Dangerous 'groomer' slur against LGBTQ allies protecting gay and trans kids needs to stop

Apr 18, 22
Dangerous 'groomer' slur against LGBTQ allies protecting gay and trans kids needs to stop

TinyMart is sharing this content, the original was posted on registerguard.com by Ty Warren, April 17 2022, So please click here to go there

“To trans people everywhere — especially trans kids, never forget that you are seen, you are loved, and you matter” — Gov. Kate Brown in a March 31 tweet 

On March 31, National Trans Day of Visibility, Gov. Kate Brown issued a statement supporting the transgender community. Her simple and kind words, greatly appreciated within my household, appeared on social media and garnered some attention. The comments in these forums were largely positive and supportive of the trans community, but many people reacted negatively, some vehemently so.  

Strewn among the latter comments was this cringeworthy groaner: “ok groomer.” 


I should know better than to read the comments, but anti-trans, anti-gay sentiment exists in more potent circles than the comments section. Usage of the word “groomer,” ugly and fallacious, has risen in conservative news circles that support anti-LGBTQ legislation. This word marks its target as an enabler of the most perverse forms of child abuse. Lobbing it at someone basely accuses them of being a pedophile. 

“Groomer” has a pernicious and ignoble history of being weaponized against the queer community. Opponents of LGBTQ rights have long attempted to portray the gay and trans communities as predators of children. It is a false but powerful fear-invoking trope that works, so the re-emergence of “groomer” as a contemporary political tactic comes as no surprise.   

Supporters of HB 1557 (the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill), which passed recently in Florida, fervently use such language. Florida Press Secretary Christina Pushaw wrote in a now-deleted tweet: “If you are against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer, or… don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children.”  

Under the pretense of protecting innocent children from inappropriate content, this law rekindles repugnant falsehoods about the LGBTQ community. To supporters of such legislation, the mere representation of gay and trans people implies “grooming” children. Currently, there are hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills in the U.S. 

Language matters. Using words like “groomer” to attack the support systems and allies of gay and trans kids — the most marginalized and at-risk group of youth in the U.S. — strategically invokes false narratives and irrational fears. By intention, such language dehumanizes the LGBTQ population and its allies, but also reflects poorly on the author. Use of the word “groomer” to justify anti-LGBTQ legislation highlights ignorance, fear and cynical politics; real kids get tossed under the proverbial bus under the guise of protecting them from “groomers.”  

Attacking supportive parents and allies as “groomers” for accepting and respecting LGBTQ lives occurs with alarming frequency and often with terrible consequences. As an openly trans educator and parent, this attack arrives in my inbox regularly. My visible existence allows my LGBTQ students to know they can be successful and happy in their own lives. Had I known people like me existed when I was younger, much misery could have been eliminated. I survived, but barely. Many, too many, do not. For my visibility, I am labeled “groomer.” Yet I live in Oregon, not Texas, Florida or Alabama (the list grows as I write) and am not afraid of potential criminal charges. 

And yet … 

Language creates and reinforces culture. Positive statements like the one Brown supporting the trans community also have great power. If you are an ally to the LGBTQ community, be vocal with your support in social media, conversations with friends and colleagues and at the ballot box.  

Words matter, particularly when codified into harmful and dangerous laws. We cannot become complacent.  

Speak up. 

Ty Warren is a senior instructor at the University of Oregon and an active proponent for trans rights. 

Submit a guest view by emailing bomeara@registerguard.com your draft of either 525 words or 725 words, not in between. Include any relevant links to resources and research. Also, be sure to include a short biography explaining who you are, what you do and where you live. Writers may publish one guest view per 90 days.

Letters should be 200 words or fewer and sent with the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone number via e-mail to rgletters@registerguard.com. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and maybe published in any medium. We regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.

Leave a Comment

Share on TinyMart´s Social Channels