Politics

NYC council members shame GOP councilor for her disgusting comments about LGBTQ people

New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher
New York City Council Member Erik BottcherPhoto: Screenshot

An out Democratic politician called out a colleague who has been referring to LGBTQ people as “groomers,” which is a term associated with child sex abuse.

“Enough. Enough of that word,” said New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher (D). “Enough of this rhetoric.”

Related: Gymnast abused by team doctor comes out swinging at rightwing claims of LGBTQ “grooming”

For the past several months, rightwingers have been using the term “groomer” to describe LGBTQ people and people who are supportive of them.

“Grooming” is a set of manipulative behaviors sexual predators use to gain access to potential victims, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of getting caught, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The process usually involves training the victims to keep secrets from adults they trust and desensitizing them to sexual discussions and touching.

New York City Council Member Vickie Paladino (R) has been using the term “groomer” to refer to LGBTQ people to insinuate that LGBTQ people interacting with children is a form of pedophilia.

Paladino tweeted a long rant this past Monday about Drag Queen Story Hour, where she called the performances “child grooming and sexualization” and “unacceptable and grotesque.” Some pictures included in her rant showed the queens fully dressed – with turtle necks even – reading children’s books.

“Progressives may have no problem with child grooming and sexualization, but I do,” Paladino wrote. “This will not happen on my watch. Kids deserve a quality education free from political manipulation and sexual content.”

Another out council member, Chi Ossé (D), also spoke up, saying that Paladino can oppose Drag Queen Story Hour without child molestation accusations.

“To insinuate that these performers are groomers, during the month of Pride at that, is wildly homophobic and bigoted,” he wrote.

He also called her out for liking tweets of people calling him a groomer because he’s queer.

Bottcher had apparently also had enough of Paladino’s homophobia.

“I cannot think of a more nauseating term than the term ‘groomer,'” Bottcher said at a council meeting yesterday. “That’s what child molesters do. They cultivate trust with someone they’re about to victimize.”

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