Hatred can be so oblivious to itself

Beth Bourne is an administrator at the UC Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies. She is also the president of her local Moms for Liberty chapter. She took off to Hawai’i for vacation, and discovered that the native people have a tradition she does not like at all.

Māhū (‘in the middle’) in Native Hawaiian and Tahitian cultures are third gender people with traditional spiritual and social roles within the culture, similar to Tongan fakaleiti and Samoan fa’afafine. Historically, the term māhū referred to people assigned male at birth (AMAB), but in modern usage, māhū can refer to a variety of genders and sexual orientations.

According to present-day māhū kumu hula Kaua’i Iki:

Māhū were particularly respected as teachers, usually of hula dance and chant. In pre-contact times māhū performed the roles of goddesses in hula dances that took place in temples which were off-limits to women. Māhū were also valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies. Traditionally parents would ask māhū to name their children.

The hotel she was staying at was hosting a māhū luncheon. In public, no less. They were relaxing in the lobby! Well, now how can a conservative white American deal with that? By tantrums, hysterical accusations, demanding to see the hotel manager, and calling for the police, of course.

What shocks me is that Beth Bourne herself recorded her ridiculous melt-down and proudly posted it on Twitter for all to see. She put on a spectacle of intolerance, hatred, and stupidity, while the māhū sat quietly, calmly, gracefully, and responded politely, and she thought we’d all see how awful drag queens are by posting it? Weird. The police came, and escorted Bourne off the hotel premises, and UC Davis issued a rebuke, and she still thought this was a good idea? I’m much more impressed with Marina Del Rey’s response.

I think it’s telling that this video stirred up strong emotions in many viewers. There was prior dialog from her ahead of what I filmed and ultimately she was taken off the property by the @honolulupd. I would like to say a huge THANK U again to the @alohilaniresort for your care and concerns during and after, to all of us…. those within witness – guest or staff – many extended compassion of which Im very very grateful.
To give some context – a few of us were on the hotel property to film a video for an upcoming pageant, playing roles as hotel staff in drag. This woman saw us filming and came to a slow burn and then she popped off. Her rant went on and on – possibly with the attempt to get a riled angered response. She didn’t get one. In this video – you see my perspective. In her video – u will see three drag queens surrounded by staff and guests – just sitting down.
Im not here to figure her out, incite hate against her, or call her names —— Im here to remind you, many meet worse daily, the ugliness of this happens without regard to where, why, how etc….Even in the lobby of your hotel.
Love more on those beside you. Love on those who are turned away by their own….and thank u to everyone who has sent messages of concern and care. we are all okay. A little shook & saddened but grateful to the people we were in the company of and everyone who reached out. and still keeping faith in humanity.🤙🏼


  1. cheerfulcharlie says

    Well, Beth. You can always just go away if it all bothers you. Hawaiians are not obligated to abandon centuries old cultural traditions because some angry Karen grunts and squeals like am angry sow. Squeeeeeeellll! She deserves to be on the persona non grata lists of every hotel in Hawaii.

    Effing right winged, ignorant, religious bully.

  2. nomadiq says

    The grace with which the Māhū dealt with this is awesome. In another way it is also blasé. It must be strange to have some random foreigner come to your lands and complain about your identity within your culture when your culture and culture group, generally speaking, accept you. Hawaii is hungry for tourist dollars, but again, generally speaking, not that hungry. Please, Beth, don’t go back. And tell your bigoted friends to not go too. Keep Hawaii Hawaiian. Mahalo.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    If 45 becomes president again, maybe Hawai’i should secede (and possibly join Canada). The annexation of 1898 was legally iffy, even by US law.

  4. andersk3 says

    This made me think of something Hank Green posted to Twitter recently:

    “I think curiosity is the best human emotion because while love is the opposite of hate, the source of hate is fear, and curiosity is the opposite of fear.”

  5. Akira MacKenzie says


    Yes, the “liberty” of white, cis-hetero, capitalist, Christians to abuse those who aren’t..

