop using grammar/spelling errors as a way to make fun of people they don’t like.

    • THANK YOU. Hell I know many intelligent pro-LGBT people who can’t type worth a damn, but that doesn’t make their argument any less invalid.

      Why are we giving him any attention when he’s likely not even the only 14-year-old saying this sort of thing? It’s not that hard to make your own radio/TV program now (easy to dress up podcasts and Youtube vids as something more substantial). It does seem a bit like picking at small fry – because the bigger structural stuff is too hard to handle?

      • *any less valid! hahahaha yup, I think there is some Internet law about how if you’re commenting on grammar mistakes you’re bound to make one yourself.

  22. You guys, if I paid attention to what 14 year olds had to say I would be angry, like, 90% of the time. A lot of 14 year olds are quite ignorant and make bad decisions/say things that they will regret when they’re older. Why is this even a thing on autostraddle and why are all of these grown women hitting back at a child who said something hurtful about them? Ignore him and he’s powerless.

  23. I am all for that “empowering and hearing the youth” stuff but this is just plain insane. It is impossible that he came up with this on his own. I have a 13 year old intelligent and beautiful niece who knows about me being gay but she never speaks that way. It is all about what these kids’ parents, relatives, significant others at home are saying/showing because they pick it up. Hence the term ‘Tablura ras.’ He is still a kid and what he hears, his brain will act like a sponge absorbing it all up. It’s not that we are imposing that homosexuality is okay because to each his own. But to say awful things like that, it’s just insensitive and downright ingnorant.

  24. Whenever people play the “it’s a choice card/they don’t have to be that way” all it makes me think is that they probably have HUGE homosexual feelings and urges and they choose to ignore them because they’re afraid to be gay. So thank you Caiden Cowger you practically came out you tiny Rush Limgaugh you.

  25. I kinda feel sorry for the kid. I think he is partly confused (obviously environmental influences) and can’t come to terms with his own latent homosexuality. He is still young and hopefully will come into his own with some better influences and experiences. Once he meets a special guy when he’s matured then hopefully all of this will seem a bit silly to him. Otherwise he will just be another self hating homosexual.

  26. Okay I know this comment is way late, but Bill Maher did a really hilarious send-up of this kid (and little-kid conservative pundits in general) as one of his final New Rules on his show:

    (This was the episode with Rachel Maddow so probably everyone saw it anyway, but I’m putting it here just in case someone didn’t.)

  27. Do you even listen to him? Seriously, doubt it. He doesn’t hate homosexuals he hates their sin. Others don’t want to be accountable for their sin and just say, oh no I was born this way, it’s natural. Not a reliable article.

  28. Bad grammar and bad manners. That kid has his head so far up his arse that he can’t hear anything.

    “Never mess with an old queen with AIDS and an attitude problem!”

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