Conservatives are using childhood cases of monkeypox to imply that gay and bisexual men are molesting children.
For the past year, conservatives have been calling LGBTQ people “groomers,” implying that being queer makes an adult a threat to minors. Now, with this year’s monkeypox outbreak, they’re upping the ante.
“If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it?” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) asked on Twitter this weekend, showing a video of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky, where she said that two cases of childhood monkeypox in California could be “traced back to individuals who come from the men who have sex with men community.”
If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it? pic.twitter.com/mvgSlxZ0Pp
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) July 23, 2022
Rightwing activist Ian Miles Cheong shared a Daily Mail story about the same childhood monkeypox cases and said, “Are we allowed to ask any questions?”
Are we allowed to ask any questions? pic.twitter.com/KicbNQdFZF
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 23, 2022
Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection. The disease is spread through direct contact with lesions, prolonged face-to-face contact, touching items like clothes and linens that an infected person used, or via the placenta to a fetus.
Currently most cases have been among gay and bi men, but the World Health Organization is already suggesting that that could be because gay and bi men are “the canary in the mine that’s alerting us to a new disease that could spread to other groups.”
And as more children get monkeypox – something that could grow once the school year starts next month – conservatives are likely to use these instances to call LGBTQ child molesters.
Some of Greene’s followers took her tweet to mean that gay and bi men were molesting children and giving them monkeypox.
“Remember, the age of consent under Queer Theory is ZERO,” one popular comment on Greene’s tweet said.
“Time to file a police report ?” wrote another.
“Most likely from this butt buccaneer in school,” one wrote, linking a video of a gay teacher in Canada.
“That’s disturbing as hell,” another commenter wrote. “Were the gay men who raped these children arrested and charged?”
Several others, including this commenter, shared memes involving Zac Efron and implying that gay men are spreading monkeypox to “underage boys” even though the gender of the kids who got monkeypox is not known.
Monkeypox has become associated with gay and bi men in the media, so much so that a professor in Texas last week called for a “cure for homosexuality.”