    As noted, the Māhū showed incredible and impressive amount of patience towards this bigot from the mainland. I’m guessing this isn’t their first encounter with such scum. It’s far, far more tolerance (and physical restraint) than I would have shown Bourne if she were to berate me for not being like her.

  6. robro says

    Perhaps Beth should do more research before traveling to exotic places. I hear acceptance of third gender people exists in other parts of the world, even among some indigenous people’s of North America. In fact, perhaps Beth should just stick to Davis, although I suspect that UC Davis has its fair share of third gender people walking around on campus.

    Interesting that Beth couches her disapproval in terms of concern about what children are exposed to. I suppose raving intolerance and bigotry is OK, but I thought there was something in one of those bibles she probably clutches about loving everyone.

  7. raven says

    This is a lot like the recent incident in southern Utah, where a woman decided she was the clothing police.
    She grabbed a 19 year old girls skirt and pulled it down because she thought it was too short.

    She is now being charged with sexual battery.
    She also as she claimed, worked for the Utah Attorney General’s office in some low level job. She was fired a few days later.

    Sometimes even in Utah, Karma happens.

    Utah woman in viral TikTok charged with sexual battery after pulling teen’s skirt down in restaurant
    The woman called St. George police herself, reporting that the TikTok video was a “threat on her life,” police documents state.

    A Utah woman was charged with sexual battery Thursday after she told police she pulled another woman’s skirt down in a St. George steakhouse because she believed the skirt was “inappropriate.”
    (St. George Police Department via Facebook) A Utah woman was charged with sexual battery Thursday after she told police she pulled another woman’s skirt down in a St. George steakhouse because she believed the skirt was “inappropriate.”

    By Jordan Miller Salt Lake Tribune
    | April 26, 2024, 11:59 a.m. | Updated: 5:17 p.m.

    A 48-year-old Utah woman featured in a viral TikTok video accusing her of being a “Karen” was charged with sexual battery this week after she told police she pulled a teen’s skirt down at a St. George steakhouse because she felt it was “inappropriate.”

    The woman was arrested days after she called police herself, reporting last Saturday that the TikTok video amounted to a “threat on her life” because it insinuated that her interaction with the 19-year-old at least two hours earlier was “sexual in nature,” police documents state.

    The video posted to TikTok did not show the woman pulling down the teen’s skirt, but it did show her interacting with the teen’s group in the lobby of Sakura Japanese Steakhouse after the alleged assault.

    “I happen to work for the state, and if I have to watch your a– cheeks hanging out again, I will call CPS,” the 48-year-old woman can be heard saying in the video, seeming to refer to the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.

    “She’s over 18,” one of the people in the teen’s group responded.

    “She is 19 years old,” another said.

    “You don’t get to touch her,” someone added.

    The woman’s name was not found within an initial search of public salary data. A state employee directory, however, lists an email and phone number for a person with the same name and indicates the individual works with the Utah attorney general’s office.

    “We are aware of the situation and are following [attorney general’s office] policies and procedures,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

    The woman’s 911 call came about two hours after she had initially called police about the teen, reporting that the teen’s skirt was hiked up above her genitals while in the view of several minors, police documents state. The woman felt steakhouse staff and other adults were not addressing the issue.

    In that call, she told police she “pulled [the teen’s] skirt down and told her to be aware of what she was showing,” according to a probable cause statement for the woman’s arrest.

    No officers went to the restaurant after her first call, police records indicate, and no officers went to meet her after her 911 call about the video.

    Instead, a St. George police officer made contact with the woman the next day. The woman told the officer she felt it was “her responsibility” to approach the teen and pull her skirt down, because a young boy had seemed to point at the teen’s skirt, and the boy’s father — neither of whom the 48-year-old had any relation to — “did nothing about it,” the document states.

    She explained that her intent behind threatening to call “CPS” was to file a report alleging the teen had indecently exposed herself to the boy.

