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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

Disinformation Continues to Fuel Anti-LGBTQ+ Sentiment


The LGBTQ+ community has gained greater recognition in recent years. Movies and TV shows feature queer characters with greater frequency and less pushback, Gay-Straight Alliances have changed to the more inclusive Gender and Sexuality Alliances, and openly queer politicians hold seats in the U.S.

However, with this larger visibility, a renewed hate campaign has followed it. From violent videos of shooting cases of Bud Light to threatening Target employees, anti-LGBTQ+ “activists” attack any supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.

Recently, a Waukesha County middle school got strings of shooting and bomb threats —none of which were credible— after Libs of TikTok posted a tweet talking about an assistant principal in the school. Chaya Raichik is the face behind Libs of Tiktok, an account on several platforms that reposts content showing support to LGBTQ+ issues and has repeatedly been tied to strings of threats on schools after her posts target them.  

Each of these examples show the extreme cases of hateful action coming from conservative groups. Additionally, each is rooted in disinformation designed to cater towards an audience of ignorantly fearful people. 

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Anti-LGBTQ+ activists often push the ideas that gay people are pedophilic groomers or that children are mutilated by medically transitioning. Neither of these things are true, as many opponents of the idea point out that the LGBTQ+ community does not support or include pedophilia, coercion, manipulation, or medical malpractice. These allegations are harmful to genuine cases of grooming and child abuse, detracting from public trust in real claims.

It is important for people to recognize the extremes anti-LGBTQ organizations will present to garner attention or support. At CPAC 2024, the Conservative Political Action Conference, several speakers spoke adamantly about the need to eradicate “transgenderism.” Despite these terrifying claims, many still show support for Micheal Knowles and others, even though they call for eliminationism

The large advances on LGBTQ+ rights that conservatives politicians have made are consequential. In 2023, the ACLU tracked 510 anti-LGBTQ+ bills. Of these 510, 84 passed. Many of these bills target educational content, such as the 34 passed into law labeled as “restricting student & educator rights.” In Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, the current governor, finalized model policies that state parents should be notified if their child socially transitions at school. This, among other sections of the policy, are frequently stated by LGBTQ+ organizations to be harmful to LGBTQ+ youth. GLAAD has also noted several instances where Youngkin expressed anti-LGBTQ views, including the support of a book ban.

In August 2023, Fairfax County Public Schools released a statement regarding the model policy and how it wouldn’t affect Fairfax policies to protect transgender students’ right to be called by their chosen name and pronouns, access to facilities associated with their gender identity, and privacy. Other districts have put these policies into place while others are now reconsidering their LGBTQ+ policies. 

The campaigns against LGBTQ+ rights are immoral, violent, and discriminatory. They justify their mission with false information designed to radicalize people. Every news story and policy change is an example of how LGBTQ+ people are being threatened and endangered. The Trevor Project’s 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People highlights how LGBTQ+ youth are in need of support and attacks on their legal rights don’t give them that. According to the survey, nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation. Similarly, nearly 2 in 3 LGBTQ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ people at school made their mental health a lot worse.








Visit the Trevor Project’s survey page to see more of their findings

Trevor Project’s survey also found that certain topics would be helpful for people in LGBTQ+ people’s lives to know about. The top five of these were: support/acceptance, gender identity, sexual orientations, pronouns, and creating safe spaces. The remaining four topics were the gender binary, microaggressions, racism, and intersectionality.LGBTQ+ youth need people to be more educated about the issues facing them. Misconceptions and stereotypes perpetuated by social media and a lack of understanding regarding the large variety of identities encompassed by the LGBTQ+ acronym are harmful to the LGBTQ+ community. Learning more about the variety of terms revolving around gender identity and sexuality is integral to support LGBTQ+ people in the face of rampant discrimination.


For more information regarding the LGBTQ+ community and topics discussed in this article, view the links below:

Human Rights Campaign – A source for topic exploration and HRC’s Equality Indexes

ACLU – LGBTQ+ Rights – A source for assembling to advocate for LGBTQ+ Rights or learning more about course cases regarding LGBTQ+ rights

The Trevor Project – A source for topic exploration, crisis helplines, and other support for LGBTQ+ youth

Equality Virginia – A source for LGBTQ+ rights related news in Virginia

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