I think thiis puts the whataboutery in context.
"You know what’s most shocking about the massacre in Colorado Springs? The fact that it felt so inevitable. Over the past year there has been an escalation in dangerously dehumanising anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. The idea that LGBTQ+ people are “groomers” and paedophiles
has become a mainstream conservative talking point pushed by everyone from Fox News to Republican politicians. Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for the Florida governor Ron DeSantis, for example, said that a new law preventing Florida schools from teaching kids about LGBTQ+ people should be called the “the anti-grooming bill”. If you’re against it, she tweeted
, “you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of four- to eight-year-old children”. According to the Human Rights Campaign
, the average number of tweets each day using slurs such as “groomer” and “paedophile” in relation to LGBTQ+ people increased by 406% in the month after the Florida bill was passed.
The dehumanising rhetoric has been accompanied by growing violence. The Proud Boys, a far-right group, have been disrupting Drag Queen Story Hour events (in which performers read books to children) across the US, often turning up with guns
. In September Boston children’s hospital received bomb threats
after sustained far-right harassment sparked by the hospital’s work with transgender youths. The tragedy at Club Q didn’t happen in a vacuum