    The woman added that she believed the 19-year-old she approached was a minor. The officer replied that “the belief the victim was a minor, should have been more reason to not touch the victim,” the document states.

    The officer also countered that while the woman asserted she could see the teen was nude under her skirt, the teen provided evidence to suggest she was wearing underwear and shorts under her skirt and was not being lewd in public.

    The woman also argued she never touched the teen, “she had only touched the female’s skirt,” the officer wrote.

    “I explained to [the woman] that she had still engaged in criminal behavior by touching the female’s clothing, and that her behavior was not appropriate,” the officer continued.

    But he did not arrest her that day. The next day, on Monday, the young woman whose skirt was pulled down came forward, reporting to investigators that the 48-year-old woman had sexually assaulted her by putting her hands up her skirt and groping her, police documents state.

    Seven other witnesses came forward and filed statements consistent with the young woman’s report. The teen told authorities that her friend had posted the TikTok video in an attempt to identify the woman who touched her. The teen also provided police with a separate video of herself in the skirt she wore that night.

    The 48-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual battery on Thursday. She was booked into the Washington County jail after her arrest, but released on bail Thursday after paying $1,000.

  8. seversky says

    A tad ironic that a Moms for Liberty official does not allow the drag queens the liberty of being unmolested by bigots in public.

    Maybe there should be a separate public order offense of behaving like a “Karen” in a public place.

  9. stuffin says

    That was just awesome! A crazed white Christian Nationalist trying to spread Christianity to the indigenous people of Hawaii. The target of Beth’s hate remained sooo calm. Best comments: We know it’s about hate” and “You’re gonna be OK.” Beth must be the owner of one small comfort zone. The only thing missing was Beth’s Myocardial Infarction.

  10. Chris Dicus says

    I live in Davis and see the real-world consequences of Beth’s actions all the time. Beth has a trans daughter and blames the Davis school system for this. For that, most of her anger is directed at the Davis schools. She is no longer welcome on any of the school campuses, but that doesn’t stop her from outing to her MfL followers any activity she finds supportive of gay/trans students. She will even identify individual teachers if they have a supportive sign in their classroom window.

    Thanks to Beth and her MfL goon squad, Davis schools has been the recipient of many bomb threats. Individual teachers get death threats at their home. I have many messages from the Davis school system starting with “Your child is safe…” and I know that Beth posted something new and her followers somewhere else in the country called in a bomb threat. They even targeted our public library for a while, a place where Davis kids like to hang out after school.

    She is ridiculous, and it is gratifying to see just how reviled she is here.

  11. says

    Conservatives joke about people like us being easily “triggered,” but at the same time, they love to go through meltdowns like this. As far as I can tell, they’re competing to top each other on performative meltdowns.

  12. Walter Solomon says

    Also note the persecution complex (“this is misogyny!”) and privilege (I paid money so I shouldn’t have to see you) mixed in with her hate.

    For the right, and she’s undoubtedly right-wing, to criticize other marginalized communities for having a “victim mentality,” they certainly love playing the victim awful lot and usually while they’re harassing someone else.

  13. Bruce Fuentes says

    Why does she think she should be able to determine how I, or any other parent, should raise our children? Why should she, and her ilk, be the arbitrators of appropriate behavior and dress? Why do my parental rights only exist as long as the agree with her rules.
    I have LGBTQ+ friends and family members. A decades long friend is transgender. I will gladly “expose” my children to them.

    When was the last time you heard of a drag queen arrested for or accused of sexual acts with a minor?
    In 2022 the Southern Baptist Convention released a list of 700 alleged. church-related sexual abuse offenders. The Catholic Church had over 1300 reports in the US alone. In the last week a couple more Pastors have been credibly accused.
    This is not an attack on religion or churches. It is reality. Are there pedophile drag queens? Yeah, I am sure there are. In any large group of people, you will get pedophiles. In any large group of people the good, law abiding people will outnumber the vile people. Do not presume that whatever groups you identify with are inherently better than those you do not identify with. Clean up your own houses instead of attacking innocent people.

