Bias Watch

Conservatives declare war on LGBTQ suicide prevention hotline & call it pedophilia

A sad teen
Photo: Shutterstock

Conservatives have spent the last couple months calling everyone who disagrees with them a pedophile, and now they’re setting their sights on the Trevor Project, an organization that runs a hotline and other resources to fight LGBTQ youth suicide.

Colin Wright, an editor of the anti-LGBTQ website Quillette, shared a comic from the Trevor Project that explained how teens could erase browser history and escape the site quickly so that they could get help even if they are worried about being outed to their parents.

Related: Calls to The Trevor Project suicide hotline are up since Trump elected president

Wright didn’t seem able to understand how something like this could help young people and instead said that the point of the feature is to “keep parents in the dark.”

Others on the right equated the Trevor Project with pedophilia, implying that an organization reaching out to LGBTQ teens in crisis is the same as a child sex abuser having sexually charged conversations with minors, as if any conversation involving LGBTQ identities is inherently pornographic.

“Why is the Trevor Project encouraging children to keep secrets from their parents?” the far-right organization Moms for Liberty responded to Wright’s tweet.

“Leftwing activists are predatory groomers,” conservative pundit Lauren Chen tweeted. “If you sit around designing and promoting ways to get in touch with kids so you can discuss sexuality and keep it from their parents, you are a groomer.”

“They’re trying to break your children,” said conservative podcaster Jesse Kelly.

The anti-LGBTQ account Libs of TikTok called the Trevor Project a “grooming organization” in a now-deleted tweet.

James Lindsay, the professor who is best known for getting a fake academic paper published in 2017, claimed that it’s “only a matter of time until solid evidence of serious wrongdoing emerges regarding the Trevor Project.”

He then said it’s the “Groomer Project posing as suicide prevention.”

As many people pointed out, having an “escape” feature is fairly standard for crisis hotlines and web services since the people who turn to crisis hotlines often don’t have support from the people around them.

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