  14. says

    The person she was accosting handed that with such grace and aplomb that they should be commended.
    Shrieker: I demand to see the manager!
    Māhū: He’s right there…

    Also, she paid $3k to stay at the hotel, so that, of course, gives her the right to degrade and abase someone sitting quietly who was invited to be there. Poster child for undeserved privilege.

  15. christoph says

    She must know that sexual reassignment surgery doesn’t involve cutting off the penis. It’s surgically reshaped, not removed.

  16. mamba says

    #17, Ha! You think she bothers to educate herself on anything related to trans-life? It might interfere with her blind hatred and ignorance, and that would make her uncomfortable. I’m 100% certain that nothing she had to say had any relevance to reality of trans people, and the person being yelled at knew it.

    Probably why they just casually sighed internally and shot her down without engaging…they knew there was no real point. They weren’t going to correct her, educate her, or pacify her…so let her bury herself in her filth instead. As others said, commendable and frankly more civilized than I’d be capable of in that situation.

  17. says

    Bruce @14
    That’s how I view the distribution of child predators, with the additional nuance that rapists in general, including child molesters, are naturally attracted to positions that involve a lot of respect, power, and implied virtue. So, yeah, it makes sense to me for a lot of “holy” leaders to wind up with sexual assault allegations.

    Not familiar with the drag scene, and less so with the māhū, but unless they’ve got a hierarchy that exalts powerful leaders and hesitates to defy them, I doubt they’re going to have nearly as many predators among them. Religion, meanwhile, does exactly that to the point that it’s a stereotype. Remember once being creeped out by a story about a Buddhist temple covering up one of their leaders’ crimes, so I doubt it’s limited to Abrahamic faiths.

    The existence of predators in a group is a sad near-inevitability. Protecting them with a cover-up instead of reporting and ostracizing them is the scandal.

  18. microraptor says

    seversky @9: Never trust any organization who’s name involves liberty, freedom (as a general concept), or patriotism.

  19. Doc Bill says

    Two things stood out to me. First, how utterly privileged and entitled Beth thinks she is. Oooooh, she paid money to stay at a hotel, therefore she is entitled – well, entitled to what, exactly? Pretty much limited to fresh towels, I think. More about entitlement below.

    Second, Beth, the lying coward, attempted to shield her naked bigotry behind “protecting children.” What a crock! But, that’s the white christian nationalist playbook – deflect.

    So, eons ago when I was a grad student in London, very early on I became an American chameleon. It wasn’t long after arriving that I bought a change of wardrobe, as much as I could afford, including a tatty, old scarf. I learned not to say much in public. What pushed me over the edge was an encounter at a pub where a loud American tourist couple were complaining about everything. “I want ice in my drink! I can’t drink my drink without ice! Why can’t I get some ice!” she screamed at the waitstaff. “I can’t believe they don’t have a simple hamburger on the menu! Why can’t I just get a hamburger! Bangers and mash, what the hell is that?” he bellowed. Those people, not my tribe.

  20. says

    raven @8:

    The woman told the officer she felt it was “her responsibility” to approach the teen and pull her skirt down, because a young boy had seemed to point at the teen’s skirt, and the boy’s father — neither of whom the 48-year-old had any relation to — “did nothing about it,” the document states.

    What was the boy’s father supposed to do? The same thing Beth did, only more manlier? Lecture a teenager about how horrible it is that she got his sweet innocent son’s attention for a few seconds? Bravely show all the girl’s friends who’s boss so shut up that’s why? Pull a gun?

    Or maybe she figured all straight men — and their straight sons — have X-ray vision and should have stepped up to verify once and for all whether or not this girl was wearing any undies?

  21. says

    And it doesn’t matter if the authority is legitimate or not.
    If illegitimate the challenges will show it, if legitimate the challenges will show that too. If they can’t survive challenges why are they even there?

  22. gijoel says

    @2 They want freedom from consequences. Besides which Karens for Liberty is pretty much a hate group.

  23. says

    To slightly rephrase KarenBeth Bourne:

    “I am not okay with children being exposed to drag queensself-righteous bigots.” Especially when those bigots have selected themselves as community leaders and guardians.

  24. imthegenieicandoanything says

    I used to hold off calling these kinds of people Nazis, but exactly HOW do they differ from the original Nazis, except as time and place has slightly modified them.

    Of course, they (mostly – or in public, at least, mostly) are 10000% behind Israel killing Palestinians, but that probably wouldn’t last more than the first four years of their being granted unfettered power.

    What ISN’T stupid, consciously ignorant, corrupt, selfish, cowardly and plain evil about this woman, who is bog-standard in quality?

  25. says

    She is welcome to come to the Islamic Republic of Malaysia where she can go shopping for make-up and perfume at counters staffed by transexuals. Alternatively she could come to a wedding in the fundamentalist Islamic Republic of Pakistan where they are invited to wedding celebrations. She’d be right at home but she’d have to ditch the tanktop and shorts and dress more respectably, at least in Pakistan, Malaysia doesn’t care unless you are visiting a mosque.

  26. Prax says

    @Chris Dicus #11,

    Thanks for the further information on Beth Bourne. The Sacramento Bee had a very insightful article about her and her estranged nonbinary transgender child earlier this year. Bourne has a lot of bitterness, a lot of loneliness, and absolutely no way to recover from these problems because, well, she just won’t stop hurting the people around her. She’s addicted to rage and won’t admit it.

    Her child Lily sounds like an amazing person living their best life, and it’s pretty tragic that Beth can’t see that. She misses the child that she wanted Lily to be, but can’t reconcile with the child that actually is.

  27. says

    Prax @30

    Her child Lily sounds like an amazing person living their best life, and it’s pretty tragic that Beth can’t see that. She misses the child that she wanted Lily to be, but can’t reconcile with the child that actually is.

    It’s a common theme I see with conservatives: They think children are their property to be forced into their mold, instead of free individuals who need to discover themselves.

  28. woozy says

    Is her daughter why she was saying that boys were being compelled to have their penises cut off “just because they are effeminate and like make-up”? I thought it was odd she was claiming boys should be allowed to be effeminate and like make-up (which I suspect most transphobes aren’t comfortable with) but she’s utterly livid and Marina Del Rey because … well…. she’s effeminate and liking make-up.

  29. says

    My favorite example I’ve witnessed of a customer who felt entitled because they payed money was, ironically, someone who did not want others to Protect The Kids.

    My first job as a teenager was working at a summer camp for elementary-school-aged kids. At the end of every day, the parents lined up in the parking lot to pick up their kids.

    We had recently implemented a policy that every parent picking up a kid had to show their photo ID, so that the camp director could verify they were authorized to pick up their kid. Public elementary schools who implement such policies have to accommodate parents who can’t afford IDs, but we didn’t’ have to do that because it was a very expensive private camp.

    When this policy was implemented, most parents applauded the change: it isn’t that much extra hassle to show your ID if you’ve already stopped your car, and it improves safety for the kids.

    But one parent didn’t like it. When he got to the front of the line, he told the director his daughter’s name, and was asked to show his ID. Instead, he threw a temper tantrum in the parking lot. He insisted he had paid a lot of money so he shouldn’t have to show his ID to pick up his daughter. He also shouted at the councilors, demanding that we put his daughter in the car (which we didn’t because we all knew the rule and we all knew why the rule was there). The parents in the next few cars looked visibly annoyed that he was holding up the line.

    The camp director very calmly explained to him that this policy was to ensure safety for the campers, and that she had to check that he was actually his daughter’s legal guardian or authorized by her legal guardian. When he still refused to show his ID, the director told him to get out of line and went to talk to the next parent in line, who quickly showed their ID.

    After that, the guy at the front of the line decided to cooperate and showed his ID, and the director quickly verified he was eligible to pick up his daughter. Why didn’t he do it the first time he was asked? I don’t know and I likely never will.

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